3 Black Comedians Who Used Laughter to Advance Liberation

man pointing out to the audience
Via Flickr
Adé Hennis
January 23, 2024

In many instances, it’s not the messenger that’s important, but rather the message. And many Black comedians knew that they could bring the message to help fuel activism for our people.

Jackie Mabley 

Jackie “Moms” Mabley was a straightforward, sharp comedian who incorporated her identity as a Black woman and lesbian into her act. Her performances not only made audiences laugh but also sparked reflection about the injustices against Black men and Black women in America.

Godfrey Cambridge 

Cambridge participated in many civil rights protests, but you didn’t have to see him to feel his presence. He also worked behind the scenes with people like Maya Angelou and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to raise funds for Martin Luther King Jr’s work.

Dick Gregory 

Since he was a teenager, Gregory was dedicated to social justice. His comedic skills and activism aged like fine wine. He poured his heart and soul into speaking out against how our people were mistreated.

Many comedians throughout the years have used their platform to speak about injustice. But whatever your profession is, you can use your unique skill sets to fight for Black liberation. What skills can you contribute to our community?

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