Why I Need To Go To A Blogging While Brown Conference

I’d like to share a couple of mentions I got this week, both on the same day. The first was from a post by my buddy Steve Borek, who credits me for convincing him to start blogging, titled The First Step Is The Hardest To Take. The second is from Ileane Smith‘s site Basic Blog Tips, where Lisa Sicard wrote a compilation piece based on advice as to why Twitter is great for marketing titled Twitter For Blogging – 15 Reasons It’s Proven Powerful. Go check them both out, as both articles are excellent.

Street art: 1968 Olympics Black Power (human rights) salute
Melbourne Streets Avant-garde
via Compfight

This coming weekend I’ll be going to my first ever non-medical billing conference. It’s called the Blogging While Brown, and it’s a conference for people of color who blog, this year being held in Washington D.C. I’m hoping it’s a lot of fun and educational at the same time, and my buddy Yasmin Shiraz is the only person I definitely know who’s going to be there.

Some of you might ask why there’s a need for a specific conference for people of color. After all, aren’t we all supposed to be one with each other?

Actually, that would be very nice, but unfortunately it’s still pretty much a pipe dream in America. This past week was more proof that there’s a problem with race and that each side blames the other, to the point that I’ve changed my overall outlook on life as I know it and can’t see any time in the near future where we’re all going to get along with each other.

This isn’t a new thought that’s just come to me. After all, I wrote this post back in April on my business blog and created the video below yesterday:


https://youtu.be/HuJM0v5TQtY

I also created this video in April asking if we could all get along… y’all know that answer…


https://youtu.be/KBo2AFW47kI

I took a tough position on the blog post and kind of a tough position in the second video but not in the first. With the second video I took the position where I said that if we ever hope to overcome the issues we have with race, the police and anything else we can’t agree on we’re going to have to sit down and have a legitimate conversation with each other.

I’m of the opinion that there are really only two ways to solve issues permanently; one is by talking to each other, the other is by totally eliminating every single person who’s unwilling to try to find common ground so all that’s left is a lot of people who agree with each other. However, I’m thinking that second idea is fairly problematic, probably unattainable, and pretty much horrific so I’ll stick with the talking option. 🙂

Unfortunately I don’t see it happening any time soon. I’ve had to block or move a lot of people around who don’t seem to understand the issues or feelings of people like me. People who want to blame President Obama for a mess that’s been going on for almost 400 years are clueless. People who want to blame the Black Lives Movement are clueless. People who want to post stuff like All Lives Matter are pollyanna.

I know the question those who visit this blog want to ask; what’s this got to do with blogging or social media? Everything!

The posts of mine that get the fewest views or comments on my business blog are those that talk about race or diversity issues. Unless I’m addressing freedom of speech, the articles on this blog that get the least amount of traffic are those on social issues. I know few people who write on topics like these when mixed with other topics like those I write about. I’m kind of an anomaly; as if y’all didn’t already know that.

I’m not close to the radical some people might think I am. What I am is someone with a social conscious on a few issues that I feel the need to bring up from time to time. True, it might not necessarily always be good for business, but if that’s the only thing you care about then you’re not really a blogger but an entrepreneur.

Nothing wrong with that because not everyone is expected to stand up for something they believe in. After all, if you don’t stand up for something you’ll fall for anything, and it’ll probably be something negative.

Mark
Christoph Boecken via Compfight

That’s why I’m going to this conference. I don’t expect the topics to have all that much to do with race and I’m good with that; heck, I might be elated if none of it comes up. I’m even expecting to find people who don’t agree with a lot of other things I happen to like.

What I do know is that, for once, I won’t be an “only” at a conference, or one of the “chosen few” who shows up and spends most of my time alone because I didn’t fit in. Sometimes you just want to feel as though you’re part of a crowd where you actually possibly belong.

Four and a half years ago I started a series that I ran for 19 Fridays in a row called Black Web Friday. My intention was to bring websites and blogs that were created and written by black people into the public conscious because I’d been to too many sites that talked about the top 25, 50 or 100 whatever and never seen a single black face on the page. When I asked one writer about it she said ‘I don’t know any black bloggers.”

I felt it was important then to try to help bring some publicity to people who deserved it. I still think it’s important to do while acknowledging that it’s more difficult to find these days. Goodness, it’s difficult to find people in general who are creating new content on their own; even I can’t find that many anymore, which is another great reason to go to this conference.

If you’ve made it this far into the article, I first want to thank you for that. However, I’d like to ask a favor of you, if I may. If you know of any black bloggers you’ve found on your own, please share their name and link in the comment section of this post.

I have to warn you, if you post a link like you normally would your comment is going to spam. Please leave off the “http://www” part of the link so you won’t go to spam, because I think my program sometimes totally bounces some folk who try to post a full link. I’m curious to see who others might put down who I might not already know or who I might not have highlighted before. This could be an interesting experiment; I’ll hope to be pleasantly pleased. 🙂

If you don’t know any don’t fret; I’m sure I’ll be able to share a lot of names and folk with you after I get back next weekend. In the meantime, let’s try to be nice to each other for a while… please?
 

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Sunday Question – What Is Your Pride Worth?

Last week a young man in this area was sentenced to 20 years to life in jail for killing someone. As his defense, he stated that he shot the other person because he looked at him wrong, and that challenged his pride. His actual words were “He gave me a look and wasn’t givin’ me my props.”

Whether one wants to use the word “pride”, “props”, or “disrespected”, life in some areas of this country can be violent over the stupidest stuff. People who know me now don’t believe I used to do things like this, but I used to park my car in certain places where I knew it would be safe when I was younger and go for walks in areas that were deemed a bit dangerous by others. I saw a lot of stuff and never engaged anyone directly, but I thought I was prepared.

Thing is, you learned some rules back then, which are different rules than today. You made sure you maintained eye contact with people back then. If you looked away before you got to the person, that was a sign of disrespect. You didn’t look down while walking towards someone, and you certainly didn’t cross the street, which, I have to say, was the major mistake of white people who walked through dangerous neighborhoods where they shouldn’t have been.

Of course, the opposite was true if I decided to walk through a dangerous white neighborhood, which I only did once before deciding that was an unwarranted risk. You never looked them in the eye, and you kept your hands in your pockets; you know why.

In the business world, pride takes on a much different form. All of us want to be recognized for the positive things we do, but sometimes we don’t get the respect that we deserve, or believe we deserve. When that happens, there are usually a few things that happen. One, someone will try to make another person look bad. Two, people stop caring and sabotage themselves. Three, people notice how others get noticed and either start copying that, or will steal from them and present the work of others as their own; kind of like my rant on web courtesy last week. Or four, they start looking for something else and then will leave.

And then there’s five, which is to do nothing. For the most part, doing nothing stinks. You say “I’m just going to go about my business, do my job, and go home.” That works, but only for so long. It’s hard for almost all of us to just let things keep going badly for us. We don’t deserve to have to keep tolerating stuff that’s not fair. Some of us find calm ways to deal with it. Others decide to get a gun and take out an entire office, or at least those people who got on our nerves. I’m assuming y’all have kept up on this Amy Bishop story, right?

Anyway, there are so many degrees of how we all react when our pride has been attacked in some fashion. This is a two part question for this week. One, how do you react to having your pride attacked; two, how would you like to react to having your pride attacked if you could get away with it. I know the second part is scary, but hey, you’re among friends. lol

Andy Warhol Cars 2010 Small Engagement Calendar






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