Comedy connects to each person in a different way

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JANS – “Comedy connects to each person in a different way. The means to an end may be laughter but the end varies,” says DeAnna Tisdale Johnson, publisher of the Jackson Advocate and fan of comic relief. “For one person, comedy may shake the stress away after facing a dire situation. Yet, for another, it could allow them to consider a situation from a different perspective. Nonetheless, one thing that is apparent in all comedy is truth.”

Jackson native Rita Brent is able to simultaneously create veracious, yet entertaining, comedy bits while also creating music that illustrates authentic narratives of what it is like to grow up as a Black woman in Mississippi and in America. She has released songs like, “Rock Me Like a Pothole”, an ode to Jackson’s infrastructure problems that, in addition to its message, impresses upon every listener a desire to two-step to the bluesy beat; and “Kamala”, a rallying cry for America to get on board with the notion that Kamala Harris could be our first woman and first African American vice president of the United States (which has occurred!).

Brent credits her mother, Angela, for single-handedly cultivating her talents and preparing her for the entertainment business. By 18, she joined the Army National Guard where she served as a drummer in the 41st Army Band, ending her time in service as a sergeant. 

She began her radio broadcasting career at WJSU 88.5 FM as a student at Jackson State University from which she graduated, and later spent six years at Mississippi Public Broadcasting as a host and producer. 

In 2013, she made a big leap into standup comedy. Fast forward, Brent has been in high demand in both her stand up comedy and musical pursuits.  She tours regularly as an opening act with her mentors, Rickey Smiley and Cedric the Entertainer. Yet, she hasn’t forgotten about her hometown. On Tuesday nights you can catch her act at Hal & Mal’s in Jackson. This project is supported in part by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Comedy connects to each person in a different way

By Jackson Advocate News Service
February 26, 2024