Acclaimed socio-political comedian W. Kamau Bell is Opening Session Speaker at the 2017 Midwinter Meeting

For Immediate Release
Wed, 09/21/2016


Amy McGuigan

Conference Manager

ALA Conference Services

Described by the New York Times as “the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years,” acclaimed comedian and hit podcast host W. Kamau Bell will open the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits on Friday, January 20, in Atlanta, Georgia. Bell, who describes himself as a “Socio-Political Comedian & Dad,” has been voted San Francisco’s best comedian by the SF Weekly, the SF Bay Guardian, and 7×7 Magazine, and praised by Punchline Magazine as “one of our nation’s most adept racial commentators with a blistering wit.”

“Bell’s gimmick is intersectional progressivism: he treats racial, gay, and women’s issues as inseparable,” according to The New Yorker. His many roles include hosting the docu-series “United Shades of America,” the public radio show “Kamau Right Now!” and co-hosting the podcasts: “Politically Re-Active” and “Denzel Washington is The Greatest Actor of All Time Period.” He performs his one-man show, “The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour” at colleges across the country, has appeared on various Comedy Central programs, and his writing has been published in, Salon, MSNBC.comBuzzfeedand The Hollywood Reporter.

His memoir and manifesto, titled The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6’4”, African-American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Black, Proud, and Asthmatic Blerd, Mama’s Boy, B-Student, and Stand-up Comedian, will be released in June, 2017. The book will be a humorous, well-informed take on the world today, tackling issues such as race relations, fatherhood, the state of law enforcement, superheroes, politics, and many other issues. 

Bell is the ACLU’s Ambassador of Racial Justice and serves on the advisory boards of Race Forward, a racial justice think tank, and Hollaback, a non-profit movement to end street harassment. His appearance at the conference is sponsored by Penguin Random House.

2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits: The conversation starts here . . .

Early bird registration—offering the best rates—is open until noon (Central) November 9. Advance registration is then open through noon (Central) Jan 13, 2017. Annual Conference registration and housing open noon (Central), February 2, 2017.

Stay in touch and get updates: 2017 Midwinter Meeting website, Twitter (@alamw and #alamw17), Facebook Event, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram (#alamw17). Use these resources to make your case for attending.