You may remember back on a warm spring morning in April, my blog was born. She kept me in labor all night, then slipped into the world, squirmy and wet, demanding to be introduced to social networking. I named her Inside Out Loud, as she was hell bent on sharing her inner fears and struggles with anyone who happened to have an internet connection. My newborn blog got me thinking about that scary and powerful place where our private selves meet the public and we are forced to define who we are or be defined. As I refocus my blog in the coming weeks, that’s one thing that won’t change. The essential question is, and always will be, “Who am I?” by which I mean, of course, “Who are you?,” “Who are we?,” and most importantly, “Who is that guy on the corner who sits on a tipped over newspaper dispenser all day?”
I started my blog by writing about race and all the boxes I marked on the census. Then, I began to wander. I wrote about submission and love and recycling, my mother and Harlem and homosexuality. I made lists of things I didn’t get and things that made me smart. I even tried some poetry. It was fun and you played along, but I felt unfocused.
Then the other day, my blog spoke her first words. And you know what she said? Not mama. Not milk. No, she said, “Buy me a new domain name and get serious.” The ungrateful little brat. I thought she was just being demanding, but over the next few days I realized she was right. I have a lot to say, and I can go on and on about almost anything. But that isn’t the point of a blog, is it? I’d rather say something and say it well, than skim everything and get to the bottom of nothing.
My blog is now called White Girl in Black Face. The new name is part of my own evolution (as a blogger and a human) and it is meant to describe my experience as someone who views myself differently than the way I am often viewed. My entire life has been bookmarked by race. From being mixed race, to growing up with two white parents, to having very few black classmates, to being told that I was really pretty… for a black girl. Everywhere I’ve turned in my 34 years on this planet, race has played a role. Because I’ve never identified with a particular race and I don’t believe it truly exists, I am fascinated, but repelled by the concept. I fear concentrating on the one thing I want most to eliminate from our collective vocabulary, but I also know that ignoring it won’t help. My posts won’t always be about race, but they will always explore identity and the ways we wrestle with ourselves in relationship to others.
I hope that my blog continues to entertain and provoke discussion in this new phase of her growth. Please feel free to comment, tell me if you’re with me or against me, subscribe, and invite your friends to do so as well. And I think I’ve finally got a Facebook “like” button, so if you like me, now’s your big chance!
For more background, check out my new bio under the about tab or just wait for my next earth-shattering, jaw-dropping post, which will outline some of the premises we will need to accept to undertake this journey. In the meantime, I’ll pose a question. Have you ever heard a person of color say they are “colorblind?”