As three Black Americans, we use improv comedy, storytelling, and podcasting to discover truth between the blurry lines of the daily grind. brokegravy.com

Or How Not to Interview BIPOC, by Eric Simons

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It’s October 15. About 11:45am. Maybe noon. I’m simultaneously attempting to impress my six-month-old with an array of mouth sounds and trying to determine if one of her classic farts has turned into something more dangerous.

That’s when it hit me, I’m scheduled for a 1pm interview with a local Portland publication but I don’t know who is calling who, what the interview is about, or if my six-month-old will be ready for her nap in time. With one of my teammates, Leon, also taking part, how would we be handling three people on the line?

I open my phone to try and fire off a quick one-handed email reply, when I see Leon has Slacked me with the exact same questions (naps notwithstanding). Neither Leon nor I realized this was just the beginning of one of the most frustrating and, frankly, disrespectful interviews either of us has ever been part of. …


by Chris Williams

I’ve worked inside of schools for almost the past decade. I work with historically underserved students and their families to help ensure they are getting the education and the school experience that so many of us take for granted. I have watched teachers, school staff and community partners go above and beyond to help these students feel safe and to feel heard. I have also seen what happens when students of color are disproportionately punished and reprimanded for their behaviors in comparison to their white counterparts. This is a national problem. The institutions meant to educate and lift students up ends up coming down harder on their Black, Latino, Native, Pacific Islander and immigrant populations. …


by Chris Williams

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Me and Pops

My dad started reading comic books when he was a young boy growing up in Detroit Michigan. It was the 50’s and he was a smart and skinny Black kid with big dreams. His love of fantasy and science fiction grew stronger as he got older. These worlds and characters were his escape from a reality and a country that was constantly putting barriers and obstacles in his way. There would be no Superman to save the day and the Bat Signal was never going to light up the night sky over his brick home in the city. He studied hard and he worked with purpose. When my dad was a teenager the first Black Panther comic made an appearance and for the first time he saw someone who looked like him reflected back on those colorful pages that he loved so much. He saw power, grace, resilience, intelligence and courage. …

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