With a balance of “education and entertainment- edutainment,” the Office of Campus Activities engages the Xavier community with its speaker series. Part of a series that started in 2015, the first event of the year was yesterday September 19 when Insecure’s Amanda Seales led the conversation on race, culture, and politics.
Amanda Seales is a comedian, actress, writer, and producer best known for her recurring role on Insecure as Tiffany DuBois. Tiffany is the token strait-laced, perfectly coifed light-skinned character whose always organizing whatever the friend group is doing. This halfway contrasts the real Amanda Seales. She is quirky, multifaced, and bursting with authenticity. However, she has the same tell-it-like-it-is tenacity that her character embodies. Amanda Seales was also an MTV VJ, a guest-star on ABC’s Black-ish, and is the creator of the hit comedy game show, “Smart, Funny, & Black.” Smart, Funny, and Black is a game show that serves as a “safe space for the Black voice.” With a master’s in African-American Studies from Columbia University, Seales uses her well-rounded Black experience to promote Blackness and discourage appropriation.
Seales started the conversation by saying that she had a plan for her lecture but since changed her plan when she realized she was going to a HBCU that has “like, all white professors.” Seales wanted to have a Q&A style conversation. To energize the audience before taking questions she told a story about the time one of her professors at SUNY Purchase made an extremely racist remark concerning a Kenyan classmate. The 18-year old Amanda Seales called the professor out which later resulted in her unwarranted cut from the program. It led to the question, “What do you do about the injustices on your campus?” Many students came to the microphone asking questions about finding your voice, speaking out, and navigating situations where oppressive people are in positions of overruling power.
Amanda Seales concluded the conversation leaving students feeling a sense of responsibility to create the change they want to see in the world.