In the end, we all learn to start screaming–just like we do at the beginning of our lives. We scream and cry before we ever talk to express what it is we need. In being a minority and desiring to be heard, we do same thing. Being any minority and attempting to be heard requires a special level of tenacity. This is one of the reasons why protecting and preserving a platform (such as a blog, podcast or a website) is imperative: we make more noise with the more people we get to rally with us!
I am thrilled organizations like Black Bloggers United, Brown Bloggers United and The Bronze Hustle exist (all can be found on Facebook). These are just a sample of those platforms that I engage with personally and on a daily, if not a weekly basis, which champion my voice, push me to do better, and give me help to determine what direction to go next.
In securing a platform, be open and observant to those around you whom you can reach back and help! Issa Rae, the creator of Awkward Black Girl, and HBO’s Insecure, says it this way, “Look around you and see who is hungry.” Centering minority voices cannot go forward unless you look around you to see who is hungry, whom is working as hard as you are, and whom you feel or know if y’all combined forces, or if you opened the door for them, what they contribute would only add to the overall vision and power of your platform.
You have to be willing to protect what you are building, and realize you cannot build alone. When we work together, we can be quicker and more efficient than we ever could alone. What makes this such an art is the fact we build in the face of a societal sphere which wants us all to conform or give up. It abhors aberrations to what is deemed safe (read: white) and appropriate. When a minority begins to make noise and it’s presence known as it relates to our voices–we will either get allies or backlash. Rarely is there a neutral parties.
There is nothing wrong with seeing who is hungry around you and building. What also makes this such a an art is the believe that you are able to trust who you are building with. You cannot have a crab in a basket mentality when it comes to this concept. Don’t make the row harder to hoe because you believe someone is going to steal from you.
We have more together, than we do apart and it costs nothing to ask someone to feature on your blog. It costs nothing to open your podcast up once you get it how you want it. It costs nothing to recognize the hustle in someone else. The world outside of us seems not to, we can no longer afford to do that to one another.
[images by Google]