Ashley Ray grew up in Rockford, IL. In 2013, she graduated from Williams College where she majored in English and History with a focus on international media studies. Her academic work focused on the history of black television and the representation of minorities in international media.
Since then, Ashley has used her wit and insight to become a TV and cultural critic for sites like The A.V. Club and the Chicago Reader. She has been featured on panels and podcasts that revolve around representation, gender, race, sexuality and pop culture.
In 2015, Ashley began turning her personal essays and stories into live performances. She has quickly become an exciting figure in both the Chicago storytelling and comedy scenes. She has performed at iO, Steppenwolf, The Laugh Factory, Write Club, You're Being Ridiculous, Helltrap Nightmare, Clickhole Live and at a number of other showcases.
In 2017, the Chicago Reader voted her the "2nd Best Chicagoan to Follow on Twitter," which she finds hilarious.
Ashley is also founder and creator of the Badass Black Women's History Month Project.