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    Keep Laughing!

    By Karen Williams, M.Ed.

    I taught the nation’s only 4-credit Senior Seminar in Stand-Up Comedy at Cleveland State University. I am the founder and CEO of the HaHA Institute, the International Institute of Humor and Healing Arts. I am featured in books like Revolutionary Laughter (Crossing Press) and Out, Loud & Laughing (Random House). I am therefore well aware, as an artist and a scholar, that oppression takes many forms, and it is well-documented that when humor is repressed in any society, its peoples are in trouble.

    From the signs warning us not to laugh about bombs at the airport after 9/11 to the humiliation and suppression of our nation’s comics and their First Amendment rights, we are called to look at the undercurrent of the repression of humor.

    Humor is the language of the oppressed … that’s what I teach, and that’s why the tradition of humor is so strong among Jewish people and Native people and People of African Descent and Gay and Lesbian People and Immigrant People and on and on and on.

    I usually don’t give unwanted advice but here goes: Keep laughing! Laughter is an expression of spontaneous joy.
    We have a right to our joy!

    © 2017 Karen Williams

    You can contact Karen Williams at