Baratunde Thurston

College is a safe space where it can be hard to truly fail. The institution is rooting for you because your failure makes them look bad, too. New York City has no such mandate. I’ve had to hone and sharpen and refine my work here at a pace which may not have happened in other cities.

“Black culture” is ready for whatever. I sense some momentum and excitement around black artists (especially in comedy, which is where most of my own art resides), really pushing the bounds of what has generally been expected as black. I don’t think it’s a revolution so much as an exposure of what has always been there, and now that the production and distribution means are more accessible, people can more easily find each other.