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The Daily Read: Black Comediennes, Stand Up!

This here is for colored girls who make you laugh but don’t get enough credit for doing so.


You probably remember a few months back when SNL caught some serious heat for its lack of black female cast members. The show quickly put out those flames by holding a casting call specifically for black female comics. Now, kudos to them for addressing the issue, but it honestly should not have been an issue in the first place. There are plenty of funny black women who should have naturally been considered for the show a long time ago. But, in the words of Rafiki, “dee past is in dee past.”

Let’s fast forward to present day and all of the progress the mainstream has made in catching on to the power of the black woman comic. There’s the new late-night spot (replacing David Letterman) that went to…oh wait, no, that was a white man. There’s the new Weekend Update anchor…no, that’s a black man (and I am NOT complaining about that one; Michael Che is the man!). Hmm…it looks like there have not been as many advances in this area as I thought. Le sigh…

Look, I am not saying there has not been progress for black women on television in general; on the contrary, I am very pleased to see shows like Scandal, Gotham, and How to Get Away with Murder showcasing black talent. But ask someone who is not of color to name his or her favorite black comic and there is a 95% chance he or she will name a man (the other 5% will say Wanda Sykes). The upsetting thing is, there are PLENTY of funny black woman who deserve a spot in the sun. (Sidenote: I would like to praise The Daily Show for Jessica Williams. That is all).

Dear media: get hip to the game and start diversifying your comic portfolio. I know you do not see the appeal, because you would rather us either be angry or stereotypically sassy, but those perceptions of us will never change until you step out and break the mold. I have even done some of the work for you and have added some videos of MY favorite comediennes below.

Issa Rae

Amanda Seales

Kerry Coddett

Images via Black Enterprise, The Daily Show, Ellen, The National Film Society, and Lisa Hancock Photography.


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