Letter From The Editor
It’s been three years since we’ve been on the scene, and the world changes that have occurred have undoubtedly changed the purpose of this site. As where we were a vehicle of support to black artists, merchants, and a supplier of little known black history facts, our purpose has since broadened.
Over the last year, I’ve had time to think about why I started this site in the first place. In 2007, the the primary websites geared toward black interests focused solely on entertainment, and I wanted to create an alternative to those sites. Now, in this post-Obama world, many new sites have appeared that are geared towards black interests, and are challenging us to think critically. Nonetheless, the Internet is littered with sites that use the term “Black” in their descriptions that promote stereotypes, gossip, and focus on the lives of the celebrity. I’m not complaining about these sites one bit; they serve the purpose of entertaining us and it is their drama-filled content that keeps us coming back for more. But what many of these sites showcase, coupled with what mainstream media puts out, make me ponder what “Black” means in 2010.
For so long in America, the issue of race was bounced between two entities: black and white. Now, with our first biracial president in office and the growth of technology bringing the whole world into our lives within seconds, the issue of race is more colorful and less tense. We now live in a world where multiracial dating is a norm, people of all races have amassed wealth and success, and the current generation thinks less about color and more about character. We’ve come a long way.
What has also progressed are the types of images of Black people in the media. This new imagery, however, remains steeped in our collective “old” story of group victimization, degradation, and just plain old “less than the rest” thinking. The mammy and the archetypal slave figure have been replaced by the gold-digger and the hustler, and the by-product of these is a veil of mistrust between many black men and women. We struggle to work and pray together; we no longer stand together to further our common goals as our ancestors did; we’ve progressed too far to need each other or support one another; we finger point and blame the other side for our collective failures and none of this brings us any closer to healing and understanding one another. Furthermore, our behavior reinforces the stereotypes that are all too familiar in the characterization of Black Americans all over the world. People assume they know what to expect the moment they come in contact with us. This should change.
So here we are – Black Is: Dedicated to the Black Experience – a site concerned with unpacking, revising, redefining, and creating what this word “Black” means to the people who exist under its umbrella. Not only will we continue to be a purveyor of black artistry and business, but we will also delve into further understanding who we are through our shared and varied experiences. It is my hope that all people will join in the conversation so that a collective understanding of who we are, and where we’re going won’t be written for us because it’s already been written by us.
Let’s keep making history.