FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 24, 2014
Kevin Coburn, Director of Communications
Comedian and Bestselling Author Baratunde Thurston to Speak at GMC
POULTNEY--Baratunde Thurston, comedian, co-founder of Cultivated Wit, and author of the New York Times bestseller How to be Black, will speak Thursday, January 30 at 6:30 p.m. in The Gorge in Withey Hall. The annual Voices of Community Plenary Talk, sponsored by the Environmental Liberal Arts Program, Speakers Bureau, and the Department of Communications, is free and open to the public.
The stand-up comedian published How to be Black in February of 2012. The comedic memoir describes Thurston’s
coming-of-blackness from his Washington D.C. childhood to his education at Harvard. Thurston weaves “how to” chapters into his personal story, providing lessons, humor, and an avenue for readers to access a more empathetic understanding of race and modern-day racial tensions. Thurston states in his introduction:
This is a book about the ideas of blackness, how those ideas are changing, and how they differ from the popular ideas promoted in mainstream media and often in the black community itself.
In 2006, Thurston founded Jack & Jill Politics, a political blog known for its strong media presence through the 2008 Presidential election. From 2007 to 2012, Thurston served as director of digital for The Onion. Today, Thurston serves as a MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow, a columnist for Fast Company, and the CEO of Cultivated Wit, a place that brings together technology, comedy, and creativity.
Thurston has been nominated for the Bill Hicks Award for Thought Provoking Comedy, named one of the 100 most influential African-Americans by The Root, and listed as one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company.
Green Mountain College’s Voices of Community course explores human relationships while developing skills in writing and composition. Thurston’s talk will heighten the students’ understanding of the meaning of community, and how to represent and influence their communities through creative, humorous, and digital avenues.