Welcome to the #BlackBlogsMatter challenge! For the next 28 days, my posts will not (necessarily) be about HR, Leadership or Management topics.
Blogging while Black creates pressure to use the very best grammar and syntax so you’re viewed as intelligent. You feel pressure not to feed into any stereotypes.
You worry how you’ll be received and judged based on your name — will people think your name is “too Black” or “not Black enough”? You worry how you’ll be received and judged based on your appearance for the same reasons.
You are excited to discover other Black people in your blogging space. Most times, there aren’t that many. You hope to find friendship and kinship with them. Often, you meet amazing people. Just as often, you meet people who are super talented — but unwilling to share space or opportunity with you. Because we’re conditioned to think we cannot all make it, we compete more than cooperate. Or we’re indifferent to each other because there is no clear benefit and we think we cannot afford to make too many waves.
You struggle to find balanced voice when speaking about topics of discrimination and inclusion. You don’t want to come on too strong and alienate readers. You don’t want to be so soft that you fail to address the real lapses and lack in this area. You don’t want to avoid the topics altogether to avoid taking any kind of position. You don’t want readers to view your voice as that of all Black people. You don’t want to talk about these issues all the time, even though there is enough going on in the world right now to make it possible. You don’t want to skip the topics altogether because you have thoughts and ideas to share. Overthinking at times leads to analysis paralysis.
When you shake from that, you feel a different pressure. Pressure to do and say something meaningful. Pressure to make sure your voice on these topics gets heard in your space. Pressure to get your thoughts out for people to read. Pressure to encourage and help others do the same. Pressure to matter.
That pressure feels unlike anything you’ve ever felt before. And you know you have to press forward, beyond your anxieties, fears and worries, to keep creating and keep helping others do the same. You brace yourself for whatever comes next. You trust the good will outweigh the bad as you push yourself to do things you never thought you would or could.
Tune in tomorrow for Day 2 — Dear White People