When it comes to the most viewed and popular content, it doesn’t matter how many photos or clever memes you choose to share, video reigns supreme, and many love the options that video-streaming provides. Many of us like to see things live and in action, and the stats don’t lie: According to Google, black millennials “have more than doubled their mobile watch time on YouTube in the last two years,” and they watch “73% more YouTube on mobile per person than the general population of the same age.”
The platform has diversified since its inception in 2005, but the issue of diversity on the platform, as with other popular media, remains a challenge. According to the same Google statistics, users of color want more inclusive ads and want to see themselves represented, and more would like to see brands better represent diversity in their ads. Here’s a list of 27 black YouTube stars, some on the come-up and others already bankable.
27 Top Black YouTube Stars
Oftentimes you see beauty tutorials that feature lighter complexions for trying out the latest trends, but Ms. Tang changes the game for chocolate sistas who want to know how to use the latest products for their skin tone.
Sue-Ann Gordon is a down-to-earth Jamaican beauty who starts all her vlogs with the most passion-pumping motivational moments along with beauty and fashion looks to inspire young girls of the Caribbean. And you’ll love checking in to vlogs that offer peeks into family and yard life on the island that endear you to a more balanced view than the stereotypical news and entertainment blurbs.
A YouTube superstar, Aina had humble beginnings and continues to share her love and life experiences via keep-it-real beauty and conversational vlogs. She also incorporates her Nigerian heritage, one of which she is proud.
The Cut Life
If you’ve always loved short hair, this is the channel for you. From interviews with beauty industry leaders to celebrity features to how-to inspirations for your next new cut, you’ll love what these women have to offer.
This young boss used to shoot videos on her phone before YouTube became the money-making platform it is today. Now she’s grown into a full brand, with more than 600,000 subscribers and an in-demand hair line and beauty salon. Her wigs look majorly realistic, so much so that she’s often booked months in advance, and she’s been a featured influencer on E! and with Revlon.
She knows how to make a thrift-store find look chic, and has a simple, clean aesthetic. Her vlogs don’t bombard you with endorsements and trendy clichés, and her candid style when describing her fashion picks will make you think she’s your real-life shopping bestie.
It can be hard to find consistent, real-woman fashion content on YouTube if you’re not a baby, teen, or millennial. Karen Blanchard’s channel offers something for the woman of style who knows Fashion Nova or Forever 21 are not her cup of tea and likes to add designer and luxury finds to boost her wardrobe.
Bright, bubbly, and explorative, this Haitian beauty loves to share her hair, fashion, and travel experiences with a wide smile and a sophisticated style inspired by her Caribbean roots.
A Nigerian Brit, she’s another young woman who went from smartphone YouTube faux pas in the early days to superstardom, with more than 2 million subscribers today, influencer deals with brands including Diet Coke, and she even landed the cover of British Glamour this year.
A curvy fashionista, Ambrose redefines what plus-sized fashion has to be. Her vlogs are positive, classy, and sleek, offering curvy sistas options to put together looks that slay.
Oneika the Traveller
Oneika gives you a fun, diverse adventure in her vlogs. She’s traveled to almost 90 countries on six continents, according to her channel, and her vlogs don’t skimp on the tips, the details, and the advice for world treks. She includes content that informs while entertains, so you won’t find just landscapes, photo shoots and selfie videos set to music on this channel.
The Blog Abroad by Gloria Atanmo
A self-professed “adventure junkie,” Atanmo gives honest insights on traveling while black to countries including Germany and Bangkok, and she also offers budgeting tips for aspiring nomads and production tips for those who want to document their journeys on YouTube.
This channel is run by a scuba diver and pilot who hosted her own travel segment on YouTube called “Kellee Set Go” and has now become a correspondent with the Travel Channel. She shares content from her latest adventures on the show and features travel tips for individuals and families.
She’s a full-time traveler and teacher who offers vlogs off the beaten path of the usual Caribbean, Middle Eastern, or African leisure locales common among African American vacationers. She gives a real look into life in Asia for a woman of color.
Nia the Light
Once known for her larger-than-life natural curls, she recently took a major brand leap, doing a big chop and refocusing her efforts on self-exploration, spirituality, and travel. The name definitely fits the bill: Each breath-of-fresh-air vlog is filled with positivity and exploration.
Magda Civil Fitness
This channel, hosted by a personal trainer and coach, features workouts and honest conversations about women’s health issues, including miscarriage, fitness while pregnant, and weight loss.
Fit Men Cook
Operating on the adage that “Bodies are built in the kitchen, sculpted in the gym,” this channel offers yummy, healthy dishes and lifestyle content for women and men who want to live at their best. It also helps that the host is motivated by his own journey into living a healthy, fuller life.
Black Men’s Beard
For beard enthusiasts, this channel is like having your own personal barber. You can find tutorials, tips on products and men’s grooming, and even some style features.
At Home with Nikki
If you love interior decor or just need some ideas for your next home makeover, check out Nikki. She gives you Martha Stewart with a dash of Oprah-esque Black Girl Magic in offering tips on organization and design.
NEWS / POP CULTURE
This vlogger’s been offering her spunky and eloquent take on African American culture before it was popular on YouTube. She continues to inspire and make you think with her vlogs, offering fresh, fun, and smart prospectives.
She’s fun, energetic, and raw, giving viewers a sense that she’s the girl next door who everyone loves for her take on a variety of subjects from love to investing (bitcoin, anyone?), style, and everyday life hacks.
Desus and Mero
This duo, who had their own show on Vice and Complex TV, offers hilarious banter and engaging dialogue on the latest news in politics, sports, and entertainment.
Whether it’s explaining what modern-day anarchy is or the military ban on transgenders, this vlogger doesn’t pull any punches, offering opinions that will have you thinking or at least Googling to expand your understanding.
MONEY & ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Tiffany Aliche provides doable tips and offers budget plans for anyone wanting to find financial freedom. Her receipts: She overcame a home foreclosure and an investment that cost her tens of thousands of dollars to boost her credit score and become an entrepreneur and home owner in her own right.
If you want to know how to become a creative entrepreneur or how to create content that will help your business progress, this is a great channel to tap into. Blake talks salesmanship, business plans, building a social media following, and much more.
Trials N Tresses
This channel’s “Millennial in Debt” series is entertaining and relatable. You can also find tips on how to pay off your student loan. (She’s done that to the tune of $85,000.)
His & Her Money
For all the married couples out there, get your financial fitness fix here. The chemistry between these two is undeniable and they share money tips that will make you want to invite them to the next marriage ministry potluck.