Wayne Brady Responds to Criticism for Not Being ‘Black Enough’

In an interview with BET.com, Wayne Brady discusses the constant scrutiny he receives from the black community for not being black enough.

In a recent interview with BET.com, comedian/actor/show host Wayne Brady discussed the criticism he often receives for not being “black enough”, why he’d be a great as James Brown, and many more things.

The criticism about Brady’s “blackness” has been so steep that Dave Chappelle featured a sketch on the “Chappelle Show” that made a mockery of it. In the sketch, Chappelle is seen believing Brady to be a pushover, easy going, gullible guy. Brady redeems his respect by engaging in a plethora of criminal activity and later bringing Chappelle to tears. The sketch was obviously a satire, but it revealed the reality of  African-Americans revering Brady’s brand as one that appeals to a majority Caucasian audience.

Read excerpts from Brady’s interview below. You can read the full interview here.



On why he believes his “blackness” is challenged:

No one can be harder on Black people than Black people. And I understand that, we like to claim what’s ours — we are a very loyal audience. We like to call people out when we feel they’re not being what we want them to be. I get that too. What irks me is when the person who says, “Oh, Wayne Brady isn’t Black enough for this role,” is the 26-year old white screenwriter. Then, when the creative people cast the “Blackest” dude for the role it perpetuates that idea. If we just said there are a million ways to be Black that would be amazing. Just think how much we could get done.

On how to be himself despite pressure to be something else:

I don’t live to please people anymore and that’s very hard in a subjective business where part of your job is to have fans. I’ve always been very true to who I am. I can’t make everybody happy. I’ll either be too white for the people who don’t watch the game show, I’ll be too Black for people who see my live improv shows or I won’t be manly enough for the dude who is a thug.

On why he’d be a great pick for the James Brown biopic:

I’ve never been told that. But I was asked to honor him on Dancing With the Stars. I did a James Brown tribute and that was so dope. His family was there and to have them say, “No one else could have done this like you,” made my day. Then years ago Spike Lee was going to direct the James Brown story along with Tom Cruise and they were going to produce it together. Wesley Snipes was supposed to play James Brown and I was Little Richard. We did a table reading and it was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever been a part of in my life. I always kind of hovered around the James Brown legacy. So if I were ever given the opportunity [to play James Brown] I would jump at the chance. I think I could knock that role out of the park.

 Do you believe Wayne Brady is misunderstood?

Maria Lloyd (@WritingsByMaria) is the Business Manager for the Your Black World Network and Dr. Boyce Watkins. She is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University and an advocate of dismantling the prison industrial complex, increasing entrepreneurship, reforming education, and eradicating poverty.


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  1. I like this guy Wayne Brady.

  2. Luck whitecrackers

    Hes white enough just like his wife!

  3. I think more black celebrities should be like him. He has a clean image, a successful career, he acts just as intelligent as he is and he doesn’t promote the abuse of our women, drugs, or violence. This is how we should be portrayed because we are NOT the dumbass gang-banger pimpin’ drug-dealers that society likes to think we are. That image is holding us all down, and you should never criticize somebody who is able to rise above that.

  4. I believe he is black enough. But I don’t understand the term. It is very condescending to me. We all are black and act the way we were raised and our employment and education history.

  5. This how to be black shit comes from nothing other than that ghetto ni99er raper shit, it’s jealousey dumb shit that does nothing but tears are race and culture down to the shit hole.

  6. I think that it is fruitless to even comment on that statement. Just tell me WHO IS BLACK enough, when you’re Not talking about OTHERS?
    No one took the opportunity to describe BLACK, let alone BLACK-ENUF! How much IS BLACK-ENUF?
    AS long as you’re not “GRAY:, I GUESS you’re BLACK-ENUF.


  7. Trust Jamie foxx is never selling out for Hollywood.. U better google him

  8. Wayne Brady is like many of this black people both rich and poor they feel the need to shuck their history, associate and marry people that look nothing like them and have children that could never be identified as them.

    These people don’t like being black, don’t love black people and feel the majority of black people is below them.

  9. I must agree—– Mr. Brady isn’t black enough– because he isn’t sitting around engaging in conversation about nothing. The brother is making it happen for him—- by any means necessary. Mr. Brady— has money,health benefits, and a promising career ahead of him– and with all that going on for himself— obviously- he’s not the average Black person living in America—- know is that Black enough?

    • It takes a lot more than material success to define your role as a black man or person for that matter. Look at the indidviduals who paved the way for folks like Mr. Brady. Had they chose to just go for money and as you say health benefits, where would Mr. Brady and other blacks be today. There is nothing wrong with being versatile so that you can appeal to other cultures or a broader audience. But it would be nice is successful entertainers and others could retain some semblance of their own culture to further promote and enable blacks who will come after them!

  10. Oh, So when we walk around with our pants hanging down, sell drugs on the corner, shoot and kill each other, beat our women, have 20 baby mama’s, on welfare, dont work, have more jewelry than a jewelry store, cant complete a sentence, then we are black enough????? Who decides what makes us black enough? Since when is it that being educated, well spoken and having self respect, not black enough. I guess we should all look and act like lil wayne, then we will be black enough…

  11. I wouldn’t say that Wayne Brady is not black enough, I would say, however, that he reminds me of
    Sammy Davis, Jr.

    Blacks, who do not know the definition of, “not black enough”, reminds me of an old saying, ” When the axe came into the forest, the trees said, ” the handle is one of us.” Ha!

  12. Ummmm, oh I know…he should have 11 kids with 8 baby mamas, wear his pants down to his knees with his dirty draws showing.. calling all women b’s and n—–s oh and riding in a hoopty with the bass up to 1000 decibels! idiots

  13. Wayne Brady is simply one of the most incredible improvisational comedians who has ever lived.


  14. I’m at a loss at what “not black enough is.” If carrying your yourself like an upstanding citizen of the United States is not black enough then take my black card away from me. Just because a person speaks well, dresses nicely and doesnt live or even come from the “hood” that does NOT mean he isn’t black enough. It’s just plain crazy.