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November 29, 2014

Response to Ferguson: Systemic Problems Require Systemic Solutions

Ferguson ASSOCIATED PRESS

Decades of segregation and inequality in Ferguson, as well as most American metropolitan areas, have fostered a racial inequality exacerbated by the criminalization of not just poverty, but the criminalization of black and brown bodies. Too many whites are too willing to believe that a black body poses a threat.

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Donald Glover: From '30 Rock' to 'Community,' Truly A Stand-Up Guy

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Though the name Donald Glover may immediately illicit inquisitive reactions from the uninformed, the award-winning funnyman is definitely one to watch.

Born in California, raised in Atlanta and matriculated at the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts (where he graduated,majoring in dramatic writing), the 26-year-old script-writer/actor/comedian is currently spreading his hilarity on the cross-country Axe Twisted Humor Tour, alongside other rising comics Nick Kroll, Whitney Cummings and Chelsea Peretti.

"This is the very first tour for stand-up that I've ever done, so I couldn't really turn it down because they pay me to go to different places and do what I love," Glover explained, while backstage during the jaunt's jam packed launch at the legendary Hollywood comedy club, The Laugh Factory, a few weeks ago. "It's great," he continued, adding, "and we get free Axe (products). So I get paid to smell great all the time."

What a ringing endorsement.

The tour is currently playing colleges and comedy clubs with upcoming stops scheduled for Florida State University (April 22), Comix Comedy Club in New York City (April 25), Southern Illinois University (April 26), Park West in Chicago (April 27), Indiana University (April 28) and Ohio State University (April 29).
During his act, Glover (who sincerely maintains that he has no relation to the great actor Danny Glover, although many people assume he's his son) chops it up with jokes about having sex with a Richard Pryor Zombie, hoping for Lady Gaga and Kanye West to join forces, flatulence while dating, and his best friend getting head from another guy during a trip to Vegas before his wedding. The blue comedy is definitely not the smart but squeaky clean fodder suitable for the primetime audiences familiar with his work on TV shows such as the Emmy Award winning juggernaut '30 Rock' and the promising freshman sitcom 'Community.'

And that's the idea.

Right out of college, Glover was tapped by 'Saturday Night Live' diva Tina Fey to write for '30 Rock' for a little over year. Although the show yielded critical acclaim and a slew of professional awards he can share credit for, the baby-faced jokester decided to depart the series soon after to pursue live performing.

"I started doing stand-up like two years ago and once I started doing it, I was like, 'Why was I not doing this before? This is the best,'" he said. "It's like nobody censors you? You can talk about whatever s@#$ you want to talk about. I like doing impressions. It just seems natural but I had never done it before. It's pretty crazy."

Before his plum role as the dumb jock Troy on the Joel McHale-fronted show (which also stars comedy legend Chevy Chase), Glover was heavily rumored to join the cast of 'SNL.'

As we all know, him joining a distinguished list of black comedians including Garrett Morris, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Tracy Morgan and Finesse Mitchell (who starred on the show) didn't happen.

"I don't know ... maybe, I was too young," he rationalized about the obvious disappointment. "There could've been a lot of things. I never found out. I never really asked."

"I always took it as I didn't get it because I was supposed to do something else," he continued. "I really just felt that way because I'm doing everything I ever wanted to do right now."

"Of course I would've taken if I had gotten it," he added, "but I can't imagine being happier than I am right now."

Right now, Glover is hot as pistol: His own Comedy Central special recently aired to rave reviews; The Axe Tour is cracking up audiences with every stop it makes; 'Community' got renewed for a second season; and while on hiatus, he will continue his passion for music and release his third opus via his alter ego, rapper Childish Gambino.

The music, like his viral internet sketch comedy videos, has become a sensation – free of charge.

"I like it when it's free," he shared about his non-profit entertainment business venture. "Because I don't have to be censored and I don't have to worry about sales. I like just doing it on my own and putting it out there. I want to keep it free as long as possible, so as many people can enjoy it as possible."

Now, that's the spirit.

Glover will also make time to write script for an NBC pilot and try out for a major motion picture feature. His actual first film, which he co-wrote, produced, scored and starred in, 'Mystery Team,' recently premiered at Sundance and with an expected wider release this fall.
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Axe Twist & Twisted Humor Tour Kick Off

Axe Twist 'Twisted Humor Tour' Kick Off

Axe Twist & Twisted Humor Tour Kick Off

Axe Twist 'Twisted Humor Tour' Kick Off

Axe Twist & Twisted Humor Tour Kick Off

Axe Twist 'Twisted Humor Tour' Kick Off

Axe Twist & Twisted Humor Tour Kick Off

Axe Twist 'Twisted Humor Tour' Kick Off

Axe Twist & Twisted Humor Tour Kick Off

Axe Twist 'Twisted Humor Tour' Kick Off

Axe Twist & Twisted Humor Tour Kick Off

Axe Twist 'Twisted Humor Tour' Kick Off

Axe Twist & Twisted Humor Tour Kick Off

Axe Twist 'Twisted Humor Tour' Kick Off

Axe Twist & Twisted Humor Tour Kick Off

Axe Twist 'Twisted Humor Tour' Kick Off

Axe Twist & Twisted Humor Tour Kick Off

Axe Twist 'Twisted Humor Tour' Kick Off

Axe Twist & Twisted Humor Tour Kick Off

Axe Twist 'Twisted Humor Tour' Kick Off

Axe Twist & Twisted Humor Tour Kick Off

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