Vlogging While Black

Like the many types of media that came before YouTube, the black vloggers who get noticed can often fit a stereotype. From the bizarre to the hilarious to the inspirational, The Root contributor Ayman Jean Christian gives this sampling of some of the up-and-coming black vloggers and their winning formula.

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  • TonyaTKO

    TonyaTKO

    For her over 22,000 subscribers, TonyaTKO focuses on empowering people. Her often lengthy videos—any clip over five minutes is long in YouTube time, while hers are often over 10 minutes—focus on personal, political and cultural issues, but Tonya tries to keep her opinion to herself. “I just wanted to do things that would make me laugh and make other people smile.”

    Read more on TonyaTKO and “Vlogging While Black.”

  • Mr. Pregnant

    Mr. Pregnant

    Mr. Pregnant inhabits more than a few stereotypes and personae, and he plays it up for the camera in a kind of post-modern minstrelsy. “If someone called me ‘intelligent,’ I’d probably commit suicide.”

    Read more on Mr. Pregnant and “Vlogging While Black.”

  • B. Scott

    B. Scott

    B. Scott, who blogs and vlogs about lifestyle and celebrity, is arguably the most popular gay and black—of mixed race—user on YouTube. He has attracted nearly 50,000 followers and regularly nabs on-camera private chats with celebrities. B. Scott’s channel is personal. “It’s a manifestation of my spirit.”

    Read more on B. Scott and “Vlogging While Black.”

  • AsaTheComic

    AsaTheComic

    AsaTheComic, real name Asa Thibodaux, is a Minneapolis-based comedian who rose quickly to fame on the site for his news and pop culture commentary. Asa exudes a “tell it as it is,” matter-of-fact style in his commentary.

    Read more on AsaTheComic and “Vlogging While Black.”

  • Alphacat

    Alphacat

    Alphacat—real name, Iman Crosson—is one of the most popular black comedians on YouTube. What works for him, and most other popular users, is an intelligent and intoxicating gimmick, and an exaggerated persona infectious enough to get attention.

    Read more on Alphacat and “Vlogging While Black.”

  • Jia

    Jia

    With over 17,000 subscribers, Jia mixes political and cultural commentary. She often talks about her trips to the gym and her romantic life. “I feel that I’ve been given the opportunity to have a platform where I am able to speak and have people listen.”

    Read more on JiaTV and “Vlogging While Black.”

  • Barrett

    Barrett

    Barrett is an up-and-coming YouTuber who posts parodies, skits and comic videos about pop and black culture. He also features his friends and gives sincere views of politics and cultural issues from Barack Obama to gay rights.

    Read more on BarrettTV and “Vlogging While Black.”

  • Applesandmustard

    Applesandmustard

    Applesandmustard, whose real name is Dari, has built her success on focusing on herself. She vlogs about her dreadlocks, her body and her opinions on topics ranging from YouTube itself to race: “I hate when people say that I’m not black enough, or that I’m white, or that I’m an Oreo. It’s dumb. So if I’m not black and I’m not white, then I guess I’m gray.”

    Read more on Applesandmustard and “Vlogging While Black.”

Saaret Yoseph is a writer and Assistant Editor at TheRoot.com. She manages and blogs for "Their Eyes Were Watching ..."