Well That Escalated Quickly by Franchesca Ramsey | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Well That Escalated Quickly by Franchesca Ramsey | Book ReviewWell, That Escalated Quickly by Franchesca Ramsey
Published by Grand Central Publishing on May 22, 2018
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Entertainment & Performing Arts, Social Activists, Personal Memoirs, Women
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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In this sharp, funny, and timely collection of personal essays, veteran video blogger and star of MTV's Decoded Franchesca Ramsey explores race, identity, online activism, and the downfall of real communication in the age of social media rants, trolls, and call-out wars.

Franchesca Ramsey didn't set out to be an activist. Or a comedian. Or a commentator on identity, race, and culture, really. But then her YouTube video "What White Girls Say . . . to Black Girls" went viral. Twelve million views viral. Faced with an avalanche of media requests, fan letters, and hate mail, she had two choices: Jump in and make her voice heard or step back and let others frame the conversation. After a crash course in social justice and more than a few foot-in-mouth moments, she realized she had a unique talent and passion for breaking down injustice in America in ways that could make people listen and engage.

In her first book, Ramsey uses her own experiences as an accidental activist to explore the many ways we communicate with each other--from the highs of bridging gaps and making connections to the many pitfalls that accompany talking about race, power, sexuality, and gender in an unpredictable public space...the internet.

WELL, THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY includes Ramsey's advice on dealing with internet trolls and low-key racists, confessions about being a former online hater herself, and her personal hits and misses in activist debates with everyone from bigoted Facebook friends and misguided relatives to mainstream celebrities and YouTube influencers. With sharp humor and her trademark candor, Ramsey shows readers we can have tough conversations that move the dialogue forward, rather than backward, if we just approach them in the right way.

Well, That Escalated Quickly by Franchesca Ramsey IMMEDIATELY appealed to me. Friends, I am like okay at social justice. There is a whole lot that I have to learn, right. So, this book felt like a great opportunity to learn about being a better activist. ALSO, I am one of those people who has retweeted Ramsey’s Decoded videos before. I think she explains social justice concepts in a way that is easy to understand. Also, in a way that is WAY better than I ever could to other people. This book seemed like a good way to learn from Ramsey’s experiences and apply them in my own activism.

Franchesca Ramsey’s memoir basically opens with her talking about her experience going viral on Youtube with her video – Shit White Girls Say To Black Girls. This is the video that really launched her, right. So then she talks about the interviews she gave – what went well and what went wrong. She manages to get on the wrong side of social justice Tumblr. However, some kind people messaged her with links to resources that would educate her as well as to private Facebook groups. She grows and learns. We see what happens when she meets a troll in real life. We learn about her tutorial videos for natural hair and locs. Also, about her time on The Nightly Show as well as Decoded.

Overall, Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs And Mistakes Of An Accidental Activist is SUCH an engaging book. Initially, I began reading this book on my iPhone via the Kindle app when I had some downtime. It was kind of my background book, if that makes sense. However, I eventually made it my main book and could NOT stop reading it. This was the book that I finished reading on my birthday and have no regrets making that choice.

I felt like Ramsey’s writing was empowering. She comes across as understanding when people make missteps due to not having knowledge of different concepts. She takes the time to explain out the concepts and talks about how “you don’t know what you don’t know.” I guess I liked that she allows for people to grow and realizes that not everyone comes about into the world with knowledge of intersectionality and social justice. That is not to say there’s no message to do better, there is. In fact, at the end is a glossary and there’s also frequent mentions of places in the book that you can go to learn more about social justice.

People who are new to the fight will gain a lot from this book. I think you’ll learn why it is important to privilege the voices of women of color. You will learn why it is so rude to call a troll out using terms that disparage another group of people. She’s got an excellent chapter on calling out versus calling in. I think that this book is quite impactful and I am so, so glad I read it. I will absolutely recommend this to people who want a world that is better than what we have now.

Other reviews of Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist by Franchesca Ramsey:

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Ooooh, this sounds so good and right up my alley!