It’s no secret that women of color are underrepresented in the media, and that when they are represented, tired stereotypes and tropes are often utilized (think of the angry black woman, the hypersexual latina, etc.).
That’s why the internet has been such a game-changer in multimedia; for the first time, content producers have complete control over what they produce, and the potential audience is massive. No longer do we need to rely on filmmakers or magazine executives to give us diversity – we can create it ourselves!
There are so many amazing women of color who are changing the face of media by making YouTube videos, and the sad thing is that although the diversity exists, white men are STILL the ones who we are most likely watching.
But we can change that. Let’s amplify the voices of women of color on YouTube whose perspectives deserve our views!
Akilah (YouTube Channel: SmoothieFreak)
Akilah is a comedy vlogger from NYC. She makes videos on a diverse range of subjects, from reviewing apps, to everyday vlogs, to sketches and parodys. She’s one of those vloggers that anyone can watch and just say “Yes!!!” over and over again. Her videos are super relatable and her bubbly personality really makes them stand out.
Here is a comedy sketch Alikah made recently — “How Feminists Watch Commercials”:
Francesca Ramsey (YouTube Channel: Chescaleigh)
You’ve probably heard of Francesca before, as she made one of the most famous “Shit ____ say to _____” videos, “Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls”, which got more than 10 million views. She is also a comedian, but is very well-versed in social justice and antiracism, and even makes amazing covers of popular songs with a lyrical twist (example: “Reblogs”, a remake of Lady Gaga’s “Applause.”). Francesca even has a separate channel that she uses to make loc tutorials!
Here’s one of my favorite social justice videos from her:
Tracee Ellis Ross (YouTube Channel: MissTraceeEllisRoss)
You might remember her as Joan on Girlfriends, but Tracee is not only an extremely talented actress (not to mention Diana Ross’ daughter), she’s also a YouTube sensation.
Tracee is one of those people you can’t help but love – her zest for life is contagious and shines in every single one of her videos. She’s somewhat of an risk-taker and makes a lot of experimental videos that are very creative and out of the box.
An example of this would be “For the Love of Bowls”:
Kathy Cano-Murillo (YouTube Channel: CraftyChica)
Kathy is an expert in all things DIY. She shows you how to make all kinds of cool crafts on her channel, from wooden bangles to confetti paper to handbags. Her videos are very short, easy to follow, and don’t require you buy an absurd amount of crafting material. She is also an author and a self-proclamed glitter enthusiast!
In this video, Kathy shows you how to make a fabric phone cover for your iPhone 5:
Kat Lazo (YouTube Channel: TheeKatsMeoww)
Kat is a Latina feminist and activist, who makes videos about feminist issues ranging from street harassment to media literacy and cultural appropriation. She’s also an ambassador to U by Kotex and has worked on their Generation Know campaign.
Kat’s videos are not only relatable and filled with knowledge, but she manages to present them in such a way that is nothing short of entertaining. Her enthusiasm and drive for social change make you want to keep watching for hours.
This is a video that Kat made analyzing the way that periods are represented in the media:
Who are some of your favorite women of color on YouTube? Share with us in the comments!
Reader submission by Erin McKelle