Brown Blogger in a Vanilla World: What It Means to Be an African-American Blogger in a Predominantly White Niche

19 Sep

we-got-kidz-mom-bloggerI’m a married, African-American, stay-at-home mommy with two little African-American preschoolers at home.

“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.

Why?

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 lifestylewe got kids writer editor 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.

25 Responses to “Brown Blogger in a Vanilla World: What It Means to Be an African-American Blogger in a Predominantly White Niche”

  1. Karen Patten July 19, 2015 at 11:52 AM #

    I’m SO glad to see this! As I started my blog, I actively sought out diverse blogs that were in or close to my niche and had such trouble finding any. You blog is NEEDED! We need to hear your voice and see your family! Thank you for writing 🙂

  2. Michelle October 20, 2014 at 8:36 PM #

    You got girl! You are blessed to be able to stay at home, most women of color have no choice. Keep doing what you do. You think YOU feel alone in your niche. You should check out my site! Take care of your family and keep blogging!

  3. Chelsea August 10, 2014 at 3:52 PM #

    I am so happy to have found this post! I too am an African American SAHM of twins, but I do fall into the stereotype of being young and unmarried. I think it is important for us to share our story. To give light to the positive side of motherhood in the black community! Thanks for sharing this post, Kesha, and being a role model for so many black female bloggers like myself! Continue to do you, girl!

  4. Courtney Conover June 6, 2014 at 7:46 PM #

    Beautiful. Well, not so much the statistics you’ve mentioned; but, rather, the way in which you’ve addressed this issue…

    As an African American SAHM mom, I can relate.

    Thank you for this post, and congratulations on your BlogHer award.

  5. Lisa Marshall-Owen May 5, 2014 at 6:40 PM #

    I just found this post on Blogher (CONGRATULATIONS!!!) and I’m so glad that I did! I couldn’t agree more. I, too, am an African American SAHM blogger and yes, there is a bit of a lack of diversity. Keep on blogging!

    • wegotkidz May 17, 2014 at 7:56 PM #

      Thanks Lisa!! We just have to capitalize on that lack of diversity and represent for brown girls everywhere. Thanks for reading! 🙂 P.S. Stop by my little corner of the web when you get a moment so we can connect: http://www.wegotkidz.com

  6. Monica September 14, 2013 at 3:13 AM #

    Glad I found your blog! I can totally relate to where you are coming from. Its always a pill for me when I have to explain to someone why my experience is different than their experience when it comes to being a woman of color. It just seems like people should just get it but for some reason they just don’t. Need more of our women to stand up, come together and realize the commonality among us and support our needs without all the shade and drama we tend throw at each other. Appreciate your post and much love! Definitely will follow.

    • Kesha Phillips September 15, 2013 at 8:40 PM #

      Right on Monica! It’s hard to sympathize with a situation you’ve never been in; but you hit the nail on the head by saying that supporting one another is the most important thing. Thanks for your comment!
      P.S. After you follow Helicopter Mom & Just Plane Dad, head over to WeGotKidz.com and follow me too! 😉

  7. Lexie Lane August 20, 2013 at 12:27 PM #

    Great post! Being Asian in a predominantly white community can be tricky too. So I totally relate. Of course I also live in a community where it seems almost every household with small children have nannies. If you get what I mean. I haven’t got one for many reasons but … this post just creates a whirlwind in my head. Like Erinn says, “well put!”

    • Kesha Phillips August 20, 2013 at 5:50 PM #

      Thank you! Lexie, I’ve never even thought of that perspective. You’ve opened my eyes a bit too. I think being a minority of ANY type would come with it’s extra challenges and responsibilities in this particular field we’re in. Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  8. Erinn S August 19, 2013 at 9:38 PM #

    Well put. We read blogs for the posts after all and we need that corner no one else has touched on before..so carry on!! I follow

  9. Sonia August 13, 2013 at 7:48 PM #

    Great post Kesha! I noticed that right off the bat when I got started blogging, but after a while, I just got use to it. Now I see more black women bloggers and black bloggers period. Are they awarded the same attributes like our counterparts? Yes and no, but I think any blogger can take their blog to heights they never have imagined.

    Thankfully I have never faced any drama behind it; I just treat people like they want to be treated and be myself. Will my blog be more popular than the next person? Who knows, but I can’t worry about that like I use to years ago, but I will admit, I love seeing more black females dive in and get their message out too. We’re all women at the end of the day, so I throw my support to any women trying to make it in this business we call blogging.

    • Kesha Phillips August 13, 2013 at 8:20 PM #

      Hey Sonia! Agreed, agreed, agreed!! It’s not something that I choose to focus on either, but I do think it needs to be addressed; and I’m so glad C.Lee gave me the platform and the opportunity to do it! 🙂

  10. YUMMommy August 11, 2013 at 3:01 PM #

    Lack of positivity surrounding African Americans and family in the media is one of the reasons I started blogging as well. We aren’t always portrayed as good parents or spouses. I have to admit that as time goes on I’m glad to be seeing more moms and people of color in get into blogging and showing what we are really like. We don’t all have a drug habit or go around stealing. And it’s nice to be able to contribute to the shattering of the many stereotypes out there by blogging and allowing others into the world of being an African American.

    • Kesha of We Got Kidz August 11, 2013 at 3:32 PM #

      EXACTLY!!! I’m glad to see it too. We can knock down a lot of myths and preconceived ideas together! 🙂

  11. Natasha August 10, 2013 at 12:21 PM #

    Great post!!!! It’s so true, there are very few African-American mommy bloggers out there. I’ve never truly considered that in the past, but you do make an interesting point. Being a single mom, I fall into what I call the “statistic”. It’s almost expected that me being an African-American mom that I would also be a single mom. Your blog is beautiful to see and your post is equally as beautiful. Great, great post!

    • Kesha of We Got Kidz August 10, 2013 at 12:48 PM #

      My hat goes off to you single momma! I wonder every day how you guys manage it all. It takes true strength and wherewithal. Thank you for the love on the post! I truly felt C. Lee was pretty awesome for allowing me to use her blog as a platform on this subject. 🙂

  12. Jean August 10, 2013 at 11:14 AM #

    I have thought before about how many bloggers out there seem similar but I honestly never thought of it from this perspective.

  13. Stephanie August 9, 2013 at 10:41 AM #

    Wow, that was a very powerful post with a lot of thought in it. Thank you. Your blog looks like a lot of fun, so I signed up 🙂

  14. Denise August 8, 2013 at 11:48 PM #

    I never really thought about the demographics of bloggers before. Weird.

  15. Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad August 8, 2013 at 7:18 PM #

    Thank you Kesha, for the wonderful guest post.

    • Kesha of We Got Kidz August 8, 2013 at 8:20 PM #

      I appreciate you having me! It was a topic that I never would have thought to touch on otherwise. Glad you brought that out of me! lol

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