As a correspondent for “The Daily Show,” comedian Dulcé Sloan is known for bringing her witty humor to report on current events. This week, Sloan was invited to bring her comedy to another playing field — LBJ Foundation’s annual Summit on Race in America.
For this year’s event, Sloan participated in the panel “What’s So Funny About Race?” as well as in a standup performance before Wednesday afternoon’s discussions. During an interview following Tuesday’s panel, however, Sloan said she was initially unsure of how she’d fit into the yearly summit.
Sloan said she was surprised she was invited to speak at the annual summit. She said her identity causes people to dub her as political by default.
“Most of the time I’m seen as a political comic because I talk about myself being a black woman, being a plus sized woman, being a woman,” Sloan said. “I do have some jokes about race. It's how the world affects me, how I take things in.”
Despite questioning what she could add to the summit’s dialogue, Sloan said she accepted the invitation to participate in this year’s summit to see how genuine the dialogue would actually be.
“(Attending was) what was important to me. Where are we in the conversation now?” Sloan said. “Or, is this (summit) a bunch of white people patting themselves on the back going, ‘We did it?’ I really wanted to know what the campaign was.”
During the discussion, Sloan expressed her frustration with the questions she often receives as a black comedian. For example, Sloan said reporters often ask about the difficulties of being black during Trump’s presidency.
“It’s been hard to be a black person since we got here,” Sloan said.
Though comedy is often viewed as a way to get through hard times, Sloan said the public should take other routes instead of using comedy to cope during the age of Trump.
“I do what I do to present my life to people in a humorous way,” Sloan said. “If what's going on in the world right now makes you laugh, (then)I did my job, but people are leaning on comics too heavy right now to be the salve on the open wound.”
In an era of increased racial tensions, Sloan said she doesn’t worry too much about her comedic content because its truthfulness overrides controversy.
“I can't tell people what I perceive of me,” Sloan said. “But in the words of RuPaul, ‘If you don’t make me no money, don’t pay him no mind.’”