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.
She has also written pilots as part of OTV’s writing program.
In 2015, Ashley began performing as a comedian and comedy writer. She has quickly become an exciting figure in the comedy scene and has since performed at the Limestone Comedy Festival, Pitchfork Music Festival and The A.V. Club Comedy Fest. She has performed at iO, Steppenwolf, Flapper’s, The Laugh Factory, Write Club, You're Being Ridiculous, Helltrap Nightmare, Clickhole Live, and at a number of other showcases. In 2016, she began writing for Onion Labs. In 2018, she was featured in Vice: Underground Comedy. She has opened for Marina Franklin, Sarah Sherman, Jamie Loftus, Roy Wood Jr., Cameron Esposito and more.
In 2017, the Chicago Reader voted her the "2nd Best Chicagoan to Follow on Twitter.”
Ashley is also founder and creator of the Badass Black Women's History Month Project.