Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist” as Want to Read:
Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  2,302 ratings  ·  398 reviews
In this sharp, funny, and incredibly 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 ident
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 22nd 2018 by Grand Central Publishing
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,302 ratings  ·  398 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist
da AL
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Engaging and likable -- with complete patience and lots of self-disclosure -- Ramsey teaches us how to be higher-minded while reassuring us that it's an ongoing process for her too. ...more
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
HOLY SHIT. I WON MY FIRST GOODREADS BOOK. So excited to read this. *tear*

Okay. So thank you goodreads for picking me - ME - to review this book (and the dozen of others who have read it, you get appraise too). But seriously, I am proud to finally be one of those people who can write a goodreads review for a book I got for free.

Franchesca is a familiar name to me. Mainly because I hivemind on ONTD and that's how I found out about her. I watched her publicity rise and supported her through and thr
Megan (Best of Fates)
This book is less memoir and more guide to how to critique and be critiqued, told through her own mistakes and experiences. I have somewhat followed Fran's career (i.e. I followed her on Snapchat and tried to remember to watch The Nightly Show) so was somewhat familiar with lots of the stories she shares but appreciated being reintroduced to them from her current perspective. A really fast, enjoyable read and a good reminder that we can all do better. ...more
Christina Marie
I listened to this on audiobook.

I honestly thought I would like it more than I actually did. I didn’t dislike it by any means. It just made me realize that I don’t have to agree with or share in the philosophies of all black activists.

A lot of what was portrayed in this book was interesting and I DID agree with. It was nice learning more about the author and how she came to be who she is. Mistakes and all.

But... I almost felt a little let down by how simplistic everything was. While she made g
Mar 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Franchesca Ramsey has been an Internet personality I've enjoyed watching since she joined MTV's Decoded. She's smart, open, and willing to learn just as much as she's willing to guide & teach. This book was basically activism 101, and is absolutely something I would have enjoyed deeper if It had come up a few years ago. As I am further into my activism journey, this felt redundant. That being said, just because it wasn't applicable for me, doesn't mean it's not relevant. I think this is a fine b ...more
Feb 18, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.75 stars

At the time of its deletion, my twitter account had around 60K followers. While nowhere near the popularity of Ramsey's, I decided to change my relationship with social media after month after month after month of cyber-stalking and harassment. It was really affirming to read about Franchesca's interaction with social media, and I think she handled many of her mistakes with humor, wit, and charm. She was humble as she admitted that she had engaged in unhealthy behavior with social medi
Lauren Salisbury
*I received an advanced reader copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway*

I've been a fan of Franchesca Ramsey for a while and have followed her success and evolution from YouTuber to panelist on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore and host of MTV's Decoded.. Ramsey's book recounts this journey for those who may be unfamiliar with her work and provides important context surrounding it for those who are.

Ramsey's book reads like an extended version of one of her videos in the sense that it pro
Naeemah Huggins
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I learned a whole lot. The internet is mean, people can be hateful and we live in the era of call out culture. I also learned that it's important to respect the culture and sensitivities of others, to stand solidly in my own truth while keeping an empathetic mindset and that it's useless to argue with internet trolls.
Francesca moved my needle on a particular topic: interracial dating and marriage. It's already hard for them and their families to navigate and it's none of my business. To each his
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
***I won an ARC of this book through a GoodReads giveaway***

This book strikes a remarkable balance between Franchesca Ramsey's personal experiences (quirks, snafus, and all!) and reader education. Because she so deftly switches between the two, it never comes across as preachy or holier-than-thou, and that's hard to do! She is humble, and yet clearly experienced and knowledgeable about what and how she has come to learn all that she has as an activist. I appreciated her vulnerability, by which I
Melissa Stacy
Published in 2018, the how-to-be-a-better-activist self-help memoir, "Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist," by Franchesca Ramsey, is a useful and funny book to read. I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a crash course in modern social justice activism. It's a very quick read, something you can finish in a day or two. I'm glad that I read this book, but there were parts that made me really angry. I needed a few weeks to let my anger calm before I co ...more
Isabelle | Nine Tale Vixen
What's interesting — even special — about this book is that it can be a good resource no matter how "woke" you are (or think you are). A lot of books about intersectionality and activism seem to be aimed at people who don't know anything about the topics, which is important ground to cover but can be boring if you already have fundamental knowledge of the vocabulary and concepts; others have a level of detail and/or aggression that can alienate readers. This one is neither.

Through the lens of pe
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review contains spoilers!!!

I first encountered Francheska Ramsey on YouTube. I was transitioning into natural hair and loved her loc tutorials. It feels almost as if I watched her career blossom from the bathroom loc tutorials, to the viral video, her appearance on Anderson Cooper, being a guest on some of my favorite podcasts, writing jokes for Tracee Ellis Ross among other fantastic opportunities. I was and still am happy to see her thrive and I hope her book makes the NY Times list. I bo
Oct 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Can't say that I finished this book having learned something that I didn't know before, but then again that says more about me than it does about the book, so take it with a grain of salt, I guess ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ...more
Megan Burback
Jun 23, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, 1-star, dnf
DNF at 30%. I don't know, I might not have been in the right headspace when I was reading this. I have lots of opinions but I just think this wasn't a book for me. Or at least, not for me right now. ...more
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I loved so much of this book.
Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)
I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways. As always, an honest review.

Well That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist tells the story of Francesca Ramsey’s journey into activism. She starts as a YouTuber with a moderate following and still works her normal daytime job. When her video, Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls, goes viral her life changes. While it’s not immediate stardom, a lot of people have seen her videos and her voice reaches many more
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received an advanced copy of this book via Goodreads giveaway.

