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In January, Evelyn From the Internets posted a video proclaiming her 2016 motto: “Be visionary.” Little did she know then that her vision would include Beyoncé playing Evelyn’s Lemonade review on the big screen of her Formation tour.
Evelyn filmed her reaction to this Queen Bey news—a video that includes such golden quotes like “I don’t need a Linkedin, Beyoncé knows who I am!”—and quickly made national news with articles in Elle, Essence, BuzzFeed, Refinery 29, and more.
In past years, Evelyn—a journalism alum of the University of Texas—has used YouTube to capture and explore her experiences as a black female growing up in America. Her videos such as “7 More Questions BuzzFeed Should Ask Black People” and “Zoe Saldana ‘Nina’ Trailer Reaction” provide critical commentaries on how media is failing to properly portray black narratives. In order to further combat this problem beyond just her own channel, Evelyn co-founded the webseries “Austin While Black” and spearheaded the Magical Black Girl movement with T-shirts and social media campaigns.
She isn’t the first creator whose career has been #BeyBlessed. The Queen is known for her “copy with taste” mentality and is constantly finding inspiration from YouTube. Todrick Hall was asked to choreograph the video for “Blow” after Beyoncé saw his work online, while sisters Halle and Chloe were offered a contract with Beyoncé’s record label after she saw their covers.
10 days left to order your #magicalblackgirl tees. Link in my bio! On December 2, sales END. I’m wearing a sample, so please refer to the sizing chart for accurate info. Short sleeve and long sleeve available. You’ll receive these in time for Christmas! #blackgirl #ifyourenotblack #buyitforyourfriend #itsnotthathard
A photo posted by Evelynfromtheinternets (@evelynfromtheinternets) on
Though this is her biggest media moment yet, Evelyn has been making quick, hilarious, critical videos on pop culture, race, beauty, and everyday life since 2009. She isn’t afraid to push back and make her voice heard—and trust me, the Internet waves are better for it.
In her recent interview with Elle magazine, the Austin, Texas, native opened up about why this moment has meant so much:
We live in a society where Black folks have to be accessible. Palatable. Especially in entertainment. Is it a movie or a Black movie? Is it music or Black music? Lemonade resonated with me not so much in the overarching storyline (because I’ve never reached the Forgiveness stage, that’s for sure), but in the visuals. It’s Black, y’all. Fast forward, reverse, front to back, any way you slice it. And the world will watch. And recite the lyrics verbatim on cue. And pay to see it.
Evelyn uploads typically one video a month except for April. Every year since 2013, Evelyn has committed to VEDA (Vlog Everyday in April) as a way to stay disciplined around creativity. Inspired by her “fairy godfather” Ira Glass, Evelyn advises her audience to simply put in the work. That’s 70 percent of making a vision a reality, as Evelyn proved last month in the heat of a Lemonade frenzy.
Carly Lanning is a journalist who covers social media. Her work has been published by Psychology Today, NBC, Thrillist, and Ms. Magazine.