Even In Quarantine, Journalist Danielle Young Is Booked, Busy And Virtually Kicking It With Your Faves
Young's new Instagram Live series "Real Quick" embodies why the hustle must go on.
This feature is part of Blavity’s Quarantine Creators series which spotlights Black creatives offering artistic, educational and uplifting resources amid the coronavirus pandemic. Our unique penchant for creativity has been put on full display as we aim to navigate this crisis. Whether you’re on the frontlines or protecting yourself and others by staying at home, don’t sleep on this Black genius we’re about to serve you.
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When Danielle Young found herself booted from a job just before the pandemic, the media starlet decided to continue her love of interviewing and storytelling.
One random, quarantined afternoon, Young was added to Idris and Sabrina Elba's Instagram Live session. Inspired, Young created a series titled Real Quick, where she regularly interviews other celebrities from their homes because...where else are they going to be right now?
“I figured if people we love and celebrate are also stuck inside, they’re accessible. So I started reaching out, booking and now I’m bookedt,” Young told Blavity.
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Yesterday we kicked off #BombMomWeek on #RealQuick with the living legend and human sunshine that is @iamtabithabrown and her stunning and sweet daughter @choycebrown! (Catch it before it’s gone off my stories!) Today, we have the gorgeous, tell-it-like-it-is @thereallraye1, Tuesday, we have the ridiculously talented sultry songbird and my homegirllll @marshaambrosius, Wednesday, we have the stellar, multi-platinum vocalist @therealtamikascott, Thursday, we have @yarashahidi’s twin and legit special human @chocolatemommyluv joining us! Friday, I’ll be giving the ‘gram a break and trying out the new #storm radio app! I’ll have more info for you this week on how to join us over there but just know we have a few of my friends meeting us over there! @chicbusymoms told me to make a weekly menu so she can keep up. I hope this helps! See you on #RealQuick! #DaniWorks #BlackTalkShow #BlackHost #TalkShowHost
The 35-year-old Brooklynite is a multi-hyphenate creative who has cut her teeth in many trenches of the digital content arena. But, like many working Black women, Young found that she could never truly bring all of herself to the table for fear of making others uncomfortable.
“I enjoy that I get to be myself 100% unapologetically, loud, funny, powerfully me. I’ve had to shrink myself down over the years to make sure others felt comfortable or try and fit myself within a mold that I know I’d never fit into,” she said. “This series is created, produced, hosted, edited all by me. It’s work, but it’s mine and there’s nothing more precious than that.”
Aside from the joys of having the freedom to be authentic, Real Quick has given the public an opportunity to enjoy honest and candid conversations with some of our favorites like Lisa Raye and Jay Ellis. But, it has also allowed Young to meet some of her icons. Considering her most memorable interview thus far, she named one of the original Black Hollywood moguls.
“On this series, so far, the most memorable by far has been Robert Townsend. I’ve loved him my entire life, and during the interview, Robert stopped to acknowledge the light he sees in me and took time to speak life over me,” said Young. “It was amazing and stunning because someone I admire saw me. Truly. He’s also the one who made me the most nervous.”
Real Quick isn’t just a vanity project.
By nature, our community is one that thrives off of camaraderie and celebration. And, aside from these crazy times of isolation, Black folks continue to have the ever-present concern for racial retaliation and safety when they do venture outside. In February, Ahmaud Arbery was gunned down in a Georgia coastal town while jogging. His killers only recently were arrested. In March, 26-year-old Breonna Taylor was killed in her boyfriend’s home in a botched police effort to locate someone they already had in custody.
“I pride myself on creating a safe and brave space. Black people deserve places to feel safe around the clock and like we can live out loud. Our existence, no matter where we are, has always been tainted with the weight of racism. We can’t feel safe because we’re constantly worried about our lives being taken,” she said.
“It’s always that serious for us. So in a time like this, if I can create a space of joy, connection, dialogue, that’s what I am going to do. I’m here to create and spread joy,” Young continued.
Real Quick will continue past quarantine and also show up in a few different forms. Young often posts flyers and weekly calendars of upcoming guests on her Instagram page, so viewers have no reason to miss out.
When asked about what she’s learned about her craft during quarantine, Young dropped some gems that we can all take to heart.
“There’s no time like the present. Don’t waste your time worrying over perfection because it will stop you from doing," she said. "I’ve learned to allow myself space and energy to bring it better each time.”