Have you heard of Amanda Seales’ game show “Smart Funny and Black?” I had the pleasure of attending a live show with a friend at the World Famous Apollo Theater in New York City last week. The Apollo is literally in my back yard, so I was excited to be able to catch this sold-out show. Amanda Seales is on fire right now, and it’s totally logical for her to name the show this, since it totally encompasses her. She’s smart: an Ivy College Grad with a Masters from Columbia University in African American Studies. She’s funny as hell, with a recent hit HBO special, “I Be Knowin”. And obviously, she’s Black. Real black.
The whole show is modeled after an HBCU (Historically Black College and University) environment, with different “fams” (think Greek houses) to categorize yourself. You can decide if you’re a part of the “Rebel Fam”, “The Woke Fam,” “Fly Fam,” or the “Cultcha” Fam." The show hast two contestants that compete in different exercises in order to become the “Master Blackspert” of the night. Competitions like: “Splain It" and “Blebates” are just two where you have to showcase your knowledge of “Black”. There will be tons of black culture, starting the with the Negro National Anthem, sporadic electric slide dance breaks, and “Moments of Black Excellence." The show is quite possibly the safest comfort zone for black people to celebrate our strengths, accomplishments and contributions to pop culture. You don’t have to be Black to participate, but if you’re not down with celebrating and protecting Black culture, then well, you’re not welcome.
If you have the opportunity to go, I highly encourage it. Especially in a time where we, as Black people are constantly being looked at in a disparaging way, this show was like a warm hug. It was like coming home for Thanksgiving dinner or the best family reunion. It allowed us to let our hair down and be ourselves and leave the theater with lifted spirits. Definitely an unexpected, great self-care experience.
Get out and live abundantly.