11 of the Best Black Women YouTube Vloggers10/12/2014
Before this year, I didn't realize that YouTube could offer more than funny cat videos and Beyo...
Before this year, I didn't realize that YouTube could offer more than funny cat videos and Beyoncé music videos. But I have been delighted by how many Black women are leading the pack of intelligent, fun, imaginative YouTube content creators and vloggers. Below is a short list representing some of the Black women vloggers I’ve discovered (thus far) and why I love them.
GabeBabeTV are Gabrielle “Gabe” Flowers and her husband, Chad Rader, from Indianapolis, IN. Their main channel documents their family life together with their two-year-old son, CJ, and their extended family members and friends. They have been vlogging together for a while—their videos go as far back to when they were engaged, so it’s wonderful to see how they’ve grown together. (Is that creepy for me to say?) I enjoy their down-to-earth vibe, their banter, and how easily they connect with one another. Gabe comes off as genuine, stylish, and funny—I often find myself wishing she was my older sister. In addition to GabeBabeTV, Gabe also has a fashion and beauty channel.
Why you should watch: First, their semi-country accents are irrestible. Second, they are incredibly endearing family who will surely make you laugh… and believe in true love. Watch Gabe (and Babe!) if you are in need of all the good feelings.
When I first discovered LaToya Forever, I didn't quite know what to make of her. Out of all the YouTube vloggers on this list, her life most resembles the drama and entertainment of reality TV shows like Love & Hip Hop or Basketball Wives. Her main YouTube channel features comedic videos and skits. But over a year ago, she began LaToya’s Life, a daily life vlog that she updates three times per week. The best moments are when she’s visiting with her family members (Auntie Jillian, FTW!) or impersonating her Trinidadian grandparents.
Why you should watch: Her personality is big and she doesn’t mind putting herself out there. And she’s due to have her first child this month. If you’re obsessed with babies, but don’t want to have one of her own—LaToya’s Life will surely allow you to live vicariously through her.
Every three months or so, I decide that I’m really going to embrace a natural, “clean” lifestyle. I make a resolution to buy only organic, locally farmed produce and meat. I tell myself that I’ll throw away all of my beauty products with parabens, sulfates, and whatever else is supposed to be bad for us. I will be the girl who makes my own toothpaste and deodorant. I will weave my own shoes of hemp! That shit never happens. But if it ever were to happen, Hey Fran Hey is the perfect YouTube vlogger to guide me. Her lifestyle vlog is dedicated to nearly every aspect of clean living, and she has a lot of great tips for beauty, skin care, hair care, nutrition, and fitness. I am especially fond of her hair care tips, which have transformed my natural hair routine.
Why you should watch: Whether or not you’re committed to clean living, we could all be a little gentler with our bodies and a little kinder to the environment. Fran is great at providing insights on how to do this in a realistic, affordable way.
Patricia Bright is a fashion and beauty vlogger from London. I love her thick English accent and how loud and exuberant she is. She has two channels: one that focuses on fashion, beauty, and lifestyle; and one she has with her husband, Mike. I appreciate that she is daring with her style—every few months she changes up her hair and makeup, and her outfits are always chic and feminine, but with a little “edge.” Her vlogs with her husband are also adorable, as they often feature them singing loudly (and off-beat) to R&B and pop hits from the past 20 years.
Why you should watch: If you’re consistently looking for new fashion and beauty inspiration, but want more than tutorials and LOTD’s, then watching Patricia Bright is extremely informative and entertaining. (Did I mention her accent?)
I’m sure many of you have seen Whitney’s hair care vlogs—especially if you are a naturalista. She has been on YouTube since 2009 as one of the first vloggers in natural hair movement. Thus, her main YouTube channel has over 500,000 subscribers. When people ask me about my own hair care practice, I often respond with something I’ve learned from her. In addition to her natural hair channel, has a beauty and style vlog and a daily family vlog. The family vlog is a favorite of mine, as her husband, Felipe, is funny and their daughter, Olivia, is adorable. Whitney is another YouTuber I find to be incredibly down-to-earth and personable in her videos.
