Book: Well That Escalated Quickly
Photo Credit: Erin Patrice O'Brien
Header Photo by joeyislandboi photography / Fascinate Media
Author: Franchesca Ramsey
"Franchesca Ramsey is an actress, comedian and video blogger with over 29 million views on YouTube and over half a million followers across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Her videos have been featured on MTV, The NY Times and The BBC. In 2012, “Sh*t White Girls Say…to Black Girls” was viewed 5 million times in 5 days, garnering coverage on MSNBC, ABC, and Anderson Cooper.
It was terrifying! At one point I contemplated cutting an entire chapter. Thankfully my editor talked me off the ledge and convinced me it was 1. a great chapter and 2. way too close to my publishing deadline to change it.
2. In what ways have you grown as a social justice leader and activist since your YouTube videos and book blew up?
I'm more deliberate and mindful about what I choose to speak on online and offline. I've accepted that it's humanly impossible for me to amplify every issue, so it's not worth beating myself up over.
I'm better at setting and enforcing boundaries. I don't engage with, amplify or consume 99.99999% of the nasty things said about me online. Sometimes I slip up though. I'm human.
3. Who are some social justice leaders you look up to and why?
4. Did you grow up in a family that inspired social justice reform in you or did you have to develop it yourself?
Surprisingly or maybe unsurprisingly, my parents didn't talk to me about social issues when I was growing up. That's not a knock against them, I think I turned out pretty good.
The reality is, if I'd been better informed about social justice issues, I probably would've stood up for myself with my white classmates, co-workers, and friends instead of making, "Sh*t White Girls Say...to Black Girls."
5. How challenging is it for you to navigate and to speak your truths in today’s society that can be hypersensitive at times?
I think #2 kinda answers this? It's never going to be easy to do what's right or talk about difficult topics online or in person. But you get better at finding a balance with time and practice.
That said, I'm not sure I'd go so far as to call society "hyper-sensitive." I think it feels that way at times because the volume on the internet is so loud.
6. What do you hope readers get from this book?
To be kinder with themselves and with others while trying to navigate social justice causes.
7. When did you first realize you were funny or at least had the ability to make people laugh?
I would always impersonate my history teacher when complaining about her to my mother. When my mom eventually went in for a parent-teacher conference, she burst out laughing as soon as my teacher started talking.
It was so funny, but my mom was kind of embarrassed. Afterward, she was scolding me for the impersonation, while still cracking up at how on point it was.
Getting kicked out of the Burlington Coat Factory because we were filming in there without permission.
10. What were some things that surprised you most about the reception of "Well, That Escalated Quickly”?
How many schools have included it on their recommended reading lists. Super flattering!
11. What’s your best advice for getting over writer’s block?
Give yourself a deadline, remove distractions and push through. Put any and everything on the page until it starts making sense.
12. What’s the best book you have read so far in 2020?
I'm currently reading Liz Plank's "For the Love of Men".
13. What’s the best advice you have ever received on happiness?
Don't worry about what everyone else is doing.
14. Do you plan on writing any more books in the future?
Right now I'm focusing on TV but I want to write another book in the future!
Places To Find More From This Author:
Facebook: Franchesca "Chescaleigh" Ramsey