That Time I Met Christina Brown and How Blogs Make Racial Isolation Easier

For years I have been a blog lurker. I  would creep and not comment. When this here blog took off and I realized how important comments were I became dedicated to commenting and engaging… except for on one blog.

I would read Christina’s blog and be awe struck with her confidence and poise and rarely felt like I had anything worth saying… but I read, faithfully.

Living in small town (read: WHITE) Siloam Springs is rough on me. I feel so isolated. I get tired of being asked, “what are you?” I know what they mean. I have Carmel skin, almond eyes, and kinky/wavy hair. I look like I could be an ItalianMexicanNativeSpanishHawaiianican. And though I have a diverse mix of ethnicities in my genes, I was raised as a Black person. I am a Black woman- African American if you want to come correct.  I get tired of never seeing people who look like me, people who share my culture, people who understand how hard it can be being… well, Black.

I began reading other brown bloggers and their stories helped me to feel less isolated. Even if their latest post  was *just* about the latest fashion, I felt like I was plugging in to a collective: beautiful Black women celebrating being Black. SO when I saw Christina Brown at Blogher ’12 I about lost it. I watched her, like a creeper, for a couple of hours. I’d see her interact with people and then I’d just casually walk by. I wanted to say something but then I couldn’t. Christina is a fashion blogger. Christina is a badass fashion blogger. How could I express this thing that she gave me without sounding so weird.

I saw Christina at The People’s Party standing with a group of beautiful women. “Now or never,” I thought. So I awkwardly smiled and then introduced myself. I explained to her that reading her blog and following her on Facebook had expanded my world. It helped me feel less isolated the community where gentrification left me isolated from the people that I most identified with. I burst in to tears, I rambled on about “not feeling Black enough, but not being White enough for the White people…” After my small speech, I inhaled and half expected a “this girl is outta her damn mind” look, but instead Christiana nodded her headed knowingly. “This is why I blog, ” she said, “because blogging connects people.” Blogging makes the world bigger and smaller at the same time. Blogging helps people expand and learn about things they’d otherwise never experience. Blogging can also bring two worlds together and create a connection. Christina was as lovely in person as she is online and I was thankful to meet her.

CeCe, Me, and Christina

 

Because of LBS this woman in Siloam Springs, Arkansas has a little piece of Harlem and my isolation isn’t so frightening. Interested in following Christina’s adventures? Find her on Facebook, Twitter, or check out her blog (and leave a comment!)

 

Comments

  1. Blogher 11′ connected me to some of my favorite bloggers as well. Since Blogher is so huge, it can sometimes be overwhelming, but all of the bloggers were just as sweet as Christina was to you. I’m happy blogging has made you feel powerful and connected to others like you. Beautiful post! Happy Blogging! :-)

    • It really is a powerful aspect of Blogher, the way we are able to connect with people we admire so much. I did meet some assholes… but I think for the most part people were approachable and receptive.

  2. punkymama says:

    I am so glad you had this experience. You are amazing. Everyday I am more and more happy we spent time together!

  3. I am so looking forward to us both being done with school and moving to somewhere new. Somewhere we can be around more than one color on the spectrum. I am even ok if it pushes to the other side of the spectrum where I am the lone ranger. The black community is just fun.

  4. I adore you. The end.

  5. Funny that you mention lurking and not commenting, because that’s exactly how I’ve been on your blog for a long time! I’m a friend of Sadie’s who has your blog book marked on the top of the list. I was nominated for the very inspiring blogger award and wanted to pay it forward and nominate you! I won’t get all sappy over here, but you can read about why I admire you so much over at my blog. http://katywins.wordpress.com/

    …and this whole exchange reads extremely awkward to me. Sorry about that.

    • I am going to go read. But I have to say that if you are a spammy spam bot your robot karma is going down the tubes if I click and get a virus ;)

  6. Jasmine!! OMG it was SO great meeting you. This post made me tear up – I’m so thankful for people like you! That have the courage to actually tell me that my posts make a difference and that they care. People who are vulnerable enough to be honest with me and let me know that I’m not blogging in a bubble! LOL – thank YOU so much for supporting me and for representing us fierce & fab AA curvy girls in places of isolation where our flyness is needed most :)

  7. I have people of color around me now, but I grew up in am all-white neighborhood for the early part of my life. I felt extremely isolated and didn’t even know how much until I had people that I could relate to around me. But in this racially charged time, I’m finding myself feeling cautious and isolated in my own condo building. You read your neighbors facebook postings and you wonder how you can inhabit the same space. Have you read any Danzy Senna? She wrote Caucasia and edited an anthology on growing up multi-ethnic. She’s A-mazing. It was so great meeting you at BlogHer!!! -Oneika

    • O! Thanks for stopping by! It was amazing too meet you as well… Seriously, you two are SO beautiful. I will have to pick it up!

  8. First time here but oh so sweet! Glad you got to connect like that and I can’t wait until Blogher ’13. It will be closer to us in Chicago….I’m in Memphis.

Comment Policy:Hey there! I love people that speak their mind. I even don't mind at all when people disagree with me... but this is a safe space, so don't be an asshole. Thanks, yo!

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