Some humor, while making us laugh, contains shadows of hostility toward those who cause strife – the racists, the bigots, the unaware and uneducated. Although humor can perpetuate and preserve stereotypes, it can also redress a wide variety of prejudices and preconceptions. Humor may not have been a powerful enough weapon to overthrow despotic regimes such as, for example, the US during slavery, Nazi Germany, or the former Soviet Union, but it did provide hope to the oppressed. Humor can educate the educable, counter stereotypes and, if all else fails, possibly get even. Humor provides marginalized groups with psychological strength, and enables them to rise above despair and hopelessness. Jewish humor is used here as a specific example of how humor has been used over hundreds of years to help survive oppression and teach the history of a people.