Well, That Escalated Quickly
Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist
This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.
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.
Enjoyable, informative read!
I’ve been following Franchesca Ramsey’s work for several years now, and some of her journey into the public eye that she recounts was familiar to me from first-hand memory. Many other things were brand new and so interesting to read about for the first time! This book, as said in the subtitle, is definitely a memoir with many personal aspects of Franchesca’s life on and offline through the years described, but honestly it’s an advice book in many ways too. Franchesca describes the lessons she’s learned from her mistakes and triumphs, and gives various how-to guides, simple glossaries, and other information that’s super useful. I read this with the perspective of being involved in activist communities for years, so seeing the story Franchesca’s journey into the “accidental activist” she is today was really interesting from the place I am now and knowing where she is as well. However, I think someone relatively unfamiliar with social justice could also benefit hugely from reading these experiences and advice - maybe with varying degrees of relying upon the glossary at the end, but probably keeping up still! This book balances the line of addressing both the problems endemic throughout our dominant culture, but also problems within activist and social justice sub-cultures (Internet or otherwise) where we aren’t as effective as we could be. Franchesca’s writing is engaging and her humorous-but-educational voice is present throughout this book. Definitely recommend reading it and be open to learning a thing or two!