Nichelle introduces herself, and mentions her blog starting through culture mailings she used to do and gothamist
and how she co-curated the wizzydigs series, where in NYC, bloggers get up and perform different art related to their blogs. She and Liza got together to form brownbloggers.com, with other Africa-Americans throughout the country. Nichelle wants to see how blogging can be used to expose myths about African-Americans and represent African-Americans in ways they are not traditionally represented.
Laina introduces herself- she is from Canada and is a journalist, on top of running her own blog. She looks for representation of African Canadian in the news and cannot find it and works towards anti-racism and trying to create a community between African Americans and African Canadians. She notes that stories about her community are never in the media, and when she pitches to news networks, she is told it is 'too angry', even though 50% of the population of Toronto are people of color. She also notes that she wants more Canadian African readers to see her site and know there is a culture of people who are interested in social and political issues.
Nichelle looked up topics on technorati such as LeShawn Broswell's murdered body being found in the NYC subway a few months ago and found that blogs covered the news of this situation more than the networks did. She also praises her cousin-in-law, who blogged at the DNC and RNC last year, who claims not to want to be the Spook, and encourages everyone to begin blogging. Her cousin, maddemocrat.blogspot.com
, also has a blog about politics.
She poses the question to the group- how do you think your race and sexual persuasion affects what you blog about? She says that her blog is primarily about her personality and enjoying life, but also writes about social and political things that bother her, such as Luther Vandross passing, and the voter registration drive of P. Diddy in the last election.
An audience member, Gina from outonthestoop.blogspot.com
, tries to tell people what blogging is but people don't understand blogging. She also says that she doesn't tell people that she is black on her blog and that when people find out, they are extremely surprised. Laina says her blog is the exact opposite- everyone knows she's black, and she wants people to know that we don't live in a color-blind society. She mentions a report she did on her blog about "the runaway bride" and how she blamed her abduction on a Hispanic man and that many black women are missing, but don't get help or attention from the national media. Comingoutcolored
discussed the fact that the Harvard Implicit Attitude Test says that people feel "safer" with a white face, and that she and some of her readers preferred the black face, but there was nowhere to mention that. She also says that having a space to connect with others on stories that aren't being told is critical.Liza
says that her blog is not a 'race blog' or 'black blog', but she does want people to know she is a Puerto Rican black woman. She discusses her conversation with Marco
, who told her that it doesn't matter if writers are black, or Hispanic (or women?), it's about if you are a good writer. Liza thinks it's about giving attention to people who don't necessarily have the hits. Halley
says that people don't like when she is writing about hip-hop (or divorce!) on her blog (they want her to write about sex). She doesn't believe in being careful about what you write- it is more important to write about our truths and get truths out there for women.
says that she lost her job through blogging, and that when you are talking about "hot issues", you need to make people adjust to us, not adusting our writing to other people's needs, including companies.
Liza says that her big moment of blogging came out of a blog in which she compared Condi Rice to Sally Hemingway, and that it is memed all over the web.Chai
comments that when she moved from West L.A. to D.C., her professor, a black, gay, Yale-educated, man, taught her about how law is about who writes the law. One thing that came out of that class that she still considers is how, as a South Asian, she cannot feel abandoned by African Americans, Chicanos, and Asians. She discusses how after 9/11, South Asians were finally on the American shitlist, instead of African Americans, for the first time ever.
Nichelle gives an apology for the fact that it wasn't more inclusive in the title of the panel, and would love to include South Asians in her events and blogrolls, and that we don't want to make it an us vs. them dialogue. People agree that we need to work together, and recommends a book entitled "Black is a Country". Brownbloggers needs help spreading the word and wants to expand. Please join them.