Advice from an Accidental Activist
Have you ever had an idea of who you are and then you read a book only to realize that you need to be more socially conscious? This happened to me while reading WELL, THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY by Franchesca Ramsey. It was not that I was unaware of my privilege, but I now know how lucky I am. Not as lucky as a white male with an upper-middle-class upbringing, but you get the point.
Throughout this book, Ramsey humorously explains her path to becoming an activist as well as a comedian dealing with race, identity, and our culture as a whole. She throws out ways she learned what not to do as well as how to handle being vocal about your opinions on the internet. There are people out there who will react to what you are saying. How do you respond? Should you respond? Your answer may not be the same as the author’s, but I do think we can all learn from her journey. I learned not only to check my privilege but also to start to listen to others and shed light on their story as well.
Seriously. WELL, THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY is a valuable tool for those of us who are just now dipping our toes into the activist pond.
In this sharp, funny, and timely collection of personal essays, veteran video blogger and star of MTV's Decoded Franchesca Ramsey explores race, identity, online activism, and the downfall of real communication in the age of social media rants, trolls, and call-out wars.
Franchesca Ramsey didn't set out to be an activist. Or a comedian. Or a commentator on identity, race, and culture, really. But then her YouTube video "What White Girls Say . . . to Black Girls" went viral. Twelve million views viral. Faced with an avalanche of media requests, fan letters, and hate mail, she had two choices: Jump in and make her voice heard or step back and let others frame the conversation. After a crash course in social justice and more than a few foot-in-mouth moments, she realized she had a unique talent and passion for breaking down injustice in America in ways that could make people listen and engage.
In her first book, Ramsey uses her own experiences as an accidental activist to explore the many ways we communicate with each other--from the highs of bridging gaps and making connections to the many pitfalls that accompany talking about race, power, sexuality, and gender in an unpredictable public space...the internet.
WELL, THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY includes Ramsey's advice on dealing with internet trolls and low-key racists, confessions about being a former online hater herself, and her personal hits and misses in activist debates with everyone from bigoted Facebook friends and misguided relatives to mainstream celebrities and YouTube influencers. With sharp humor and her trademark candor, Ramsey shows readers we can have tough conversations that move the dialogue forward, rather than backward, if we just approach them in the right way.
Reviewer Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author: Franchesca Ramsey is a social justice advocate, comedian, actress, writer, video blogger, sought-after speaker, and the host of the award-winning web series Decoded on MTV. With videos topping 12 million views, she has been featured on NPR, Anderson Cooper, CNN, MTV, the BBC, and in the New York Times. A former writer and correspondent for The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, she now has a major late-night television show in development with Comedy Central. She lives in New York City and this is her first book.
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (May 22, 2018)
This post contains affiliate links, meaning I’ll receive a small commission should you purchase using those links. All opinions expressed are my own. I receive no compensation for reviews.