Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activistby Published 22 May 2018
|Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist.pdf|
|Publisher||Grand Central Publishing|
In this sharp, funny, and incredibly 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.
"Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist" Reviews
This book is less memoir and more guide to how to critique and be critiqued, told through her own mistakes and experiences. I have somewhat followed Fran's career (i.e. I followed her on Snapchat and tried to remember to watch The Nightly Show) so was somewhat familiar with lots of the stories she shares but appreciated being reintroduced to them from her current perspective. A really fast, enjoyable read and a good reminder that we can all do better.
I learned a whole lot. The internet is mean, people can be hateful and we live in the era of call out culture. I also learned that it's important to respect the culture and sensitivities of others, to stand solidly in my own truth while keeping an empathetic mindset and that it's useless to argue with internet trolls.
Francesca moved my needle on a particular topic: interracial dating and marriage. It's already hard for them and their families to navigate and it's none of my business. To each his own, love and respect to everyone. You can be woke and socially conscious and still be in an interracial relationship. I have a ways to go to be on the pro side of the argument but the needle has moved closer to the middle.
The book delves into all the pitfalls of the social media era, call out culture, call-in culture, hash tags, and social justice. I'm more internet savvy for having read it and also considerably more woke than before. I finally get intersectionality. Thanks Francesca.
Franchesca Ramsey has been an Internet personality I've enjoyed watching since she joined MTV's Decoded. She's smart, open, and willing to learn just as much as she's willing to guide & teach. This book was basically activism 101, and is absolutely something I would have enjoyed deeper if It had come up a few years ago. As I am further into my activism journey, this felt redundant. That being said, just because it wasn't applicable for me, doesn't mean it's not relevant. I think this is a fine book for folks just starting their journey, but can be passed up by folks a little more well-seasoned in the activism world.
Conflict resolution for the social media age: FTW!!! This isn’t usually my type of book, but everyone who owns a social media account should be forced to read this book before using said account. There are lots of great concepts - calling in vs calling out, learning to live your natural self, criticizing without personal attacks, haters vs trolls, and fighting racism - and practical examples of how to use those concepts.
I really hope there’s a young readers version of this book coming, because I feel like it contains really useful concepts for owning a social media account responsibly.
I enjoyed reading about Franchesa’s unexpected rise to YouTube “stardom” and the steps (and equipment) needed to make that happen. The transitions were perfect and the stories were ridiculous, in a good way though. The only issue I had was her approach on some issues. She made it clear that there is a distinction between call-out culture and call-in and how it is necessary to do both when need be. Some of her interactions with her friends proved otherwise though; sometimes it seems like she was scolding friends who may not have known or had little to no information about certain issues. I don’t really understand the accidental activist part; I didn’t get that from reading the book. Towards the middle and definitely in the end it felt less about her life and more about telling the reader how to combat racist trolls and pure ignorance.
I love that she’s unapologetically her and that she rights her wrongs and doesn’t have a problem admitting that.