Baratunde Thurston is a futurist comedian, writer, and cultural critic who co-founded Cultivated Wit and the About Race podcast, and wrote the New York Times bestseller How To Be Black. Baratunde was a political blogger for four years, ran digital strategy for The Onion for five years, was named one of the 100 most influential African Americans by The Root, and has been part of noteworthy institutions such as Fast Company, TED, the MIT Media Lab, and the gentrification of Brooklyn, New York.
Far from simply appearing in media, Baratunde is also helping define its future. In 2006 he co-founded Jack & Jill Politics, a black political blog whose coverage of the 2008 Democratic National Convention has been archived by the Library of Congress. From 2007 to 2012, as Supervising Producer for digital expansion he helped relaunch The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. He has been a judge for the Knight Foundation News Challenge, an affiliate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and a director’s fellow at the MIT Media Lab.
In 2012, he co-founded Cultivated Wit, a comedic digital company on a quest to merge comedy and technology into a new genre of creative expression, with Brian Janosch and Craig Cannon. The company produces Comedy Hack Day during which developers and comedians collaborate to make intentionally funny tech projects that humanize technology while offering social commentary on the world at large.
When he’s not staring at glowing rectangles, Mr. Thurston, which he goes by toward the end of his bio, cooks, does yoga, and punches bags designed for that purpose. Mr. Thurston has traveled heavily within and beyond the United States and lives in Brooklyn, New York.