Amanda Seales on Black Empowerment and Her HBO Comedy Special

Comedian Amanda Seales is making her own rules, fighting for Black women, and taking the entertainment industry by storm.

The 37-year-old California native, who stars alongside Issa Rae as bad and boujee best friend Tiffany DuBois in HBO show “Insecure,” and hosts her own podcast “Small Doses with Amanda Seales,” now has her own HBO comedy special “I Be Knowin'” where she will continue to shed light and laughter on her experience as a Black woman.

“Anybody who knows me knows that, like, my love for Black culture, my love for my Blackness, my love for my culture and ethnicity is not put on,” Seals said. “It is true and authentic and genuine.”

Seales set out to create something authentically her, aiming to reflect her journey rather than her take on a slew of timely social situations, occurrences, and current events.  

“So I wanted to make sure that I made something that was truthfully related to that because, especially since this is my first special, I eventually came to feel like it was important that this particular special spoke directly to, like, my personal experience versus just my commentary on the social scope of things,” she said.

Before she took to Hollywood, Seales got her master’s in African American studies with a concentration in hip-hop from Columbia University. She then toured as a part of musical duo Floetry in 2007, replacing Natalie Stewart performing alongside Marsha Ambrosius. Now, Seales is using her education and humor to educate audiences on the value of knowledge while making them laugh along the way.
“You know, when I started doing stand up it was because I had grown to have this keen awareness that if I really wanted my voice to have value with a humorous lens, I was going to need to do stand up, and do it well,” Seales said. “I knew that I was a funny person. I didn't necessarily know if I could be funny on demand, on a stage, in front of an audience with written material. Fast forward, I know I'm funny on stage now. So, that's probably the biggest difference. I didn't know and now I know.”

Seales is working tirelessly and knows she has to pave her own way, because no one is going to create opportunities for her.
“I mean, that's just, kind of, the reality of the situation,” she said. “We're not yet at a point of enlightenment where folks are, like, sitting around a conference room table saying ‘But what about the Black women?’ It's just not happening.”

The comedian is pushing back against stereotypes, and any attempts to diminish the value of what she, and other Black women, are saying. She had plans to do a comedy special with or without HBO, and if things hadn’t worked out the way they did she would have done just that.

“I think it's not only important, but it's a necessity that Black women create our own inroads and do the same, to bring in other Black women, because if we don't, we end up still looking for approval, looking for access, you know, like, ‘Please, let me in,’” Seales said. “It's really a ‘Kick in the door wavin’ the 44’ kind of situation at this point or just, like... Build your own house.”

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