Mike Epps’ defining experience with race

Everybody knows comedian Mike Epps from his classic role as Day Day Jones in “Next Friday” and its sequel “Friday After Next” and his role as Black Doug in “The Hangover” and “The Hangover Part III,” but many don’t know that Epps had numerous runs-in with families with ties to the KKK growing up in Indianapolis before he was a household name. Epps explained the struggles he faced as a young student to Salon’s D. Watkins on “Salon Talks.”

“Back in the ‘80’s they called it busing kids, where they come in the inner city and pick up the inner city kids and took them out to the white schools to integrate,” Epps told Salon. In his new memoir, “Unsuccessful Thug,” Epps writes that his high school was “basically down the road from Ku Klux Klan headquarters back in the bad old days” and reveals some his first experiences with racial slurs.

Watch the video above to hear about how Epps handled a racist incident at his school and check out the full interview to hear about Epps’ journey out of Indiana to headlining comedy clubs. Tune in for SalonTV's live shows, "Salon Talks" and "Salon Stage", daily at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT and 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT, streaming live on Salon, Facebook and Periscope.

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