Brown Blogger in a Vanilla World: What It Means to Be an African-American Blogger in a Predominantly White Niche
“Well whoopty-whoo,” I’m sure you’re saying. Well let’s take things just a step further. I happen to be a mommy blogger. I blog about my life, my husband, my crazy twin preschoolers, and just parenthood all around; and in this particular blogging genre, there don’t happen to be very many moms of um… my persuasion.
To put it bluntly: there just aren’t that many black ladies out there gabbing online about family and parenting.
Well, that has a sad – yet interesting – answer… but I’ll get to that in a second.
When my new friend C.Lee (the writer and editor of this here awesome blog) asked me to contribute this article, she asked me a question that I didn’t immediately have an answer to – a question that really made me stop and think.
Referencing the About Page on my blog, she wrote,
“I love your blog … [When reading through your page] I was immediately struck by your intro paragraph; particularly this sentence:
‘I’ve always felt that there was a huge void in regards to the depiction of fun and positive African American families within social media.’
“Why did this statement become a driving force for your blog?” she asked.
It occurred to me in that moment that there were probably many Caucasian fans and followers of mine who didn’t even consider my race when reading my posts and wondered why I needed to address it at all.
Well consider this:
Upwards of 80 percent of mom blogs out there are run by affluent, Caucasian, married women who have opted out of the workforce. According to US Census data, black women in general elect to work outside of the home in much larger numbers compared to their white counterparts – mainly because they have to.
A majority of African American children are born into single-parent homes; and statistically, black women are more likely to become teenage mothers, stay single, and have marriage instability. Not working is rarely considered an option for black women.
When you put all of this together, two things become apparent: One, black women as a whole just don’t have the time to sit in front of a computer and write at length about things like what diaper brand is better or the proper way to potty train a toddler; and two, a blog like mine is desperately NEEDED.
A majority of people’s assertions and perceptions are based off of what they see in the media, and unfortunately most of what you see of African-Americans in the media is negative. Little brown girls and single brown mothers NEED to see a positive parenting perspective. They NEED to see that it’s possible to exist in a healthy relationship and raise children together. They need to see the levity, they need to see the love; and that’s why my race is a factor in why I blog.
Am I some militant black woman who brings race up at the drop of a hat? Not at all. I don’t let my race define me, my blog, or how I write; but I do address it, I do embrace it, and I most definitely celebrate it – often using my nationality to enlighten others who only see my family as black first and people second.
So, why is my race one of the core reasons why I blog? Simply put… because it needs to be.
Author Bio: Kesha Phillips is currently a part time graphic artist and the full time writer and editor of the fun and fresh parenting and lifestyle guide WeGotKidz.com. There, you’ll find her sharing every aspect of her parenting journey which includes everything from hilarious family videos to her refreshing takes on what it means to raise children today. Kesha currently resides in Atlanta, GA with her lovely husband and twins Ari and Jaxon. Follow her on Twitter and like her on FaceBook.