Unemployment is at an all-time high in the African-American community. The social ills that the problem induces can manifest themselves psychologically; and some might underestimate the power of a simple human behavior to cope in these tough economic times — laughter.
Well, the comedians making the rounds at the latest Black Enterprise-Pepsi Golf and Tennis Challenge appeared to recognize its true power in the tough economic times of the present and the past.
“If you go back to the Depression in the 1930s, that’s when Charlie Chaplin was at his height,” said Mark Curry, comedian and actor of the highly popular 1990s sitcom Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper. “During the thirties Chaplin was a multi-millionaire because people were depressed and they needed a release to go out and do comedy – they needed that, so comedy has always been around.”
“When the economic situation is down people need to laugh. If you go back and look at even the eighties and Reganomics, a lot of comedians were at their height at that time, “said Curry.
Comedienne Kim Coles, who made an indelible impression to national television viewers through her role as Synclaire on the highly successful Fox sitcom Living Single, said laughter is necessary.
“We have to search a little bit harder now, but it’s necessary in order to navigate these tough times, because these times will come and they go. Good times come and good times go. Bad times come and bad times go. But what you hold on to is the truth of who you really are and find something to feel joyful about,” said Coles, who hosted an event at the Black Enterprise challenge.
“I think that a sense of humor is crucial. I live my life with love and laughter and for me laughter equals love and equals life. I grew up in a household that was full of joy and the thing is that everybody says is that you have to smile all though your heart is breaking – you have to smile even through tough times,“ said Coles.
In addition to her comedic ventures, Coles has started a new program called Open the G.I.F.T.S. (Gratitude, Intentions, Forgiveness, Triumphs, and Self-Love ) , an empowerment project in which she has started speaking to people, and in particular women and girls, about “finding the gift that you have inside of you and sharing the gifts with the world.”
Recently, Curry has headlined successful shows in Las Vegas.