*The first-ever comedy festival headlining all Black women will be hosted in Atlanta this month, and we caught up with the mastermind behind the event.
Comedian Vanetta Schoefield created the 1865 comedy festival featuring Black female comedians, and the event has three goals: to empower, to educate, and to entertain. Although Schoefield’s talent has landed her on FOX Soul, Refinery29, and WE TV, she says those career opportunities aren’t easy to come by.
Per press release, the origins of comedy in this country stem back to slavery days when slaves would mock their masters to try to bring their spirits up. That’s why organizers of this fest, called 1865, are hosting it on Juneteenth weekend. Its aim is to honor our ancestors and while continuing the fight for equity, specifically for Black women.
“For so many generations, Black people have had to laugh through their pain. We used comedy to get us through struggle. I couldn’t think of a better time to take something our ancestors popularized and honor them on the day they learned that they were finally free,” said Schoefield.
Organized by Schoefield’s Funny Hunnyz, the 1865 comedy festival will be the first of its kind. We dished with Vanetta about her inspiration behind the event and the importance of providing this platform for Black female comedians. Check out our conversation via the clip below.