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Exploring Culture on YouTube

Sure, YouTube can be used to get your fill of Funny Cat Videos and people choking on cinnamon, but there’s so much more on the site. Believe it or not there’s a lot to learn from the people of YouTube. There are so many different series made by people hellbent on informing the world about well, the world. I’ve compiled a list with a few of my favorite YouTube series that teach me more about race, class, and gender. 


MTV’s Decoded with Franchesca Ramsey literally gives me life. It’s a series dedicated to teaching folks about racial issues in a comedic way. Many episodes include topical humor and really keep me up to date on things happening in the news. Franchesca does a great job of breaking down the complexity of these issues in a super simple way. Learn and laugh as she teaches you how to deal with racist family members, and the importance of acknowledging your own privilege. I promise you won’t regret it.

You may know John Oliver from acting on Community or his occasional spots on The Daily Show as a correspondent, but now you can watch him singlehandedly sticking it to the man with his own show. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is a late night series that tackles polictical issues in a totally unique way. Because of him I’ve learned more about the government than I was ever taught in school, much of which is completely shocking to me. From the way law makers treat chicken farmers to the problem with FIFA John Oliver holds nothing back when telling them where to put it. If you want to know more about politics but don’t really want to read some ol’ boring book then watch this. Oh, and original airings of the show are at 11 PM, Sunday nights on HBO if you’d rather watch it on TV.

Super-Feminist Laci Green covers the many facets of feminism and relates it back to popular culture with this series. New episodes are posted once a week and always cover whats new in entertainment news. Are witches feminist icons? Is your brain sexist? Laci Green gives you all the answers, I swear!

Stereotypes was probably the first series that put me on the road to being woke. You know, you so caught up in your own bubble at that you forget about other people. Stereotypes is a compilation of different interviews from all kinds of people. ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE. Host Ryan Hall asks pretty general questions but what makes this series so special is hearing answers from a melting pot of guests. Ryan takes to the streets of New York (or France and LA in some episodes) and makes me laugh quite a bit. He’s really the perfect host. His sarcastic and witty banter really makes for good commentary and adds to each interview. Get a glimpse into other folks’ bubble with this one. 

Black folk don’t is another compilation of interviews, but solely covering the black experience. There are a lot of stereotypes concerning what Black people will and won’t do. Do we camp, do we go to the doctor? People speak on their own experiences and relate it back to Black history. It’s an interesting take on what behavior has tranascended through time and why. 

That’s it for now. I have so many other shows to suggest, but honestly, it would take all day. I hope you throughly enjoy the series I’ve listed as much as I do, and hopefully learn a thing or two.

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