Black In Media Career Profile: Danielle Young, the Content and Commentary Queen

"I want to prove that we were here and share what extraordinary feats we’ve been able to accomplish."

Danielle Young is a media icon in the making.

Young got her start as a freelance writer for various outlets like the New York Daily News and Uptown Magazine, eventually moving to HelloBeautiful, where she worked as a lifestyle editor. She then moved to a multimedia producer and writer role at The Root, where she created videos covering trending Black culture moments and topics. And Young continued her writer, on-air host, and production work once she joined the team at Essence, where she launched the weekly The OverExplainer and The OverExplainer Reacts video series.

Young’s online presence remains a constant gift for those who encounter and engage with the digital content she creates — with the talented storyteller now charting her own path as a freelance content creator. And with the launch of her digital experience Real Quick and most recently announced The Danielle Young Show, Young continues to expand her media empire while sticking to her personal mission of celebrating Blackness through entertainment and pop culture.

We truly can’t get enough of Dani. And we’re excited for her to share all the details of her journey and the media career tips she’s learned along the way when she joins us for our Black In Media Career Workshop on November 12.

And ahead of the chat, we had a chance to speak with Young about the lessons she’s learned during her time in media, what she loves most about the work she does, and the media legend that’s made the biggest impact on her.

CAREER Q&A WITH DANIELLE

What is your hometown?
I’m from Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

Where did you attend college?
I attended East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.

What was your first media job?
My first freelance job was as a writer and interviewer for ChronicMagazine.com and my first full-time job was as an associate editor at HelloBeautiful. 

What is one thing you love about your work in the media space?
My work has been well received and well shared during my time in this space. A lot of what I’ve done has seen virality. And for me, it’s bigger than going viral. It means that something I’ve created resonated so much with people that they spread it.

How do you stay up on the latest entertainment and culture trends? 
I’m always scrolling on social media and paying attention to headlines and trending topics.

Where do you get your news?
I get my news from the Daily Skimm and social media.

What books would you recommend to anyone trying to break into the industry?
Who Moved My Cheese and On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.

What is one important lesson you learned early in your career?
Getting fired will not end you or your career.

What made you want to use your creative gifts to focus specifically on entertainment and culture reporting?
I believe that my creative gift is storytelling. I am blessed to be able to express that gift in several ways — writing, video commentary, and interviews. I’ve always been into pop culture and storytelling. The merge felt effortless. I guess if anything made me feel like using my gift of storytelling in entertainment and culture, it was moreso about [Black culture] and about us. I want to prove that we were here and share what extraordinary feats we’ve been able to accomplish. I sometimes think of myself as a historian of Black culture.

Who is one of your entertainment icons and why?
Obviously Oprah because of her journey through storytelling and her humble beginnings into creating a show that shifted culture and how we spoke and processed issues. I’m also very much into how she created an entire empire from her purpose and her gift. I aspire to also be able to provide people with livelihoods based on my career as a storyteller.

READ ABOUT DANIELLE

Even in Quarantine, Journalist Danielle Young Is Booked, Busy and Virtually Kicking It with Your Faves
In this piece, Young shares the career pivot she made during quarantine and the inspiration behind the launch of her digital series Real Quick.

6 Questions with Danielle Young from The Root
Young discusses being a host, media representation, and how to get your story to stand out in her inbox.

LISTEN TO DANIELLE

A Conversation with Danielle Young on Leaps of Faith and Letting Your Light Shine
Young talks about taking her destiny into her own hands after being in toxic work environments during this chat with Be.Enough.

Journalist Danielle Young on #JasonUnleashed
During this convo with #JasonUnleashed, Young chats about times of growth in her career and the experiences of Black talent in media and entertainment.

To Obey, To Listen & To Inspire with Guest Danielle Young 
From dealing with being unemployed to betting on herself and not letting her circumstances stop her from achieving her dreams, Young opens up to the Music, Men & My Mental podcast.

Rooting for Everybody Black ft. Danielle Young
Young talks with the Man Crush Mondays podcast about the impact of social media in the Black community and her growth in the entertainment business. 

Journalist Danielle Young Opens Up on Life Being a Freelancer
In a conversation with Meet the People, Young shares her goals when she first moved to New York and the details of launching her show Real Quick.

CONNECT WITH DANIELLE

Instagram
Twitter
YouTube
Facebook

A PARTING THOUGHT FROM DANIELLE

“There’s no time like the present. Don’t waste your time worrying over perfection because it will stop you from doing. I’ve learned to allow myself space and energy to bring it better each time.”


The Black In Media Career Workshop with Danielle Young will be held on November 12 at 7 p.m. ET. You can register for the digital workshop here.

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The Black In Media newsletter is written by Treye Green, a journalist, content strategist, and the founder of Black In Media. If you have any questions about the Black In Media newsletter or just want to connect, you can reach Treye at treyegreen@blackinmedia.com.