Amanda Seales’ first stand-up comedy special debuted Saturday night on HBO. The 37-year-old comedian, perhaps best known for starring as Issa Rae’s best friend in Insecure, speaks authentically about her journey as a Black woman in her new special, I Be Knowin’.
“It’s important for Black women to make our own way, because if we don’t, ways will not be made for us,” Seales said in a conversation with NowThis. And even if HBO did not willingly give Seales a platform, the comedian would have found an alternative path to manifest her dreams. “I would have made five dollars,” she joked, “But I was going to do it myself.”
With her first special, Seales decided to speak about her own experiences rather than simply her opinions on current events. “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.
As a Columbia University graduate with a master’s in African American studies, Seales understands how essential education is. Often in her comedy, she uniquely blends the power of knowledge with humor, ensuring that audience members are educated while enjoying a good laugh. “I think it’s critical that people who have common sense and who understand the value of knowledge are using their platforms to push that messaging out there,” she explained.
Through her comedy, Seales is paving a way for Black women by making sure that they are not overcome by stereotypes or made to feel as though their worth is diminished in any way. “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.”
For more truth and knowledge, tune into Amanda Seale’s weekly podcast, Small Doses, where she discusses a wide range of topics in her signature style of both smart and funny.