(I had to put this out NOW because it is so good! 😭)
#FOMO. We all deal with it sometimes, when we feel bad about hearing about the latest song 3 months later when everyone has already been boppin’. Imagine the insult and injury added to being a writer; in this world, everything is old by yesterday.
So I forgive you for not knowing about these YouTubers, who have been pushing the envelope of intelligent, well-researched and uniquely opinionated content that I’m coming to rely on for my sole (soul) sources of social commentary and even news.
But I’m creating a new ling. #MIMO. Mad I missed out, and I’m guilty, but you don’t have to be. Just don’t sleep.
These women be droppin’ jewels.
They’re relatable, they curse, and they’re not afraid of ass & titties, i.e. unabashed feminity and sexuality. They identify as BLACK, and I love that even more. Some are PhD’s, feminists, and some are just students of life. I don’t agree with every sentiment and opinion, but I’ll be highlighting the ones that I do.
Here’s 5 Black Culture and Social Commentary YouTubers You May Have Slept On.
Channel: Smart Funny & Black Entertainment
The most commercially successful of this queenly sodality, and my current bae’s biggest celebrity crush, you may know Amanda Seales from all the many ways she’s made her indelible mark in entertainment: Her early YouTube series, her stint in the group Floetry, her one woman show, her books, her Netflix stand up comedy special, or her casting on Issa Rae’s produced and directed Show Insecure.
But I’m not writing about her first because she’s the most famous. I’m writing about her first because she’s had the fortunate tenure of having her outspoken, hilarous and often cynical take on politics, history, entertainment, feminism and women’s issues, college and Millenial life and more, in more ways than YouTube. It’s not her primary outlet, so her ways of reaching people are and have always been very dynamic. She is a maverick, a rebel, a Tasha of All Trades, so I think it will be easy to find a way to start to get to know her.
In this featured video from Amanda Seales channel: Her and Issa Rae team up for a lively conversation on Side Effects of Being the Boss. This conversation is so special because Amanda has a really candid conversation with one of the THE MOST influential Black woman of this generation. She is the voice of the generation that I still want to be. I love the comraderie and the love between these two, and the very specific, relatable, enviable, and sobering conversation they have about creative work, burnout, or simply not ALLOWING yourself to take a break. Could that be because as Black Creatives, we are afraid of losing the commercial success we’ve gained?
You have to manage your life different. That’s what “bossing up” means. It’s not just about being a better boss to your employees, it’s about being a better boss to yourself.
I’m mad about this one. I had the opportunity to really get into Jouelzy years ago, back in 2016, around the time she went to Ghana and was talking about that. For some reason, I jsut didn’t get into her, and so this is a serious case #MIMO, (Mad I Missed Out) because not only does she give great cultural context and opinion on the various cities she’s lived in and how Black they are (which is an important aspect of Black living that many major outlets tend to ignore when speaking about the culture of a city) but she also in an aspiring PhD and is very transparent that process.
Jouelzy is transparent about everything, from her relationships, to her non existing one with her father, to her income on YouTube, and her feelings on race, the YouTube community, politics and more.
She even has a book club that is not free, where she breaks down books by prominent (although not so well known) Black feminist and other Black female authors. Jouelzy really stands for Black women. She has maximized her platform and hosts original series like PopSnark, Live Reviews of shows like Insecure, and popular YouTube influencer content like #GRWM’s (Get Ready With Me) and although she has stated her own wig line.
In this featured video from Jouelzy, she breaks down a ton of pros and cons about living in one of the most up and coming cities for young black professionals, Charlotte, NY. Her stream of conciousness style makes it hard to nail down every topic but that’s what I love about her, it hooks you in and takes you for a ride you don’t want to get off of.
Kimberly Nicole Foster
Channel: For Harriet
Kim is another one whose opinions were so strong, clearly articulated, yet so different from mine, (I first started watching her around the time of the 2nd season of She’s Gotta Have it on Netflix) that I was just turned off. But because bae kept mentioning her, I had to give her another chance.
After all, she’s an intelligent self proclaimed black feminist (black feminisim is different from mainstream feminism and has different target groups and goals) with a PhD level vocabulary. It literally feeds me listen to Black women like this, wether I agree with them or not.
She sits on her floor in front of that gorgeous vintage budoir looking green velvet chair and has managed to turn her blog (which I DID check for when I started blogging back in 2012) into a thriving channel. She hosts live conversations and mainly does pop culture commentary but it intersects with news and culture commentary. Her channel even has a membership. And she doesn’t only watch and talk about Black content. She’s well rounded with a very sharp, almost incisive point of view. But you don’t have to agree. Just watch.
In this featured video from Kim, she talks about one of her most noted and memorable theories, that beauty is a bad investment for women. It definitely deserves a rewatch. As a love a culture blog I feel this deserves a deep dive all on it’s own.