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Comedian X Mayo On The Importance Of Supporting Black Businesses – Forbes

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X Mayo is the host of SoulPancake's new series "By Black."

Known for her writing onThe Daily Show With Trevor Noah, as well as her sketch comedy series Who Made The Potato Salad,X Mayo has made it her mission to highlight diverse voices. Shes doubling down on that mission as the host of the new SoulPancake show By Black, a series that explores the richness of Black creativity via interviews with entrepreneurs across industries. The series has featured entrepreneurs such as Teri Johnson, CEO of Harlem Candle Company and James Lindsay, founder of Rap Snacks.

For(bes) The Culture caught up withX Mayo to chat about her role in By Black, the importance of highlighting Black businesses and her journey to landing career opportunities like The Daily Show With Trevor Noah.

For(bes) The Culture: First off, how are you?

X Mayo: Im doing really well today. 2020 has taught us to take things moment by moment, and right now I'm great! Im in Vancouver working, which is a blessing.

For(bes) The Culture: How have you been keeping busy during this quarantine period?

X Mayo:I have been up and down. When it first hit I was in my hometown, Los Angeles, and the pilot I was about to shoot got shut down, I had to fly back to NYC. I knew the pandemic was real because I got to LAX from Long Beach in 25 minutes. That has to be a Guinness World Record. After the first three months of quarantine, in classic NY style, my next-door neighbor got bed bugs and I said oh hell to the nah nah nah. Even though we got our apartment checked and we had no bed bugs, I was a nervous wreck! I packed up all my stuff, grabbed my essentials and flew back to LA. I felt like the world was ending anyway, and I said, If imma die, Im gon die laying on my momma chest. Now that I have my LA apartment, Ive been much better. LA is home, my familys here, theres so much natural light in my apartment and space!

For(bes) The Culture:Youre the host of this super cool new series called By Black that inspires folks to support Black businesses. Can you talk more about that? How did this come to be?

X Mayo: By Black is an incredible series that highlights Black entrepreneurship while educating our viewers on the barriers these specific brands and products have had to overcome. By Black aims to demystify the process of being your own boss, and to remind everyone that we as Black people have and will continue to thrive and make our own lanes amidst any obstacle. This series is the brainchild of our producer Hakeem Allen. Hes with SoulPancake and wanted to do this series especially given the times were in now. He saw the need for Black people to be featured and supported on a large platform.

For(bes) The Culture: Why do you think it's important for people to support Black-owned businesses?

X Mayo: Its important for people to support Black-owned businesses because they do not have the [same] capital and/or resources as other groups. When you buy from a Black brand, youre participating in building generational wealth that has been largely unachievable for the Black community. Black businesses stand tall in spite of the often impossible, unjust circumstances stacked up against them. As they strive to provide Black and beautiful services to a growing world, it is important to support them.

For(bes) The Culture: What do you hope people take away from this series?

X Mayo: What I hope people take away from this series are inspiration and the tools to start their dreams right from where they are.

For(bes) The Culture: In addition to hosting By Black, youre also a writer for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Can you talk more about that role?

X Mayo: I got hired at my job in October 2018. I was performing improv on a weekend team at UCB with a producer named Zhubin who was on the show and I had no idea he worked there. I was set and ready to move back to LA and had no money when I got called to interview. I was beyond shocked. I walked [into] that interview with less than a dollar to my name. I had to use my moms Uber account to get there. When I got in the interview, I couldn't believe I was sitting across from one of the biggest comedians in the world. Trevor is so talented and I respect him a lot. On God, I owe Zhubin my first born. He supported me wholeheartedly, and was willing to take a chance on a new writer. This job has changed the trajectory of my career forever.

For(bes) The Culture: How has your experience been so far?

X Mayo: My experience has been life changing because I can add extra cheese and avocado on everything! But for real, to be able to pay my rent on the first and take care of my family is the best feeling. Its been rewarding to be challenged as a writer. Im in a room with people who are more experienced, so they forced me to step my game up. Before The Daily Show, I used to view people whose writing process was different than mine as wrong. Thats 100% not true. This position has afforded me the opportunity to work with different personalities and writing styles, which has stretched me as a comedian and as a person. Ive grown so much even as an actor because I know why Im funny, so Im more confident in my choices on stage and on camera.

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Comedian X Mayo On The Importance Of Supporting Black Businesses - Forbes

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