Make 'Em Laugh: The Funniest Black Females in Comedy
Jackie "Moms" Mabley
At a time when most women were housewives, Moms Mabley was a true groundbreaker. After coming out as a lesbian at age 27 (just after the turn of the century), Moms made a great living as the star of the "Chitlin' Circuit," earning up to $10,000 a week at the height of her career. Her work has influenced everyone from Tyler Perry to Whoopi Goldberg, who is working on a documentary about her. Mabley was active until well into the 1970s. From Moms Mabley to Issae Rae, Black women in comedy have always been ready for the stage.