Photo courtesy of gomag.com | Comedian, YouTuber and acitivist Franchesca Ramsey spoke on campus about social media and social justice.
YouTuber and activist Franchesca Ramsey visited Xavier yesterday to talk about the importance of social media in the fight for social justice. Ramsey, known as Chescaleigh on YouTube, gained popularity after a video she uploaded entitled “Sh*t White Girls Say to Black Girls” went viral, amassing more than 12 million views.
Since her rise to digital fame, Franchesca has been featured on programs such as MSNBC, Anderson Cooper, and ABC. She now serves as host for MTV’s webseries Decoded, in which she discusses issues such as race and sexism through a comedic lens.
Standing adjacent to a Power Point slide that read “Social Media for Social Change: Your Powerful Online Voice”, Ramsey greeted the crowded banquet room with a bubbly smile.
“I like to start with a story.” Ramsey said.
She then switched to an illustration of a cartoon caterpillar and snail. The story, a metaphor for privilege, told of a snail whose shell became caught under a fence on the way to a party and ended with how her friend, the caterpillar, had to accept that she could not get across as easily.
The evening progressed as Ramsey discussed her own background, a native of West Palm Beach, Fl., Ramsey began her YouTube career as a way to document her natural hair journey after realizing that many of the online forums for dreadlock wearers were dominated by White people.
She attributed the inspiration for her viral hit “Sh*t White Girls Say to Black Girls” to the popularity of a similar video in which a man poked fun at childish behaviors stereotypically associated with women.
Heavily incorporating current news topics, Ramsey spent most of her talk focusing on how social media plays an important role in social issues.
She encouraged audience members to speak out on social media, mentioning how following count does not matter as long as the message is important. Ramsey also explained how media and speaking out do not necessarily go hand and hand and how the “word by mouth” method is still essential for messages to be heard and for action to take place.
“She talked about how you don’t have to always make the most important or the grandest gesture,” first-year Alex Ackerman said.
“Every step that you take is important, either as an ally or an activist, especially as a college student where opportunities aren’t necessarily always the easiest to have access to. Sometimes making opportunities for yourself and also enhancing the voices of other people are just as important.”
Ramsey wrapped up the evening by presenting a list of goals everyone should strive for in order to educate and understand others’ realities and struggles. She then opened up the floor for questions, encouraging anyone interested in delving deeper into the subjects discussed to contact her through Twitter.
By: Caroline Puryear ~Guest Writer~