Comedians Ron Jones and Larry Jay put on a comedic and informative performance Wednesday night in Freeman Auditorium, opening conversation about the importance of communication between different minorities, especially African Americans and Jews.
The show started with a few disclaimers about the very open content that the audience were about to experience. An opening video was shown with Ron and Larry in the streets asking random people various questions about stereotypes of different groups to get the audience in the right mindset for the show and what to expect. Ron and Larry dropped some key knowledge about historical African American and Jewish oppression and how the two minorities used to work together during times of oppression. For example African American soldiers helping Jews out of concentration camps and how the NAACP was created with the collaboration of African Americans and Jews. They also revealed a lot of similarities between African Americans and Jews within their struggles and within the type of persecution they faced.
In their first skit Ron dressed up as an African American grandmother and Larry dressed up as a Jewish grandmother. With this comedic take, dressing up made it easier to express some stereotypical views of one another. Larry expressed his dislike for African Americans because his grandson was jumped by African American boys. Ron responded by saying how they don’t represent the entire population. Ron expressed how cheap Jews were but saying it as it’s out there and that he doesn’t believe it. By the end of the skit they found more commonalities than differences through conversation and laughter eventually sharing each others recipes.
In their second skit they compared their cultures through events they have. The main topic being Bar Mitzvah’s and when boys become men in their culture. For Jews boys became men at the age of 13 but for African Americans you aren’t a man until you are out of your mothers house taking care of yourself. Then it progressed into Ron and Larry doing the electric slide to show how they “get down” at Bar Mitzvah’s!
Their next skit was located at a lake where Larry was fishing and Ron came to join him. Ron explained a “program” where they would place at least one African American in every neighborhood. The program is to make it so people aren’t afraid of African Americans by talking to them and getting to actually know them. He also talked about Hispanic overpopulation program and Asian educational dominance program.
Lastly Ron made it evident that the Jewish struggle isn’t as prominent as it used to be but the African American struggle continues in full force today and that its up to our generation to stand up for our rights and the rights of others for total equality. Ron dressed up Larry in different items that represented what African Americans go through everyday since Larry wanted to know. He put an afro on him to start off. Then he put a basketball and football in his hand representing how most people expect African Americans to only be athletes. A dunce cap to represent how people don’t take African Americans as seriously as they should. A blunt in his hand to represent people view that all African Americans do is smoke weed and a gun to represent African Americans as violent. Lastly Ron put on chain and balls to represent the past struggles proliferating today. This showed what African Americans had to carry on their shoulders everyday on the pathway to the American dream.
Overall the Black Jew Dialogue sent the message of being equal in every aspect and that the only way to overcome stereotypes, prejudice, and hate is to go through it, talk about it openly and not sweep issues under the rug. With plenty of knowledge, a strong message, and two very hilarious comedians the Black Jew Dialogue is a performance worth seeing for all ages!
The event was sponsored by Penn State Hillel, Presidential Leadership Academy and Schreyer Honors College.