I had the wonderful fortune of getting to hear the comedy act of Mike Goodwin three times this summer. He was so funny and had me laughing until I cried, which my family will tell you that I am a pushover for a good laugh. I really do believe that laughter is good for the soul. There has been so much heavy stuff going on in the world, that sometimes it feels like we are holding our collective breath and waiting for the next bad thing to happen. But I made a choice to just be in the moment, to let go and laugh.
As Black people, we have been struggling really since we landed on these shores, but there is also a resilience that lies beneath that pain and struggle that has enabled us to find joy in the midst of the darkness. We have found a way to resist by finding a way to laugh in spite of, and sometimes that has meant finding the humor, or at least the irony, in the world in which we exist day in and day out.
What I loved about my conversation with Mike Goodwin is he embraced the gift he has and he is his authentic self even when the world he has to navigate may be different. I love that he does not try to separate himself from his race or his faith, and that even when it comes to tough issues like police brutality, he faces that head on without making light of the situation, but also without depositing the weight of that for people who just came to have a good time. Sometimes, we all just need a good laugh.
I saw myself in his jokes, in his painting of pictures that resembled by roots, in his seeing lives lived that looked like my family, my friends, my life. He remarked about Southerners embracing our culture, and that was part of that laughter, like sharing an inside joke, but there are lots of other people in on the joke, that you thought only happened in your family. Don't be ashamed of where you came from. Our roots made us who we are.
Yeah, there's a lot of heavy stuff going on in the world, but give yourself permission to take a break from it, for just a little bit, and laugh. We all need it. Thank you Mike Goodwin for sharing your Bowtie Comedy with us.