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Comedian to honor history at library, Feb. 16

In honor of African American History Month, the Woodward Park Regional Library will host comedian Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton, Feb. 16. Littleton will speak on the history of African American humor and on his new book Black Comedians on Black Comedy at two p.m. in the Woodward Park Meeting Room.

In addition to writing Black Comedians on Black Comedy (2006), Littleton published Pimp Down: The Rise & Fall of Katt Williams (2011) and co-wrote Comediennes: Laugh Be a Lady (2012), a chronicle of female comedy.

SInce his debut on “The Parent Hood”, Robert Townsend?s WB sitcom, Littleton has written for BET’s “Comic View”, FOX’s “Townsend Television”, Comedy Central’s “Make Me Laugh” and other comedy networks. Littleton also won the grand prize on ABC’s “America’s Funniest People” and won the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition in 2006. In 2010, Littleton joined Robert Townsend to produce “Why We Laugh”, a full length documentary on the history of African American comedy.

Littleton looks forward to speaking in Fresno because of the opportunity he will have to educate listeners about the history of his profession.

“I?m excited anytime I can spread the information about not only the black pioneers in comedy, but the historical timeline involved that is really the history of this nation,” Littleton said. “Fresno has always been a welcome place for performers and authors as well, so this is a double pleasure for me.”

He believes that it is important to celebrate African American History Month to honor what so many unknown African Americans have done to help our nation.

“I think Black History Month should be celebrated because of the contributions of its many unsung heroes and heroines (sic),” Littleton said. “If the school system and history books were more balanced for all races, designated months and weeks would not be necessary, but until then I feel it?s important for current and future generations to know a broader story.”

Fresno County Public Library’s Programming Librarian Linda Aragon says that she is excited to have Littleton come and speak at the Woodward Park branch because of her appreciation of comedy and her respect for Littleton.

“I?m personally looking forward to this because I like to laugh,” Aragon said. “I have the utmost respect for Darryl Littleton in that he was the inspiration for the PBS series ‘Why We Laugh’ which was a not only thought provoking but educational and entertaining.”

Aragon says that the Fresno County Library is hosting this event to promote African American History Month, but also to provide a unique and diverse cultural event for the community to be a part of.

“Daryl contacted me and I did some research and thought it would be an interesting program,” Aragon said. “I booked the WDWD Park Library because it is one of our newest libraries and has a large meeting room. We just like to provide diverse programs to our communities.”

She encourages people to attend this event because of the opportunities she believes it will provide for listeners to laugh while being educated on the history of comedy and Littleton’s story.

“I think people should come to this event because everyone needs a little humor in their life and spending time laughing is always enjoyable,” Aragon said. “People should spend more time laughing and learning, there is always a grain of truth in every joke.”

Aragon believes that African American History Month is important because by honoring the contributions and history of the various American cultures, we as a country remember the sacrifice that was required to get us to the place we are today.

“In the words of State Civil Service Executive Director Jeffrey T. Wallace,” Aragon said, “‘Black History Month observation enables us to celebrate the diversity that makes our democracy strong by honoring the history of African-Americans and valuing their contribution to our nation?s history.'”

As a result of his performance, Littleton wants listeners to walk away having been educated about comedy of the past and of the present. He also desires that people realize the importance of laughter on a daily basis.

“I hope people leave with a renewed spirit and a greater appreciation of the contribution comedy has had throughout their lives and the life of the nation,” Littleton said. “I want them to find the humor is their personal lives and no matter if it?s a recession, depression or a boom era, that laughter is a lifetime medicine. Take it in large doses.”

Admission is on a first come, first served basis and is free to the public. For more information on this event, email Aragon or call (559) 600-3135. Woodward Park Regional Library is located at 944 East Perrin Avenue, Fresno, CA 93720.

For more news, see Feb. 13 article, Celebration choir looks towards festivals with larger group (PODCAST).

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