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Blogger Luvvie Ajayi Is Judging You With Her New Book

Luvvie Ajayi speaks on a panel for a screening of <em>Roots</em> at the White House in Washington, D.C.
Paul Morigi
Getty Images for History
Luvvie Ajayi speaks on a panel for a screening of Roots at the White House in Washington, D.C.

If you follow the television show Scandal -- and even if you don't-- you may have come across the hilarious recaps of the show by blogger Luvvie Ajayi.

But for her longtime fans those columns — which even caught the eye of Scandal showrunner Shonda Rhimes — were just the on ramp to Ajayi's popular humor blog, Awesomely Luvvie. Born in Nigeria, raised in Chicago, Luvvie riffs on everything from NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick's decision not to stand for the national anthem to why people to need to leave first daughter Malia Obama alone.

Now Ajayi is upping her game with her first book, just out. I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual includes much pointed advice about upping your game on, with from why you need to leave that bad boo alone, to snappy retorts to people who ask stupid questions about Africa, and much else.

Interview Highlights

On how she started blogging

I started blogging in 2003 when I was in college. I was kind of peer-pressured into doing it because my friends were like, "You should get a web blog." I said, "OK, l guess I will." So I did, and I was talking about all things: my life, undergrad, whoever I was beefing with that day, exams I didn't study for. So it was pretty boring.

And then when I graduated from college in 2006, I deleted that blog and I started what is now AwesomelyLuvvie.com, where I was talking about pop culture, race, travel, politics and shenanigans. Whatever I felt like talking about.

On her writer's voice

People love my voice because they say I say what they were thinking but dared not to say because they have a filter or a job. I am the best friend in their head who happens to be the good angel on their shoulder but is saying all the things that they were like, "Oh, I probably shouldn't say that," and I said it for them and they were like, "Thank you." ... I'm basically the conscience that's like, the conscience who's very self-aware, because I also understand that I'm also not perfect.

On where she grew up

One thing I wanted to make sure ... is the impact of where I'm from and how it kind of shaped who I am today. So, it was really good to start with that just to get people an idea of my perspective and why it really grinds my gears about ... the conversations that we have about Africa.

And I use myself as an example so people can actually put themselves in my shoes and also relate to somebody who they respect and like and understand how being other-ed as someone who's African can affect you. I happen to push past it and learn to love my culture as a Nigerian. It makes me want to make sure if there's a nine year old who's coming from Nigeria, she never has to feel embarrassed about where she came from.

Hear the full interview at the audio link above.

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