As a university student, you try to find a creative outlet while away from home to cope with the day to day stress and anxiety. This year, we observed that one of the platforms is YouTube. We sometimes forget that big YouTubers like Jackie Aina, Raven Elyse, or Nyma Tang started off small.
YouTube is booming with youths aiming to make it big, Rénee Washington, 18, a University of Kent student from Croydon, focuses on her growing channel. Her channel ‘Thelma and Rénee,” which has obtained 1.9k subscribers so far, attracts a young adult audience within the black, British community. The aim of her channel is to “solely provide good vibes and good entertainment” where viewers are able to relax and laugh.
Tomi Anike, 18, an upcoming Irish-Nigerian YouTuber, mentions Nella Rose as one of the main influencers she admires. She aims for “Nella Rose kind of subscribers” which is a number of around 340k on her main channel. She is aware that it takes time and luck to reach that level of success. She wishes that black, British YouTubers gained the same attraction black YouTubers in the United States do. Influencer events such as #YouTuberBlack could help with smaller channels gaining views by exposing them to wider audiences.
#YouTubeBlack has made an impact on other small black influencers who aim to be as, or even more, successful than their mentors. In 2019, over 100 black influencers attended #YouTubeBlack at the historically black college and university (HBCU) Morehouse College. Many look forward to this event as it brings together the local black excellence we admire.
This type of event in England may motivate other black, British YouTubers to network and expand their horizons in the world of social media. Platforms such as gal-dem magazine, a thriving magazine dedicated to queer women of color, or The Voice, a newspaper focused on Afro-Caribbean news, have yet to host networking events for social media influencers. This is the next step we are looking forward to in the future for the support of strong platforms, in the goal to promote upcoming YouTubers.