Who Are Washington's Black Bloggers?

Photo by smata2 / "Washington DC U Street Corridor Wed 15 Feb 2012 (178)"

I've spent the past seven years immersed in DC life, living first in graduate housing at the school that I moved here to attend, and later in Adams Morgan -- the neighborhood that I now call home. Over the course of these years, I've wanted to write about the cultural, class and social stratification that exists here. As a Black woman transplanted from the Midwest, I've found it extremely difficult to ignore the palpable divide that obviously exists between African American and white people in this town. Go to any restaurant and you'll be hard pressed to find black folks and white folks eating together; instead, you'll find pockets of young-ish black folks existing alongside pockets of young-ish white folks. Observe the demographics of workers in the service industries and you'll find that most service and blue collar workers are black or Latino. In fact, as I write this, it occurs to me that I've never, ever seen a white bus driver or sanitation worker.

After finishing two graduate degrees and deciding to wait a year or two before submitting applications to Ph.D. programs, I thought I'd lean a bit more into my writing hobby. I thought it might be interesting to start a "hyper-local" blog about Black life in Washington, DC -- (I know, I know ... they say blogging is dead... but I don't care) -- but struggled with the idea because I was absolutely sure that there must be dozens of blogs about African American life in this region. After all, DC was once known as "Chocolate City" and continues to be a mecca for African American activism, intellectualism and creativity. Why wouldn't there be a glut of black hyperlocal blogs in operation here?

I searched and searched, but mostly came up empty. I found a few Black fashion blogs by DC-based fashionistas, a blog that follows headlines associated with the Congressional Black Caucus, and a couple of others, but nothing that could be considered a hyperlocal news site. Quite ironically, the number of blogs maintained by white writers was nearly impossible to avoid. There's even a story on the Washington Post that pays homage to DC's hyperlocal blogosphere, an homage that doesn't name a single blogger of color.

It seems to me that there's room for another perspective in the DC blogosphere-- one that explores the complexities that arise when living here as a Black person, and as a Black woman, and as someone who isn't part of the affluent class. I'd like to do justice to that perspective via this website. Perhaps, in the process, I'll find out where in this city the other writers of color are hiding.