Keith
Knight

Details

Biography
Topics
African Americans
Art & Politics
Civil Rights Movement
Comedy
Film & Video
Hip Hop
Media
Multiculturalism
Prisons/Prison Industrial Complex/Police
Programs for High School Students
Racism/Racial Justice
Storytelling
White Privilege
Youth/Student Activism

Keith Knight is one of the funniest and most highly-regarded cartoonists in the United States. For some 30 years, he has been creating three popular comic strips: the Knight Life, (th)ink, and the K Chronicles. His life and cartoons are also the inspiration for the Hulu streaming-series "Woke." Knight serves as the show's co-creator, writer, and executive producer, currently working on season 2.

A rapper, social activist, educator, and father, Keith is part of a generation of African American artists who were raised on hip-hop, infusing their work with urgency, edge, humor, satire, politics, and race. His art has appeared in various publications worldwide, including the Washington Post, the New Yorker, San Francisco Chronicle, the Nib, Ebony, ESPN the Magazine, MAD Magazine, and the Funny Times.

Knight's presentations feature his comics and are infused with urgency and humor, storytelling and satire, designed to inspire constructive, civil dialogue amongst people of all ages, races, and political persuasions. His slide presentations on racial illiteracy and police brutality have also garnered awards including a Comic-Con Inkpot Award, a Belle Foundation Grant, and an NAACP History Maker Award. His presentations also highlight Black history and the importance of social activism.

Testimonials

“Keith Knight’s slide show presentations are a poignant and stirring mixture of lecture, activist essay, and stand-up comedy. Our students especially appreciated Keith’s entertaining and charismatic delivery that still never lost sight of the seriousness of his material. This show is a must-see for anyone trying to better understand race-relations, police brutality and the cultural climate for African Americans in the United States.”
Professor Dr. Peter Schneck, Institute for English and American Studies, Dean of the School for Languages and Literatures, Osnabrück University

“The presentation was searing, moving, poignant, and somehow very funny! The students were quite moved, and the presentation really helped to historicize and to contextualize for them what happened in Ferguson and New York this year..”
– Professor Aliyyah I. Abdur-Rahman, PhD Brandeis University

“Keith Knight’s presentation was lively, thought-provoking and 
hilariously funny. The diverse audience of students, faculty and 
staff, and community members loved it. Keith challenged them with 
his unique perspective on critical issues like racism, terrorism, the 
media, and U.S. politics while managing to keep the laughs 
coming. We were delighted with the success of the event.”
– Jenny Robb, head curator, Ohio State Cartoon Research Library

“Point blank: Keith Knight is one of our generation’s best cartoonists. If he were any funnier, he’d be illegal.”
– Jeff Chang, author of Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop

“It’s hard to make a comic that is this funny while also so frequently profound. Keith Knight] deals with so many issues with both gravitas and such a light touch, while never missing a chance at a cheap laugh. This is the work of a master.”
– Dave Eggers, author of a Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

“Fluid and energetic and wild … very, very smart and very, very funny.”
– Aaron McGruder, creator of “The Boondocks”

“Keith Knight is mapping out a previously unknown vector of the vast cartoon universe.”
– Garry Trudeau, creator of “Doonesbury”

Speeches

Red, White, Black & Blue: A Cartoonist Addresses America’s Racial Illiteracy
Culled from some 30 years of his award-winning work, this Powerpoint presentation combines Knight's comics, humor, and storytelling with statistics and just plain facts. Knight makes the case that America’s biggest problem is its inability to have a frank and honest discussion about race and if it wants to be the country it aspires to be, it needs to come to terms with this history and reality.

Lessons from "Woke"
Keef chronicles the trials and tribulations from adapting his comics from page to screen. Taking audiences behind the scenes, Knight makes the case for why we need diversity, both behind the camera and in front, in the writer's room, and in the offices of Hollywood executives. Easter eggs galore!

The Intersection of Art and Social Justice
Keef takes a deep dive on 20 artists who inspired him to use his art to address social issues. Folks like Ollie Harrington, Langston Hughes, Octavia Butler, Oscar Michaux, James Baldwin, alongside current artists like Dread Scott, Public Enemy, and Fly.

Media
The real-life inspiration for the TV show “Woke”
Keith Knight on KQED Spark
Red, White, Black and Blue
Keith Knight on NBC Sports - the real events that led to creating "Woke"
Trailer for Woke TV Show
Interview on Left of Black, with Mark Anthony Neal, James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of African and African American Studies