Celebrating Black History Month with W. Kamau Bell

W. Kamau Bell, a critically acclaimed sociopolitical comedian and community activist, began publicly tackling the issue of racism through comedy with the creation of his one-man show, The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About An Hour. He will present that show at Michigan State University on Monday, Feb. 27, at 7:30 p.m. at the Wharton Center’s Pasant Theatre as part of the College of Arts & Letters' Leading Voices Lecture Series and in celebration of Black History Month.

man posing smiling in glasses

Since creating his one-man show, which he premiered in 2007, Bell has released two comedy albums, hosted various television shows, had his writing featured on VanityFair.com and MSNBC.com, and appeared on many Comedy Central programs.

He began hosting the Emmy Award-nominated CNN documentary series, United Shades of America, in April 2016. In the first few episodes alone, he travels the country speaking with prisoners, Latin Americans, police officers, hipsters, and members of the Ku Klux Klan. The show recently was renewed for a second season.

The New York Times called Bell “the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years.”

Bell also hosts Kamau Right Now!, a public radio talk show that airs on KALW  San Francisco, and recently began to record Politically Re-Active, a new politics podcast. His podcast Denzel Washington is The Greatest Actor of All Time Period was featured on Entertainment Weekly’s “Must List” and Essence Magazine’s “Top 10 Podcasts Every Black Woman Should Hear.”

His comedy album, Face Full of Flour (2010), was named one of the Top 10 Best Comedy albums of the year by iTunes, and after signing with Kill Rock Stars, Bell is now preparing to release his next stand-up album. 

In addition to these endeavors, Bell is the celebrity Ambassador of Racial Justice for the American Civil Liberties Union and is on the advisory boards of the anti-harassment organizations, Hollaback! and Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation.

The New York Times called Bell “the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years” and he was described by Punchline Magazine as “one of our nation’s most adept racial commentators with a blistering wit.”

Tickets to the Wharton Center event are available for purchase through the Wharton Center website. For MSU students, faculty and staff, free tickets are available in advance with a valid MSU ID at the Wharton Center box office.


Written by Alexandria Drzazgowski, Professional Writing Major