Who Gets To Decide What’s ‘For The Culture’? Insecure‘s Amanda Seales Weighs In

R29 Unbothered

If the 90-degree temperature, unbearable humidity, and blinding sunlight outside didn’t tip you off, it’s officially summer — and, on the latest episode of Go Off, Sis, the podcast from Refinery29’s Unbothered, the roundtable is really heating up. The hosts begin with naming their problematic faves before dissecting the fragility of Black excellence and asking each other: Can the Black legacy be multifaceted? And who gets to decide what is “for the culture”?  

“The culture of Black excellence is fragile — it’s a double-edged sword. As Black people, we have to be twice as good to get half as much, and we feel this pressure to perform. Is there a world where we can be both excellent and imperfect?” posits Danielle Cadet, host and managing editor of Unbothered. “There are so few of us at the top. It feels like you are held to a particular standard as a Black person, and you can’t really live between both worlds.”

And, of course, no one understands that kind of pressure better than a public figure. Amanda Seales, comedian and actress who stars in Insecure, and co-hosts The Real, joins the conversation to drop some gems about why cancel culture exists, how she deals with and confronts trolls (“Security of self is really the key to giving less fucks,” she wisely declares), her unapologetic Blackness, and how she uses her platform to amplify her voice.

“I had an epiphany and realized that I’m going to be as Black as I want to be — that’s been my barometer for everything I do. Can I be my authentic self, which is being unapologetically black? Being unapologetically a womanist? And being funny? If I can’t do those three things, then I’m just not interested,” says Seales, who recently launched a membership-only social network called SFB (Smart, Funny, and Black) Society, which gives the Black community a safe space to have honest conversations. “When it comes to Black folks, what we need to be doing is calling folks in instead of calling them out.”

Listen to the full episode, below. 

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