This Woman Turned A Viral Black History Tweet Into $10,000 And A Media Outlet
Elexus Jionde is the “classy ratchet” who drops black history facts and sexy selfies at the same damn time.
This isn’t just a black history month project for her, though — the Ohio State history alum promotes black progression through knowledge 24/7 and she looks sexy AF doing it.
Ever since her viral black history thread about 9/11, Elexus has faced online racial abuse and death threats. She is continuously slut shamed for her sexy photoshoots and her past as a cam girl, but she still wears her sexuality proudly. She is boldly herself and hopes her brand is proof that sexiness and intellect aren’t mutually exclusive.
Tell us about Intelexual Media. How did it start for you?
For the past two years or so, I’ve been working on a book. It was supposed to be released on its own and then in September, I tweeted a thread about black history on 9/11 and offended a bunch of white people but then also, got a whole new audience that was interested in what I had to say and wanted to know more about history. They encouraged me to write full time and create content full time. A whole bunch of people encouraged me to start a Go Fund Me. People ended up donating around $10,000 and I quit my job in New York and moved across the country to California so I could sit for two months and just write and create content. If it wasn’t for that thread and for the encouragement of people on Twitter to start my own media outlet, then it wouldn’t have happened but I’m glad it did.
Do you think it’s difficult for women to be both political/smart and sexual today? Why do you think that is?
I think that’s changing. About ten years ago, I probably never would’ve been able to do this but I think in 2017 people are realizing you really need to take intelligence where you can get it. Who cares if a woman is sexual but also knows how to eloquently speak her mind and can cite facts and doesn’t get flustered under pressure? I don’t understand why sexuality has anything to do with intelligence and part of my brand is about confronting that notion that you can’t be sexual and intelligent. But I feel like it’s definitely easier in this day and age, being a sexual woman period is easier in this day and age. I think people are really opening up to the fact that you can be both.
As someone who is both, do you think that people want to discredit you for that?
Oh, definitely. There’s been a few prominent people who say, “How are you supposed to educate people but you’re naked?” A guy came into my mentions one time and threw up a picture of me, I think I was in lingerie, and he was like, “You want to teach people and this is how you dress?” What they’re forgetting is that I could be butt ass naked and I’m still gonna pull these facts out. You really can’t stop the facts no matter what I’m wearing or how many dicks I’ve sucked.
You were previously a cam girl, how do you think that has affected your experience with social media fame?
I cammed from February until June of last year and it was a fun experience, it was very lucrative. I told myself I was going to do it no longer than six months. I was trying to stack money so I could move to New York, so I just did it and it was fun. When it was over, it was over. I didn’t think about it anymore, my boyfriend knew about it, and then I came back from a cruise and the day I came back — I was docking in Miami, I’d just had the best vacation — and I got a text from my friend. It was a full length video of me playing with myself that somebody had snuck and recorded and posted to a site.
I sat there for a second, I started crying but then I was like, “What are you crying for? You look great.” So I was like okay, whatever and then four days after that, I tweeted the 9/11 thread and people started saying, “You need to do your own media outlet, we support you.” For a whole month or two I was afraid to start a Go Fund Me, even though people were telling me to do it, because I was like, “Oh my god, when they find out I was a cam girl they are not going to support me anymore.” So I was very cautious about starting my Go Fund Me until somebody Snapchatted me a picture of me from cam and they were like, “I just wanted to let you know these were floating around on Tumblr.” And I was like oh shit, I need to just let the cat out of the bag and let everybody on Twitter know because I don’t want them to think I bamboozled them or something.
So I told everybody, I even tweeted the picture from Snapchat. There were a few people who were like, “You whore, I trusted you!” and they unfollowed me. Mainly everybody else was like, “Okay, do you have a thread? Do you have any more history lessons for us?” They weren’t really focused on it. I was afraid that people would take me the wrong way but people supported me. They understood it was something I did very briefly and even so, there was nothing wrong with it. It was legal, I wasn’t putting myself or anybody else at risk, and it was just a fun time in college.
How do you stay empowered despite the haters?
I’ve been called a whore since I was about eleven or twelve because I’ve always been shapely so even before I was sexually active, I was always called a whore. It affected my self-esteem up until the 10th or 11th grade so back then is when I had to always deal with haters and self-esteem issues. I got over that whole need to brush my haters off a long time ago. I really don’t pay them any mind because they’re not paying my bills – well actually, they are paying my bills because whenever people hate, they don’t understand that they’re giving me free promo. Social media is how I get paid but they don’t know that, don’t tell them that haha. But I don’t know how to pay attention to it anymore. It’s been a long time. I know what my purpose is in life and a few naysayers really aren’t getting in the way of that. You know?
Yes, totally. What do you ultimately want to accomplish with your platform?
Well the main goal of Intelexual Media is to promote critical thinking so I’m giving people history lessons they didn’t learn in school because I want them to think critically about America – America’s issues with race, America’s issue with sex and gender. As Intelexual Media evolves, I want to be able to hire intellectual people of color. I want to pay College students for their well written research papers. I want to bring intellectuals on one side and creatives on the other side and create magic, to just keep promoting critical thinking and black progression.
I want to show black people that we’re awesome, we’re resilient. We can only truly progress when we are united and financially astute and the best way to go about that is by educating each other. When we all have the same base of knowledge to work from, the next generation of black people will be magnificent. I’m making it my life’s mission to make sure the next generation of black kids is the best generation of black kids ever and they’ll learn from our generation’s mistakes, the generation before ours’ mistakes. I want us to look at the patterns of systematic oppression and American paternalism, and just be like okay, this is where they want us to fall between the cracks. This is where they want us to fail. These are the obstacles set up for us to not succeed or succeed at a lower rate and this is how we can tackle those things. If we don’t have a base knowledge of those things, then we can’t tackle them.
What’s next for you and Intelexual Media?
I’m still very tight lipped about what my first project is, I’ve been working on it for the past four months. I even flew out to LA to work with Chasity Samone on a photo for the book. But I’ve got a book coming out at the end of March and it’s going to be really something people haven’t seen before and it’s going to be really dope. My second book is about the history of black sexuality and that’ll be coming out in the summer. I don’t have an official date for that one yet.
Other than that, I have plans for more videos. These past two months have been about opportunities being presented to me and I’m just trying to sort through them. I’m just taking baby steps right now. Intelexual Media is supporting my friend Cleopatra Lee, who is the leader of Cleopatra’s Army, in distributing hygiene products to homeless women. I’ll also be lecturing students from my former high school district on using social media for good so there will be programs for the community as Intelexual Media grows, particularly to help black women.