The standup comedian, actor and podcast host talks about growing up a Black, Muslim woman in New York and what it's like fasting for Ramadan in a COVID-19 world.
"Give it up for my Afro," yells Zainab Johnson, as she takes the stage of the Seth Meyers show before launching into a set about racist friends, dating as a Muslim, and growing up in a massive family— difficult topics handled in an off-kilter, candid style.
I first encountered Johnson via YouTube algorithm recommendation. The ease with which she combined thought-provoking social commentary, with light hearted playfulness was impressive and I was instantly a fan. I had soon watched all her videos. What moved me most was how she chose to speak honestly, openly and unapologetically about who she is as a Black Muslim women.