Last year, a fellow HR professional Sarah Morgan started the #BlackBlogsMatter movement to give rise to issues surrounding the black community. It was a challenge to get herself back into the blogging mindset but to also talk about (and have others contribute to) important matters surrounding race. While I did not find out about it until late 2017, in looking at the archives and hearing the buzz, it was a raving hit!
This year, she put forth the challenge again on Social Media. This challenge is entitled Black Blogs STILL Matter and the intent, much like last year, is to publish black blog posts on various topics over a 15 week period. Her call to action came right on time as I fumbled with what to do with my cobweb covered blog and my social media presence in general. I knew I had a voice and I needed to get back out there but I wasn't sure where to begin. Then I saw this:
It was like the wake-up call I didn't even know I needed. I decided to take the plunge and accept the challenge. I've been wanting to get my blogging feet wet again after being gone for far too long, this seemed like as good a time as any. But, as I thought about what I would write, I kept pondering the question...Do black blogs really matter?NEW POST— Sarah Morgan (@TheBuzzOnHR) January 22, 2018
There are a host of blogs on the web today. Any topic alive...there is a blog somewhere dedicated to it. Many voices and perspectives and angles are the driving forces behind these blog posts. Do we really need to highlight any one particular category? Do we need to put black blogs on front street for the world to see? The long and short of it is a resounding YES! We do!
You see, we (black people, in case you missed that point) face unique struggles in the workplace, as well as in the world. From people wanting to touch our hair, to feeling like we are too loud, too aggressive, too...I don't know...black? We are often overlooked, underpaid, and under-served. And even for those of us that maybe feel like you don't fall into the quagmire of blackness, let me be your wake-up call...you do. White people have a tendency to cut you down without you even knowing it. They do it with a smile, and a wink, and a pat on the back. With the "you are such an amazing asset, but our budget can't withstand giving you a raise", or the "We know you increased revenue two-fold and figured out a way to streamline our data processing times, but Bill has been with the company longer", the disparities exist.
The reasons Black Blogs matter is the same reason organizations such as NAAAHR, the The National Black MBA Association, and lesser known organizations such as the National Black Nurses Association exist. To give black people a voice. It is NOT to be divisive. It is NOT to start race wars. It is NOT because we are racist (as if THAT could be a thing!). It is because, far too often, black voices are shut down, belittled, talked over, to a point of non-existence. And with the way the world is going today, we need an even stronger voice to ensure we are heard. So, while I will still get back to blogging about all things HR and Workplace, I will also be contributing to the Black Blogs STILL Matter challenge, because I think it is not just important, but necessary.
I am looking forward to completing this challenge,...to being a meaningful contributor as well as an avid reader. I aspire to get to know my fellow bloggers, hear their stories, and understand what matters most to them. This is not just a singular challenge but a basis of community and you can't build that commonality by isolating oneself. So I plan to write and read and say "hi" and hope you will say "hi" back and that will be the tendril of flame that will spark an association, both online and who knows, maybe IRL one day.
And at the end of the day, I hope we will all take heed to Sarah's call to action because it's not JUST black blogs that matter, but black voices, black thoughts, black business, black...people.