- March 24, 2017
- 7:30 pm
Brava Theater Center
2789 24th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
If you think you haven't seen the work of Baratunde Thurston, you are most likely wrong. Whether it's The Daily Show, The Onion, Jack & Jill Politics, Cultivated Wit, or his stand-up comedy, odds are good that he has had a hand in creating something that has made you laugh and think about race, politics, technology, and more.
Baratunde is a self-described futurist comedian, writer, and cultural critic. He can also be described as a producer and an entrepreneur—all of these words create some context for his astounding list of accomplishments. To name just a few, he helped re-launch The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, served as Director of Digital and politics editor for The Onion for five years, and wrote the New York Times bestseller How To Be Black.
How To Be Black is a comedic memoir that begins with Baratunde's early childhood raised by an Afrocentric single mother in Washington, D.C. It follows him through his education at The Sidwell Friends School and Harvard, and into his first job. The biographical story is periodically punctuated by satirical lessons learned chapters such as "How To Be The Black Friend," and "How To Be The (Next) Black President." The book includes interviews with a panel of black experts, which is to say, black people (plus one white Canadian male as a scientific control group).
As co-founder of Cultivated Wit, Baratunde works to combine the power of comedy and technology to share stories and ideas. Cultivated Wit hosts hackathon events where developers and comedians work together to build apps that make technology more fun.
Join us for an evening that includes a special stand-up set with Baratunde followed by a conversation with Rotimi Agbabiaka about comedy, technology, race, politics, and everything in between.
Baratunde Thurston is a futurist comedian, writer, and cultural critic who helped re-launch The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, co-founded Cultivated Wit and the About Race podcast, and wrote the New York Times bestseller How To Be Black. Baratunde is a highly sought-after public speaker, television personality, and thought leader, who has been part of noteworthy institutions such as Fast Company, TED, the MIT Media Lab, and The Onion.
With an ancestry that includes a great-grandfather who taught himself to read, a grandmother who was the first black employee at the U.S. Supreme Court building, a computer-programming mother who took over radio stations in the name of the black liberation struggle, and an older sister who teaches yoga at her donation-based studio in Lansing, Michigan, Baratunde has long been taught to question authority and forge his own path. His creative and inquisitive mind, forged by his mother's lessons and polished by a philosophy degree from Harvard, have found expression in the pages of Fast Company, the screens of HBO, Comedy Central, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, the sound waves of NPR and countless numbers of podcasts.
Rotimi Agbabiaka is an actor, singer, writer, director, and teaching artist. He is a collective member of the San Francisco Mime Troupe, a former cast member at Beach Blanket Babylon, and his solo play, Homeless, won Best Solo Performance at the SF Fringe Festival. His latest solo play, Type/Caste, just completed a critically acclaimed, hit run at Brava Theatre and is currently touring the nation. As a director, Rotimi helmed the world premiere of VS. at TheatreFirst and has also directed plays for SF One Minute Play Festival and the SF Mime Troupe's Youth Theatre Project. He most recently appeared in Type/Caste at Brava Theater, Schooled (Thomas Jones) with the San Francisco Mime Troupe, Sojourners (Disciple) and runboyrun (boy) with Magic Theatre, Hair (Hud) with Bay Area Musicals, Holiday High Jinx (Dancing Dan) with Word for Word, Choir Boy (Junior) at Marin Theatre Company, The Amen Corner (David) with Alter Theater, We Are Proud To Present ... (Another Black Man) at Just Theater, and Raisin in The Sun (Asagai) at Cal Shakes.He studied at Moscow Art Theatre and earned his MFA from Northern Illinois University. Learn more about Rotimi on his website.