#CrownAndGlory: 5 Questions with aliyah simone
Inspired by spring – a season for renewal and reaping the fruits of our labor – we’ve launched #CrownAndGlory, a month-long series celebrating Black women creators who have been hard at work planting seeds to build a better world for themselves and the next generation of content creators. By telling these stories, we hope to give this community their overdue flowers (or praise) and empower more creators to share their story both on and off YouTube.
Navigating college isn’t as glamorous as some of our favorite TV series make it out to be, and it’s also not something many of us had to do in the midst of a global pandemic. Fortunately, full-time college student and Black Voices Fund creator aliyah simone isn’t afraid to give a “painfully realistic” look at college life today through her eyes.
In fact, she views her YouTube channel as a sort of time capsule she can fill with video diaries, so that one day she can “go back to see where I started, where I am now, and where I’ll be in the future.” As part of our #CrownAndGlory series, we spoke with Aliyah about who inspired her to become a creator and the importance of recognizing Black women for everything they do.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
For those who have yet to follow you, tell us about your channel?
I’m a full-time college student, and I create college content vlogs. I’m really just documenting my life for the entire world to see. The heart and purpose of my channel is to inspire others in their everyday lives because social media has created a really, really false narrative for everybody. So, I’m just here to bring some realism into that.
What is a cause or mission that you feel strongly about elevating on your channel?
In general, elevating people of color creators. I feel like as a community we don’t get enough shine as it is. So, I definitely go out of my way to shout out my community because we deserve it.
Did you look up to any women who inspired you to become a creator?
I definitely look up to people in my family such as my mom, my older sister, my aunt, and my grandmothers. They were always so passionate about everything they did, especially when it came to the arts. So, knowing that I was going into a field that they were very supportive of definitely pushed me to go even harder and be better at what I know. And knowing that they will always support me made it even better.
Knowing that Black women are such a big part of the culture, trends and everything we do now – being seen is the fair thing to do.”
Why is it important to you to tell Black women’s stories?
I think Black women in general just get the back burner of everything, and without the community we wouldn't be anywhere. Knowing that Black women are such a big part of the culture, trends and everything we do now – being seen is the fair thing to do. And, it's definitely overdue as well.
Why did you choose YouTube to tell your creative story?
I chose YouTube for my creative story because I see it almost as a collective video diary – there's years and years of content from so many creators. And I would like to kind of have and create a time capsule of my own so I can go back to see where I started, where I am now and where I'll be in the future as well.