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Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

Comedian Amanda Seales kicks off BHC calendar

Jennifer Igbonoba | Staff Photographer
Seales is known for playing Tiffany DuBois on HBO’s Insecure, her stand-up special “I Be Knowin” and as a former co-host of now-canceled daytime talk show “The Real.”

Actress and comedian Amanda Seales kicked off this year’s Black Heritage Celebration as its keynote speaker at an event Wednesday.

Seales is known for playing Tiffany DuBois on HBO’s Insecure, her stand-up special “I Be Knowin” and as a former co-host of the now-canceled daytime talk show “The Real.” Ella Stern, the keynote chair and president of the GW Association of Black Journalists, moderated the event, which took place in the Betts Theatre in the University Student Center.

In 2018, Seales started her podcast “Small Doses” and released a book titled “Small Doses: Potent Truths for Everyday Use,” the following year. Seales also hosted the 2020 BET awards.

Throughout the discussion, Seales spoke about navigating academics, relationships and the workforce while being a Black woman in America. Seales said as an only child, she was “very depressed” about worrying about friends during her formative years.

“I feel like I let people in my circle that were not really about my friendship,” Seales said. “They weren’t really genuine and it was more so me just trying to ameliorate myself to them.”

Seales said she uses a three-step system when evaluating a potential job: how meaningful the work is, relationships with coworkers and the money. Seales said she faced frustrations with her pay and her colleagues at “The Real,” and leaving during the pandemic helped her discover better opportunities.

“We are so afraid to consider that something better could happen for us,” Seales said. “We stay in situations, we stay in jobs, we stay in classes, we stay in scenarios that, for what it’s worth, are not serving us, but we don’t give ourselves permission to consider better.”

With Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis blocking the teaching of AP African American studies classes in his state, Seales described efforts to erase aspects of Black history as “insidious.” Seales said education is important because it cannot be taken away from someone once it is known.

“They can take your name,” Seales said. “They can take your kids. They can take your job, your house, they can take all of that. They can not take what you know.”

An audience question and answer portion began as Seales and Stern ended their conversation. Sophomore Lady Mason asked a question about how to navigate race and friendships, and how to deal with friends who may not understand all of what a person of color is dealing with.

“You can’t be friends with racist people,” Seales said.

Senior Amira Al Amin asked a question about how Seales, as a light-skinned Black woman, found her place in the entertainment industry without taking too much space and leaving little dark-skinned representation.

“Having an awareness of the reality that there is a white supremacist system that is in place and that has definitely splintered into many different areas of our world and in the entertainment business, It’s come into the fact that a lot of white people feel more comfortable with light skin because it feels closer to them, but then I make a point of being extra Black, to make them feel uncomfortable,” Seales said.

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