This week’s episode of ESSENCE’s “Yes, Girl!” podcast explores the beginnings of one of the internet’s most beloved sites, The Shade Room.
Angie Nwandu, the site’s founder, sits down with hosts Cori Murray and Yolanda Sangweni to talk about creating a gossip site for the culture and taking control of the narrative.
“When I started The Shade Room it was meant to be for us, by us. For black people, by black people. And, it was meant to take control of the narrative that we have for ourselves because I don’t think that we should be in a box. I think that black people can talk about gossip just like everybody else, why should we limit ourselves in the things that we can do?”
Nwandu also opens up about The Shade Room’s mission, realizing she’d made it after getting a cease and desist letter, and owning the popular site.
“Everybody in Hollywood wants this platform, you know what I mean? They want it, they want to own that Black culture — I ain’t lettin’ you do it — but it could be easier for me to do that and I’ll be rich and move on with my life, you know what I’m sayin? But, at the end of the day I’m like nah, I’d rather grind to the top, I’mma still be rich. But I’d rather grind to the top and make the culture rich too.”