Every month I will highlight a Black artist, form of entertainment, business, or social media personality to help to spread awareness of Black Excellence. Be sure to check here on the 2nd of every month!
I admit that before I started my own site I didn't frequent blogs too much. I had this mindset that all blogs do is make up stories about celebrities, and honestly I didn't (don't) care about that. Once I decided to start blogging myself, however, I started researching and found that there are blogs out there that do more than just speculate on if Beyonce is pregnant. I found and have met a number of bloggers who talk about issues on their sites; people who can talk about both pop culture and police brutality and still maintain fairly large followings. This month I want to highlight a number of "Blogs With a Purpose" to show that "The Ratchedemic" is not alone in what it does, and to pass on the valuable info behind these blogger's words.
The first of these "Blogs With a Purpose" is myblackmindd. Brandon Patterson started his blog following Michael Brown's murder as a way to share his thoughts on that and other issues that affect our community. Thanks to his success Brandon has been able to move beyond just his blog and write for news outlets like NBCBLK and Politic365. Perhaps they were intrigued by the way that Brandon analyzes the dynamics of race, gender, and class in social issues, politics and pop culture, or maybe they just loved the perspective that this Howard Sociology major brings to the table. Regardless of the reasoning, between his blog and his other writings Brandon's goal to encourage Black people to love themselves and challenge anti-Blackness in all its forms seems quite achievable. Check out one of Brandon's popular posts, "3 Things I Get Out of My HBCU Experience That You Can't Get at a PWI" and see what makes myblackmindd so intriguing.
Speaking of HBCU based articles, you can hardly bring the topic up without thinking of @Anti_Intellect, the mind behind The Anti Intellect Blog and the website Gifted and Ratchet. If you come across the HBCU vs. PWI debate on social media, you can bet that this FAMU alum is somewhere in the mix. His tireless efforts to get other Black people to value Blackness, particularly the Blackness that created and is created by the HBCU experience make him a very popular advocate for Black spaces. Anti's research on the many accolades of the nation's HBCUs make him a wellspring of information for anyone who wants to understand the value of these institutions, and also gives him a unique perspective on the ways in which we downplay and devalue HBCUs without even noticing. One of his posts, "White Liberal Concocts Plan to Send 'Poor' Black Kids to Harvard", gives an example of how that perspective calls our everyday "triumphs" into question.
Moving away from HBCU advocacy and into another form of promoting Blackness, we have The Dark Fantastic, a website that documents the existence and importance of speculative fiction and young adult/children's lit written for and by people of color. As you already know this is something very near and dear to my heart, so I am very grateful for this site and its purpose. Another FAMU alum, Dr. Ebony Thomas, also known as @EbonyTeach, created The Dark Fantastic to highlight the contributions of Black writers to the world of speculative fiction, and to provide valuable scholarship on what these works can do for young Black students who look to see themselves reflected in what they read. Her blog provides academic articles that explore the existence of The Dark Fantastic in both literature and popular culture, and of course addresses the existence of people of color in mainstream speculative works. One post, "Why Is Rue a Little Black Girl?" gives a perfect example of why the representation of people of color in literature, movies, and our lives is so important.
The "Boss Lady" Miss Christina Kanu has made a name for herself as a proponent of leadership skills and guidance. From undergrad education to her current studies at Clark Atlanta University, her belief that everyone is a leader and has the ability to change the world has made her a sought after counselor, motivational speaker and leadership guru. Christina's website serves to help guide people to the leadership roles they can reach by showing them the best way to achieve and maintain leadership roles. Armed with new and innovative techniques for leadership development and a bright and helpful personality, Christina seeks to "Save the world, one leader at a time" through her website. By asking questions like "Who is Your Support Team?" Christina will also easily achieve her goal of combining commentary on social issues and current events with leadership information to empower people throughout the world.
Continuing along the train of motivation and leadership we come to the website LifeVersation. Lemzel Johnson, an alum of Tougaloo College created this website to simply start conversations about issues that influence and affect our lives. Each week Lemzel brings a different twist to a life topic and highlights one of the values, the mission or the vision of his website. By providing motivational talks, books and training classes about good character LifeVersation and Lemzel hope to motivate pro-activeness through life principles. One such life principle Lemzel highlights is making "Controlled Choices", but with new posts every week LifeVersation keeps adding new topics to the conversation about living a motivated life.
The final "Blog With a Purpose" is known as The Honeycomb Edition. Another Tougaloo alum by the name of Ashlea Brandon has created this fly, funky, and fresh website as a communal experience that retains cultural advancement. What The Honeycomb Edition does that makes it stand out is that Ashlea seeks to draw from past Black experiences and relate them to current generations. From heritage to the arts to civics, by showing progress from "then" to "now" The Honeycomb Edition sifts through current struggles and ensures that our presence in the past is never forgotten. Though The Honeycomb Edition is probably the "baby" of this bunch of blogs, by making connections like "Marvin Gaye and His Contribution to the African-American Oral Tradition", it proves to be a welcome addition to the group.