...From a Sisterly Perspective...
I recently was at an event and I was taken aback at how many familiar brown faces I saw. For the first time the comments on our social media post were statements like, “hey I’m here too” or “I was hoping to run into you” instead of “where is this,” or “I wish I had known.”
The reason I was taken aback was because a year ago when we went to the same event there didn’t seem to be as many brown faces. While it may have been the marketing done by the event promoters, or the word spreading through social media, I’d like to think that Black Girl in the CLE had some impact as well.
For almost 2 years Black Girl in the CLE has been the place for exploring the events and places in Cleveland and that’s not something I take lightly. I am honored by all of your support, every blog post read, every click and open of our newsletter, every donation and every like, share and comment on social media.
I started Black Girl in the CLE for a few reasons. First because I had noticed that people would comment that they didn’t know about events that I had attended and shared on social media. The other reason was because I knew that our presence and our dollars matter. As Cleveland grows, new entertainment districts and events are coming and the only way to ensure that we weren’t closed out or overlooked was to make sure that we showed up.
The other side of that is to say that we as Black people want quality entertainment and to see our local entertainers at mainstream events downtown, on the West Side or in the Flats instead of only being able to support them at neighborhood or suburban venues or special “Black” events.
So what’s next
A lot actually. It’s time to grow and that’s where you come in. As you have helped me get out of my comfort zone to explore Cleveland, I want to help you. Somehow on this journey I have become known as some kind of an advocate for Black people and Black women especially. I have been asked to respond to local political issues or comment on issues affecting the Black Clevelander.
See some of the other conversations I’ve been a part of;
While I usually provide an answer I realize I’m not sharing the issues with you and amplifying your voices. So let’s fix that. I’m adding a section called Real Talk where we (you included) can have more real talk about our experiences as a Black Clevelanders. My hope is that it will be a space for dialogue and the opportunity to create the change we want to see in our community. Knowledge is power and we need to make sure we are in the loop.
Don’t worry Black Girl will continue to be a safe space for resources on the issues and our goal will remain to inform you not influence you your thinking. We will maintain our level headed no nonsense approach to avoid gas-lighting and triggering the heavy emotions that come with dealing with some of today’s issues.
Speaking of emotional triggers, another concern I have for us is our well being. If you’re like me you see all kinds of things in the news and on social media that trigger outrage, stress, anxiety and frustration. You already know that stress can cause all sorts of health issues so it’s time to look out of one another. I’ve created a new section called Take Care Sis where we will include tips and resources for self-care and well being.
Don’t worry, covering the events, festivals and cool things to do in Cleveland will always remain front and center so none of that will change. I just want to make sure we’re looking out for one another too.
How are we going to do all this?
Again, with your help and a few new bloggers. Seriously, write with us. Write for us. Your opinions, feelings and reflections matter. So many of you have told me countless times that you want to write but don’t know how or just can’t get started. So let’s do it together! You never know if something you write might be the thing someone else needs to get back on their feet, start taking better care of themselves or empowers them to do something great. Your words matters.
I will also be asking your thoughts on social media, as we begin to cover more issues your opinions matter. Vote on our polls, and leave comments. Have an opinion but don’t want to answer publicly? Send an e-mail or drop us a DM.
I just wanted to say that I am so grateful for all of your support as Black Girl in the CLE closes out another year. Look for more events, more bloggers and new adventures in Cleveland.