Featured photo: Paper Mag
Let’s start by listing a few titles from MTV’s web series, “Decoded” with Franchesca Ramsey.
*6 Phrases With Surprisingly Racist Origins
*Are Fried Chicken and Watermelon Racist?
*Columbus Was a Genocidal Racist
*What’s Wrong With Kylie Jenner’s Cornrows?
*If Famous Movie Characters Were Black
*Can You Name 7 Superheroes of Color?
So by now you’ve surmised that she isn’t the type of woman who bites her tongue and if you’ve wandered into her mercurial world filled with hilarity and blunt observations, jettisoned with more accuracy than a ball leaving the racket of Serena Williams, you’d recognize it would be a tragedy of Shakespearen or Octavia Butlerean proportion if she did. Welcome to the world of MTV’s show “Decoded” with Franchesca Ramsey.
I first met this convivial beauty a few years ago through my twin, Cipriana, and Franchesca (or Chesca Leigh to many) had me laughing with the same ferocity I reserved for Dave Chapelle skits. You witness this type of humor in the comedic greats. You know the type that don’t try to be funny they just are. A type of humor that is innate and worn like a second skin. A type of humor that delivers punches with ingenuity and finesse you wonder why “Comedy Central” has not snatched this woman up just so she can be left to her own brand of sketch comedy devices. I immediately thought, “Can this woman possibly be any more funnier? The answer is yes. Definitely.
*Photo by Leslie Hassler
Some of you may have first heard of her from her hysterical and insightful video “Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls.” It went viral and quickly thereafter Franchesca was on Anderson Cooper’s talk show “Anderson Live” and “Huffington Post Live” speaking on issues germane to the topic at hand. It is this brand of comedy that becomes an extremely powerful and effective tool in addressing issues that should be forefront in the media eye rather than tip toed around like a politician confronted with controversy on voting day. Well Franchesca expostulates on various issues through humor in such a way you wonder if she knows the definition of tip toeing. Well honestly with her brand of humor who wants her to or cares if she does.
*Photo by Leslie Hassler
The weight of her intellect and humor are brandished with the same impressive intensity as that golden haired Greek god wielding his hammer. Her revelations are laced with smoothness and aplomb that rival any Samuel L. Jackson diatribe at the hands of Tarantino (albeit less histrionics) that you’re often left wondering how can a person be so funny and so informative at the same time? Well she is and does it beautifully on MTV’s web series.
*Photo by Rob Kim/ Getty Images
“MTV Decoded is a weekly series on MTV News where the fearless Franchesca Ramsey tackles race, pop culture, and other uncomfortable things, in funny and thought-provoking ways. Half sketch comedy, half vlog” – MTV
I asked Franchesca what she hopes the audience takes away by viewing the web series, she replied: “The goal with all of my work is to make people laugh and make them think. Talking about race is still seen as taboo, so we wanted to create a show that approaches the subject in a way that’s light hearted but also educational. Ideally people walk away from the show being a bit more conscious about how they treat and speak to each other so we can encourage equality for people from all walks of life.”
*Photo by Leslie Hassler
One part Chris Rock, one part Kristin Wig, one can’t help to think she is some amazing hybrid that is able to convey social and political topics with comedic flare that ostensibly is intrinsic. I mean I could tell you about the problem with ignoring racism or Chesca could tell you, “Have you ever solved a significant problem in your life by ignoring it?” Cue in a character she portrays that endeavors to refute her claim by saying, “That’s what I do with my taxes! It worked for Wesley Snipes…oh wait it didn’t? Uhhh…I gotta go.” Sure anyone can relay the news but if Bill Maher decides to regale you with the latest then you know you’re in for some comedic, intellectual brilliance. That same brilliance is inherent in Franchesca and she doesn’t merely wade in the cerulean waters of it’s existence. She dives in. Every single time.
So wander into that mercurial world filled with hilarity and blunt observations on MTV’s “Decoded” with Franchesca. You will quickly discover she is not a woman who negates problems or allows others to thwart her from addressing issues that take a back seat to those diaphanous in substance. Issues ensconced in shadows and easily outshone by the latest news featuring the myriad ways that Miley Cyrus chooses to orchestrate her tongue like a Philharmonic Orchestra conductor or the latest celebrity couple name hybrids. Issues that have taken a backseat to the shock value mouth detonators that have infiltrated the political arena via Carson and Trump and his twitter account. One can’t help to think that those are diversions and highly efficient diversions at that. However watching Franchesca Ramsey I will happily welcome her humor as a diversion knowing at the end of a long day I am not being diverted from what truly matters the most.