The Chills at Will Podcast podcast

Episode 171 with Danielle Prescod, Fashion Publishing Standout and Writer of the Moving, Reflective, and Honest Token Black Girl

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Episode 171 Notes and Links to Danielle Prescod’s Work


    On Episode 171 of The Chills at Will Podcast, Pete welcomes  Danielle Prescod, and the two discuss, among other things, Danielle’s voracious reading as an adolescent and beyond, issues of body image in school and in the fashion world, her work in the fashion publishing world and how her personal experiences as recounted in her enthralling and enlightening Token Black Girl can be seen as microcosmic in relation to larger societal issues of racism, fatphobia, and misogyny.


     Danielle Prescod is an author, content creator, and journalist. She is also a fifteen-year veteran of the beauty and fashion industry and a graduate of NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. A lifelong fashion obsessive, she was most recently the style director of Her book, Token Black Girl, is part memoir, part narrative nonfiction and an exploration of the ways that modern media can influence one’s self-esteem.

Buy Token Black Girl


Danielle Prescod's Website


From Marie Claire: #Read with MC Review of Token Black Girl

At about 7:00, Danielle talks about her prodigious reading and love of reading as a kid. 


At about 8:50, Danielle describes the feeling of seeing her book out in the world


At about 10:00, Danielle charts some of that early reading-a lot of YA-Judy Blume, Pascal, V.C. Andrews, etc.


At about 11:30, Pete asks Danielle about how she sees her childhood reading in hindsight, and she talks about ideas of representation and references a powerful quote from Tracee Ellis Ross


At about 13:25, Danielle highlights Marley Dias and her incredibly impressive #1000blackgirlbooks project


At about 16:20, Danielle talks about 2020 and the high amount of anti-racism books that came to prominence and how the white mainstream as an audience 


At about 17:55, Danielle speaks to the seeds for her career in fashion, and her love of writing and magazines


At about 19:35, Pete lays out the book’s introduction and he and Pete and Danielle discuss her focus on a 2003 magazine cover that was emblematic of ideas of erasure of women of color


At about 21:20, The definitions and explanations of a “token white girl” are explained; Danielle speaks to assimilation and indoctrination as described in the book; Danielle talks about the “limiting” binary of racism


At about 23:40, Danielle explains a “pretty naive concept” she had as a younger person 


At about 25:25, Danielle talks about racism when falsely viewed through a “nice/mean” dichotomy and the injurious effects of this mindset


At about 28:40, Pete cites moving examples of racism experienced by Danielle’s grandfather and asks her about how his experiences and her parents’ experiences led to the ways she and her sister were raised and taught


At about 30:10, Danielle responds to Pete’s questions about racism and the ostensibly liberal environments she grew up in


At about 33:45, Pete highlights Danielle’s poetic language with a few examples regarding white supremacy and a fitting citing of Dubois; Danielle speaks to ideas of pressures in “representing” Black people


At about 35:10, The two discuss Danielle’s early environment at NYLON-and the greater societal environment- and how it affected her


At about 38:00, Danielle speaks to allure of fashion and its attendant issues 


At about 40:00, Danielle gives an standout explanation of “fashion theory” and connects it to human history 


At about 43:20, Danielle and Pete discuss a pivotal scene from the book that deals with discussions on body image in a college class of hers


At about 44:50, Danielle responds to Pete’s questions about connections between problematic societal body image issues and features and media coverage and ideas of stakeholders 


At about 48:00, Pete compliments Danielle’s depictions and personal story


At about 49:10, Pete refers to a particularly egregious example of racism experienced by Danielle


At about 49:55, Danielle speaks to the “psychological warfare” of the publishing/fashion worlds, and its similarities to high school dramas, and she Pete discuss how society and these worlds often mirror each other


At about 51:00, Pete is highly complimentary of Danielle’s honesty in her book and Danielle speaks about what she might tell her younger self and other younger people about ways to find more peace


At about 54:40, Pete and Danielle reflect on ideas of perpetuating racism through societal norms


At about 55:55, Danielle shares edifying reader feedback she’s gotten regarding the book


At about 56:35, Danielle shares an exciting future project she’s working on


At about 58:20, Danielle provides social media and contact info 

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  Please tune in for Episode 172 with Robert Lopez. He is author of three novels, including Kamby Bolongo Mean River—named one of 25 important books of the decade by HTML Giant, All Back Full, two story collections, and a novel-in-stories, A Better Class Of People. The LA Times wrote, "Lopez has the ability to give readers whiplash with his unconventional and bewitching stories." 

The episode will air on March 24.

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