Born out of rage over the lack of representation, the festival gives a platform to some of the brightest and funniest ladies in comedy
The inaugural Black Women In Comedy Festival will be headlined by Calise Hawkins, Pat Brown and Meshelle (l-r).

The inaugural Black Women in Comedy Festival is taking over multiple locations in Bedford Stuyvesant from Thursday, February 28, through Sunday, March 3, closing out Black History Month and continuing the celebrations by diving right into Women’s History Month.

Co-founded by NYC-based actor and stand-up comedian Joanna Briley, the festival will showcase some of the best, brightest and funniest black women, including those who identify as women from the LGBTQ community.

“The Black Women In Comedy Festival was born out of rage,” Briley states on the festival’s website. “For decades of being left out, unseen and overlooked in the industry, we decided it was time to have something of our own.”

The festival will feature multiple facets of comedy including stand-up, solo works and improv at four Bed-Stuy venues: the Brooklyn House of Comedy, Joloff Restuarant, The Corners BK and Tilly’s.

Feature events include the “Industry Showcase,” a tribute show to iconic comedians, during which performers will share how they have been influenced by a comedy idol past or present; the interactive comedy show “Cheap Date,” and a Sunday comedy brunch.

The festival will be headlined by Calise Hawkins who has performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and written for Comedy Central’s @midnight, Hood Adjacent, MTV’s Totally Clueless, Girl Code and Charlemagne’s Uncommon Sense; Pat Brown, who is currently on tour with Tracy Morgan and can be seen on CBS’s Late Show with Stephen Colbert, NBC’s Comics Unleashed and BET ‘s ComicView, as well as Meshelle, “The Indie-Mom of Comedy,” who participated in Nickelodeon’s The Funniest Mom in America 3 and Martin Lawrence Presents: The First Amendment Stand Up.

The festival will also include guest headliners Jenelle Kporha Jackson, Ashima Franklin, Stephanie McCrae, Franqi French, MeMe Simpson, Leighann Lord, and Nikki Carr.

“Creating a platform for women of color, specifically Black Women, empowers the next generation of young people who aspire to become stand up comedians,” said Briley. “Our goal is to create the opportunities to be seen and expose bigger audiences to our talents, while also creating a community and safe space for black women to shine.”

For a complete schedule and tickets, go here. 

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Andrea Leonhardt

“Made in Germany,” Andrea Leonhardt is the managing editor for BK Reader. Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, with minors in American studies and education, and a master’s...

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