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I’m a Black Woman, but Saturday Night Live Turned Me into a Man

I got a shout-out from SNL! Sort of…

Raychelle Burks writes on how SNL used her project as joke fodder — which she enjoyed — but assumed she was a man. 

Last week, the American Chemical Society‘s Reactions podcast released a video called ‘Zombie Apocalypse Survival Chemistry‘, which featured yours truly talking about two of my favorite topics – chemistry and zombies. Because everybody loves chemistry and zombies, or because The Walking Dead was wrapping up its season, this video got a bit of media attention last week. Even the folks at Saturday Night Live (SNL) mentioned this zombie chemistry, about 6:48 minutes into of the most recent Weekend Update.

Here’s the SNL jokeA chemistry grad student in Nebraska is creating a new perfume he calls Eau de Death, which mimics the smell of decaying flesh so people can avoid being eaten by zombies. Meanwhile, his professor is creating a new grade he calls ‘F minus’.

I would like to speak directly to SNL for a moment… SNL, I like this joke; it was well-delivered and got some laughs. However… You made me into a male graduate student. I am a female postdoctoral research fellow and a member of the teaching faculty at my institution. Truth be told, I’m a bit of a magical unicorn, so it’s odd you did not notice that. “Magical unicorn” you say? I am a Black female chemistry PhD. But as I said on twitter, SNL doesn’t have the best track record with Black women, so…

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