At only 33 years old, Franchesca Ramsey has carved out quite a name for herself on Youtube, social media, and beyond. She first broke into the scene in 2012 with her video, “Sh*t White Girls Say…to Black Girls.” Within 24 hours, it had reached 1.5 million views and generated both outrage and high acclaim. Since that first viral video, Ramsey – known on Youtube as ChescaLeigh – has not slowed down. Her main Youtube channel features social commentary through music and comedy sketches, while her second channel focuses on natural hair. Together, they have over 250,000 subscribers and over 29 million views.
Ramsey’s reach goes extends outside of Youtube. In addition to her videos being featured on NPR, Ebony, the BBC, and more, she is currently the host of MTV’s “Decoded,” a web series that began in 2015. The show features hot-topic issues like race, LGBTQ rights, poverty, and other cultural issues. While the show was still on the air, Ramsey was also a writer and contributor on Comedy Central’s “The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore.”
Ramsey’s impact is unmistakable, and her commentary frequently comes under fire. When her “Sh*t Says” video first came out, she was accused of reverse racism. Her show “Decoded” gets similar criticism, though sometimes the concerns come from people who normally support Ramsey, like in the case of a fake cell phone ad featured on a 2015 episode. Ramsey plays a cell phone salesperson who sells a phone saying it’s perfect for capturing “holidays, snapchats, and senseless police brutality.” At the video’s conclusion, two armed cops aim their guns at a young black man who is holding his phone to film them. The camera’s perspective switches of the cops, who sees the young man holding a giant machine gun instead. When a white man takes the phone away, the cops realizes their error.
Some people were upset that Ramsey seemed to be making light of a real problem, so she responded in the comments of the video saying that her purpose was to make people uncomfortable, and that she wasn’t trying to diminish a life or death situation. She said that the best way to highlight police brutality was by being “completely ridiculous.” Using humor to comment on something that’s not funny itself is nothing new, and Ramsey says she wants to create content that makes people laugh, but also think.
What’s next for Ramsey? She just announced that she’s developing a pilot for Comedy Central where she plans on assembling “the most diverse set of comedians on TV.” The show will continue her drive for social justice using the comedy and commentary that her fans have grown to expect. Ramsey also continues work as a social media consultant, and co-host of a podcast with her husband, where they discuss their travels, interests, and what’s going on in the world. As an interracial couple (Patrick is white), they have a unique perspective on issues facing society, whether it’s about “trans-racial” Rachel Dolezal, the Women’s March, or the movie “Get Out.” Without a doubt, Franchesca Ramsey is a rising star whose impact will only increase as she branches out into new media venues.