Franchesca “Chescaleigh” Ramsey didn’t think she would have so many people care about her opinion.
The successful multi-hyphenate (comedian, digital activist, actress and content creator and writer) admitted that she used to regularly go toe-to-toe with her digital antagonizers ever since her 2012 viral YouTube video “Sh*t White Girls Say … to Black Girls” earned more than 12 million views. Shortly after, she left her 9 to 5 as an Ann Taylor graphic designer to propel her career as a sociopolitical/pop culture pundit for numerous gigs, including MTV’s “Decoded,” and “The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore” on Comedy Central.
On the outside, her story may look fairy tale, but she said it wasn’t without its bumpy moments. Some of her most problematic experiences as a widely heard/seen digital voice settling into her new platform of social media activism inspired her new book, “Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist.” The book chronicles her journey, complete with hits, misses, mistakes and triumphs, serves as a blueprint for dealing with social media flubs and debates in this particularly tense climate we’ve all found ourselves in.
She sat with MADE Magazine to speak about how she leveraged some of her most frustrating social media moments into not only a book, but bonafied respectable career.
MADE: Did you have an ‘aha’ moment that led you to writing this book or was it just an organic mash-up of things that you needed to get off your chest?
Franchesca: We’re in a weird space where everything people say online can quickly be taken to a place of no return, which I’ve experienced two-fold. and I’ve been on both sides of that. I felt like a book was a great place to really dive into that in a way that you just can’t dive into it on YouTube or on Twitter. I aimed to channel my experiences, failings and learnings into the book and position as an opportunity to encourage young people to be real about their mishaps, so they won’t make them again, and spread the word to those that find themselves in a similar position.
MADE: What prompted you to create the “Sh*t White Girls Say … to Black Girls” video? Was it an isolated racially insensitive comment?
Franchesca: It came on the heels of my high school alumni Christmas party–I went to a predominantly white school. I can’t say that there was an isolated incident that prompted the video as much as a general frustration with the oblivious ignorance that a lot of have to deal with. The video came naturally because I had been hearing those comments for a long time.
MADE: I can’t really think of another personality to compare your career to which is amazing. You’re like the poster child for multi-passionate creatives who are really good at many things and don’t want to have to lean on one very specific skill set. How’d you become comfortable with embracing all of your talents?
Franchesca: Thanks! I’ve just learned to really funnel my energy into what I love to do. I take the time to remind myself that I can do it and I really work for it. Fortunately, all of the things I do complement each other well.
Read the full article HERE.
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