Chescaleigh Tells Young People: ‘Make That Video’
Campus Progress caught up with Franchesca Ramsey, a.k.a. Chescaleigh of the viral meme parody "Shit White Girls Say...to Black Girls!" fame at this year's Facing Race conference—Applied Research Center's biennial pooling of multicultural activists from all facets of the progressive movement working toward racial justice—where she gave budding journalists and bloggers a few tips on how to blend pop culture, digital media, and comedy to create agents of change in people's minds and communities.
Whether it's to create a kinship with fellow borrowers who are being burdened with a mountain of student debt by parodying Beyonce or getting people to understand the basics about the Affordable Care Act by taking on the various personas of Nicki Minaj, Ramsey has a knack for packaging the issues she cares about in the most manageable bite possible. Ramsey's most successful video (garnering 9,498,179 views), spawned from the original "Shit Girls Say..." meme, turned the offensive meme on it's head. Instead of rehashing sexist and racial tropes regarding women, Ramsey held a mirror up to society's acceptance of racialized microaggressions some white women use against women of color—and she did it all in less than three minutes with just a blonde wig, a camera, a friend, and a ton of energy in tow.
As Ramsey demonstrates, you don't need a ton of money to tell your story. Thanks to social media and technological advances that have made some electronics and tricked out mobile devices more affordable, getting your message out there is more doable than ever.
Naima Ramos-Chapman is an associate editor at Campus Progress.