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W. Kamau Bell on talking with white folks about race

Comedian W. Kamau Bell has plenty of white fans eager to hear his thoughts on race. His latest book gives them tools to create an anti-racist society.

About this episode:

Comedy is an art form that consistently provides some of the most insightful social commentary to be found. When the best comics get on stage, they shine a light on the darker, often uncomfortable, parts of our collective psyche, in the process opening a door for discussion.

W. Kamau Bell is a comedian who has used his art to highlight our country’s complicated relationship with race. And his CNN series, United Shades of America, follows Bell as he visits communities across the country, exploring the unique challenges they face. Along the way Bell has developed a fan base eager to hear his thoughts on race. And many of those fans are white allies.

Bell's latest book, co-authored with Kate Schatz, who is white, is directed squarely at those white fans. Titled Do The Work!, it’s structured as a workbook for adults, complete with concrete actions they can take to create an anti-racist society. This week on Into America, host Trymaine Lee sits down with Bell to discuss how the book overlaps with his career in comedy. Plus, he and Trymaine take a deep dive into their favorite Denzel Washington movies.

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Find the transcript here.

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