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Are You Watching Enough Long Form Black YouTube?
September 7, 2023
With all of the internet pushing short form video (even YouTube) it’s easy to assume everyone prefers that, but long form YouTube, specifically Black culture commentary YouTube still thrives. These algorithms can be tricky and is probably why you may not see enough of these creators, so let’s take a look at some of my favs and why I think their impact is so crucial for the culture.
I’ll start by saying that these creators aren’t just entertainment, they are modern day historians, thought leaders and everyday creative humans taking the risk of speaking on what moves the needle in the Black lexicon. I’m not 100% sure they’d describe themselves this way, but I think of them as infinitely hopeful, not only because hope is the life force of any marginalized community– but also because to actually ponder and engage with the state of the world as a Black/Brown person in a white supremacist, capitalist nightmare is brave with a capital BRUH!.
Black popular culture moves at break-neck speeds these Youtubers catch you up but with the added benefit of an expertly mulled conversation that includes the lenses of contemporary history, the diaspora or the tenets of afrofuturism. As viewers we’re reminded to hold multiple truths and encouraged to dive deeper into discussion through community focused extensions of their work—from book clubs and twitch streams to discussion forums and patreon’s. So, as their unofficial hype homie let me tell you who they are and what I like about them:
Jouelzy is a bookworm with a deep love of Black history, who takes us through the essence of complex matters from; BLM, chattel slavery, natural hair, relationships, sexism or the Diaspora to name a few. She makes me want to read more and almost always leaves me shook with her gems and insights– Notably she founded & runs the Smart Brown Girl Bookclub and has incredible recommendations for Black authors!
F.D Signifier also known as Fique expertly breaks down Black media in a very “for us by us” way, making it feel like an intimate conversation yet in depth and educational along the way.Whenever I watch his videos I can truly feel that this person wants to see Black people across identities/intersections win. A fellow Blerd with a love for wrestling, who also works in education and specifically with young Black boys/men focusing on their wholeness and wellbeing.
Khadija Mbowe radiates warmth through the screen even when discussing the most divisive topics. They love to say “remember, you can always change your mind”, and that always hits me on a spiritual level as I hope it does for others. Their videos invite you in for a chat that spans pop culture and offers a necessary queer and non-binary perspective whilst also being uniquely vulnerable.
Andrewism: I love his short yet comprehensive videos on topics that are imperative to the current state of humanity as a whole– from economics and systems of governance to big picture futures. His choice of topics feel varied yet interconnected on many levels; from barter systems, revolution and parenting, to humanity, solidarity and youth liberation– they give room to consider the macro and how it impacts us daily.
Tee Noir: I feel like I’m talking to a really good friend whenever I watch Tee’s videos– her smooth delivery and colorful aesthetic put me at ease while her sharp wit, knowledge and research serve as a strong backbone of her content and insights. Her videos feel intimate, honest and intersectional while at the same time being on the pulse of a wide range of topics i.e Blackness, feminism, sexuality, entertainment, social media culture.
Fab Socialism: If you want to understand the absolute gorilla grip capitalism and other systems of oppression has on us, from a young Black woman’s perspective, this is the channel. I love Teanna’s curation of topics and how she presents them because of their relevance and educational nature that truly demystifies in a welcoming and clear way.
These griots intentionally create authentic discourse in our community that to me are the antithesis of the current air of nihilism all over the internet. Check out these folks, support their channels and patreons’, engage with their socials and let them know AFROPUNK sent you.
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