I love this book! I agree with previous comments that it's not too heavy on the memoir but it does consist of a lot of honest self reflection about her activism and internet presence. As the internet and its content continues expanding I think these kind of self reflective looks at how we can use the internet more effectively will be important for keeping it an essential element of activism. I also think this book had a lot of good
Kristen Beverly
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Conflict resolution for the social media age: FTW!!! This isn’t usually my type of book, but everyone who owns a social media account should be forced to read this book before using said account. There are lots of great concepts - calling in vs calling out, learning to live your natural self, criticizing without personal attacks, haters vs trolls, and fighting racism - and practical examples of how to use those concepts.

I really hope there’s a young readers version of this book coming, because
Jordan Wyn
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Franchesca is such a smart, honest, and funny voice, and it was so much fun to read through her stories and learnings. In a world where discourse on important issues often lacks nuance, and the people most often claiming to bring nuance/qualifiers to a discussion are doing it in bad faith, it was super refreshing to read Franchesca's really sincere and insightful explanations and experiences. She never lessens the importance of systematic problems but also lets them have some complexity, and tha ...more
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been aware of Franchesca Ramsey since she posted her powerful video sharing her rape experience, and I have kept up with her Twitter via RT's that have made their way onto my timeline, but I have not watched Decoded, or Larry Wilmore or stayed on top of every social media scandal Ramsey has been involved in. But that didn't take away my enjoyment of this book at all. Ramsey has written a guide to activism in the online age, a witty, hilarious collection of memories and missteps about what n ...more
Mar 21, 2018 rated it liked it
**I received an advanced review copy of this book through Goodreads Giveaways.**

3.5 stars. This was a quick, easy read. This wasn't so much a memoir as it was a how-to primer on social media and activism. Ms. Ramsey's writing style is conversational, accessible and funny which made this book enjoyable to read. Anyone who is familiar with social media or activism, in general, may not find a lot of new information here but should still be able to enjoy this book.
Robin Graber
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sjw-curriculum
I love Franchesca Ramsey and I was so excited to read her book. And I was not disappointed. Franchesca goes into the mistakes she made, times she messed up, and how she grew and learned as an activist. She's open and honest and extremely authentic. She doesn't try and cover up her mistakes or failures, but brings them right out to the front. And as usual she talks race, gender, privilege, and social justice. It's fantastic all around and I cannot recommend the audio version enough. ...more
Jan 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
More like 2.5. This book didn’t really do anything for me. Even though it’s full of great info I didn’t learn much. She makes important points about call out culture and the importance of calling people in and remembering that there was a time when you did not know that social justice thing that you now take for granted. But some of the stuff is annoying and/or too focused on being palatable ? I don’t know, felt very surface level even though she obviously knows her stuff. I don’t know!
Social media memoir meets Franchesca's evolution in understanding and advocating for social justice, foibles and all. Handy guide on dealing with pervasive internet trolls. When to call in, when to call out. What that means. If you're a fan of her YouTube videos, you'll also love this book. ...more
Adeshola Obafemi
I loved it

This book exceeded my expectations (which were already high as a kite). So proud of Chesca's journey and can't wait to see what she does next. Quick and easy read, extremely funny. The do's and dont's of activism broken down in only a way Chesca's could!
Just Reading Everything
Everything about this is so, so great and honest. There are certainly many people in my life who NEED to read it. Don't miss out on this one! ...more
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I liked this a lot.
chantel nouseforaname
I love Franchesca Ramsey! I think she's so cool and she's just like this refreshing tool you can use to school people who are ignorant - she does all the work for you; she creates videos and information that you can use to send to people who are being dumb asses. However.. do I feel that she's done anything so major in her life that could keep this book interesting? Not really.

I love her videos and social media presence but I relegate this book to the realm of - shouldn't have really been a boo
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I cannot remember how long I have been following Francesca’s career, but I can say for certain that her work has been influential to my understanding of numerous social justice concepts. Plus, as a social worker, whose profession is dedicated to social justice and discussing privilege, oppression, and the systems that keep those forces alive, I really appreciate her perspective and how she is able to explain these concepts for a wide range of folks. I was so excited to learn that she was release ...more
Constance Marie
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I devoured this book. The only reason I had to put it down was because it was 3 am and I seriously needed to go to sleep (with only three chapters left!!)
*you don’t understand how hard that was for me*

You also don’t understand how hard it was for me to wait for this book to be released. As soon as she announced she was working on a book I was PUMPED! Then when the release date was announced I felt like time was going by so slowly 😫 it was hard to wait, but it was worth it.

Ramsey is funny af. I
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Everything's Trash, But It's Okay
  • The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl
  • I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual
  • So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know
  • Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America
  • Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements
  • Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves
  • We Will Not Cancel Us: And Other Dreams of Transformative Justice
  • Yo!
  • Modern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History
  • You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain
  • What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essays
  • Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot
  • I Can't Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I've Put My Faith in Beyoncé
  • Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower
  • Migrant Daughter: Coming of Age as a Mexican American Woman
  • The Last Black Unicorn
  • Black Is the Body: Stories from My Grandmother's Time, My Mother's Time, and Mine
See similar books…

News & Interviews

  In most romances, a romp in the hay comes after many chapters of meeting cute, silent pining, and steamy banter. Not so for books that...
31 likes · 6 comments
“All lives matter” is an empty retort designed to shut down conversations about black people and the issues they face. I think the “all lives matter” folks know that—they just refuse to admit it. Comeback: “It’s okay for a movement to be focused on a specific group or cause. ‘Save the rainforest’ doesn’t mean ‘Fuck all the other trees.” 9 likes
“Dealing with white people faux pas as a black woman is tricky: if you get upset, you can be quickly be labeled as the "angry black girl"; if you're too passive, it seems like you're give permission, or letting racism slide.” 4 likes
More quotes…