What Are Black Jokes?

Black jokes, or racial jokes, can refer to any kind of joke which uses a race or ethnicity as the basis. These jokes often involve stereotypes and can be seen as offensive by some. While the jokes may be funny to some, it is important to recognize that some people may be offended and respect this.

History of Black Jokes

Racial jokes have been around for centuries and are often associated with racism. As far back as the 1800s, jokes about race have been used by comedians during their shows and in popular culture. In some cases, the jokes were used in an attempt to illustrate certain negative stereotypes about certain cultures, but most often it was simply used to provide comic relief.

Black jokes became even more popular in the twentieth century, with a huge rise in the use of politically incorrect jokes and satirical comedy. People of color were now able to use comedic humor to comment on issues and critique current events. Many black comedians used their comedic platforms to challenge dominant discourse and stereotypes.

Types of Black Jokes

• Stereotype Jokes – These jokes involve making fun of a particular stereotype. For example, a joke about black people being lazy, or about Asians being good at math.

• Political Jokes – These are jokes that make fun of a political figure or current event. For example, a joke about President Obama’s golfing.

• Race-based Jokes – These are jokes that uses race or ethnicity as the punchline. For example, a joke about black people’s affinity for fried chicken.

• Insult Jokes – These are jokes that are meant to insult another racial group. For example, a joke about how whites are bad drivers.

• Knock-Knock Jokes – These are jokes that start with “knock-knock” and then contain a racial themed joke as the reveal. For example, a “knock-knock” joke that ends with “orange you glad I’m not black?”

Pros and Cons of Black Jokes


• They can bring people closer together. If a joke is shared amongst people of different backgrounds with a mutual understanding, it can create a friendly relationship and build a sense of togetherness.

• They can be used to challenge dominant discourses and stereotypes. Through comedic humor, individuals can challenge and make fun of outdated beliefs.

• They can be used to bring awareness to an issue. For example, some black comedy sketches have been used to bring awareness to racism, sexism, and other social issues.

• They can provide a comedic break from daily stress. Black jokes can help relieve tension and stress in an uncomfortable or awkward situation.


• They can be a form of racism and discrimination. Lowering a particular racial group to a punch line of a joke in an attempt to degrade or demean them is not okay.

• They can be deemed inappropriate in certain settings. With the ease of communication, a joke can be quickly shared on social media and misinterpreted by many people along the way.

• They can lead to resentment. If the underlying message is one of discrimination or oppression, it could lead to tension between different races and ethnicities.

• They can contain inaccurate information. Making generalized assumptions or exaggerations about a certain cultural group can lead to misconceptions and inaccurate information.

Popular Black Jokes

• Q: How do you stop a black man from drowning?
A: Take your foot off of his head.

• Q: Why don’t black people like to go on cruises?
A: Because they’re always working on the ship.

• Q: What did the black girl say after being offered a black dress?
A: No, it’s too depressing.

• Q: Why don’t black people go on cruises?
A: They already have a good job.

• Q: What do you call a group of black people running away from a police officer?
A: A basketball team.

Black jokes provide insight into the minds of many people, bringing to light certain perspectives and opinions while also highlighting various stereotypes. It is important to recognize that while humor can be a way to relate to others, to comment on society and make light of difficult topics, it can also be seen as a form of racism and discrimination. Different people will have different opinions on what is and isn’t acceptable when it comes to racial jokes, so it is best to be mindful of this and be respectful of everyone’s opinion.

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