Kevin Hart, Revolutionary

The pint-size comedian constantly -- and hilariously -- subverts the image of black masculinity.

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There's no doubt much of Hart's act is hyperbolic. He is rich, very successful and extremely popular, and I have trouble believing he's as uncool in real life as the character he portrays both onstage and in shows such as BET's The Real Husbands of Hollywood. And, if he's been beaten up as many times as he says he has in his acts, I doubt he'd even be able to stand onstage without a cane. 

But, although the exaggeration may seem unnecessary (and even dishonest), sometimes you may need to be over the top in order to drive home a point. Hart's act does this -- ultimately satirizing that hyper-hetero, super-cool ideal that all black men are supposed to live up to -- and his humor reminds the audience that while stereotypical black men are one way, neither he, nor many who relate to his humor, are that way at all.

Damon Young, contributing editor at Ebony.com, is the co-founder of VerySmartBrothas.com and co-author of Your Degrees Won't Keep You Warm at Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide to Dating, Mating, and Fighting Crime. Follow him on Twitter.

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