Why you should watch: She has a bunch of great beauty and natural hair care/styling tips, which are low maintenance. If you don’t enjoy putting on 25 different makeup products or intricate hair styles, you will be able to have easy-to-replicate inspiration from Whitney.
Maya started out as a photographer, actress, and personality from New York, NY, but has since blown up as a YouTuber. (She has been photographing Prince! PRINCE!) Her vlog mostly focuses on beauty and fashion, but you can find videos on travel, technology, and other vlogs as she’s out and about. Her videos are beautifully shot (because she’s a photographer, duh!) and her beauty tutorials are incredible. She often tries new looks with her hair and makeup, including celebrity makeup videos like Aaliyah and Beyoncé. She is another big, funny personality… but she still gives off a low-key, easygoing vibe.
Why you should watch: Maya is what most YouTube vloggers aspire to be: gorgeous, funny, creative, personable, and genuine. Her openness is refreshing, and you can tell that she truly appreciates her followers and fans.
By now, everyone and their mom has seen the video that made KrissyChula a summertime sensation, “It’s hot as hell!” It has over 3 million views on YouTube and gave us some of the best lines the Internet has ever produced: “Who the hell is paying for all this damn meat?!” and “Jesus be a raindrop or central air!” What most people don’t know is that Krystal is a comedian who often posts comedic videos on YouTube, and regularly updates her Facebook fan page. Another fan favorite is her video documenting her reaction to Game of Throne’s Red Wedding. (“Arya, clap back!” “The baby!” “The North ain’t gonna forget this s***!”)
Why you should watch: She’s hilarious! I mean, there’s not much more to say than that. And if you are ever having a horrible day, KrissyChula is the vlogger to uplift your spirits through laughter.
I just recently discovered Akilah Hughes AKA “It’s Akilah… Obviously!” I am so obsessed with how awesome her personality and videos are. I may or may not be binge-watching all of her videos in the next few days, as they are intelligent, witty, entertaining, and well produced. She has a straightforward, smart-ass vibe, which reminds me of all the Black girlfriends I’ve made since college. I also appreciate that she offers a variety of videos: challenges, traditional vlogs, Q&As, and comedy. In addition to being a YouTuber, she is a writer and comedian whose work has been featured at Hello Giggles, Refinery29, and other websites.
Why you should watch: She is just so cool! Just watch her videos and you’ll see what I mean. The girl has got charm and charisma for days. (Plus, she has an incredible ‘fro.)
Tiarra Monet is one of the most well-known beauty, hair, and (sometimes) fashion vloggers on YouTube. I could watch her makeup tutorials for hours—as she works with a true artist's precision. Her vides feature a number of makeup looks, some even emulating celebrities like Nicki Minaj, Kelly Rowland, and others. I also appreciate that her videos are shot with a high quality camera, so you can see exactly which products, tools, and methods she's working with.
Why you should watch: Her makeup tutorials are on-par with anything you would receive by visiting the MAC counter. She creates beautiful, flawless looks every time. (Her contouring could rival Kim Kardashian.)
You probably know Franchesca Ramsey from one of her most popular YouTube video, “Shit White Girls Say… to Black Girls.” What I appreciate is that she is not afraid to tackle controversial social issues with frankness… but she also knows how to engage and entertain her viewers. Her videos include song parodies, social commentary, and comedic skits. She also has a second YouTube channel focusing on beauty and natural hair care.
Why you should watch: Franchesca is incredibly entertaining, but I also enjoy hearing her thoughts about what is going on in the world. She is as committed to social justice as she is to comedy, which means she understands the fine line between being funny and being offensive.
Jouelzy is a versatile vlogger, so it's no wonder that she has more than 115,000 subscribers on YouTube. She keeps it real about what's going on in her own life, in addition to making videos featuring hair care and styling tips, technology tips, social commentary, and more. She is also the founder of the #SmartBrownGirl movement, seeking to highlight the full reality of living as a woman of color. I enjoy her high energy, opinionated personality, as she never shies away from being her true self—which Black women are too often expected to do.
Why you should watch: Jouelzy keeps it real about a variety of topics, so her YouTube channel offers a little bit of something for almost everyone.