Listen to this article here
Last year marked the first ever Black Power Rangers Comedy Tour. The all-Black lineup had four back-to-back stops and garnered local and national press coverage along the way.
The Black Wall Street Times spoke with tour creator Wills Maxwell Jr. about what’s in store for the second time around.
“Last year, we did four cities back-to-back. It was surprisingly how much folks supported us because from the time we thought of the tour to the time we did our first show was only a month.” Wills remembers, “We came up with the name ‘Black Power Rangers’ and then one month later we were on the road. That early support meant a lot, it was really encouraging.”
The Black Power Rangers Comedy Tour makes its way across the South from July 26 to August 26
One year later, now Wills says, “we got 10 cities, not all back-to-back but we’ve got a bigger lineup of rotating and special guest comics that keeps growing to include more and more Black talent.”
The Black Power Rangers Comedy Tour makes its way across the South from July 26 to August 26 in 10 cities including stops in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.
With jokes sure to hit like a roundhouse kick to a putty’s chest, this year’s touring talent is covered from Alpha to Zordon. The lineup includes North Carolina comedy alums Brandi Roberts, Jordan Centry, Matt White, Jarrod Fortune, Cordero Wilson and Wills himself.
Along the way, they will be joined by local guest comics, with Brandi Augustus in Knoxville, Brad Sativa in Nashville, Francesca Lyn in Richmond, and Von Mychael in Baltimore.
It’s a 90s kinda vibe
“It’s crazy when you look back in the era we grew up in, something as simple as Zack or Gerald on Hey Arnold! were just cool characters as kids. But as adults, we look back at Gerald like an emotional moral center of the show. As we get older, the more iconic it becomes when you realize how they impacted you.”
With the first year’s tour planned and executed on short notice, Wills says he wants to be more intentional about the theme in 2023. “Last year we did the same tour name but people didn’t quite recognize the ‘Black Power’ in Black Power Rangers.”
Wills explained, “self-determination is the mission and the point of what we’re doing. We’re promoting it and producing the tour ourselves, putting each other on and supporting each other.”
“What’s cool about our lineup is everyone brings their own perspective on what it’s like to be Black in the South,” says Wills.
“We’re showing folks we exist. Our neighborhoods exist. We’re still here regardless of our ‘lives are mattering’ trends or not.” He furthered, “We’re still thriving in the face of everything going on.”
Featuring a poster (also available as a t-shirt) which evokes two layers of nostalgia, Wills says, “the flyer evokes strength. It’s a very famous Huey Newton image that’s been replicated a lot over the years and we wanted to create our own take on it.”
Black Power Rangers to head to DMV
After traveling to slept-on cities like Greenville, South Carolina, Wills says he and his fellow comics are looking forward to discovering new venues and new audiences.
“This is going to be the first time performing in a lot of the cities for the folks on our lineup as well. Like Knoxville, I’ve never been but I’m already so excited. People in Knoxville have been so supportive, we’ve got a really great special guest comic out there and local podcasters have been showing love.”
“The Baltimore, Richmond, and D.C. dates are going to be my first time performing out there and I keep getting surprised by how much support we’re already getting from them,” Wills stated. “All because they’re excited about what we’re doing.”
Tickets for The Black Power Rangers Tour and the merchandise are available here.