Dear black creatives, when was the last time you reached out to a fellow content creator to speak about your craft, or simply had a good chat over a few drinks and some food? Until recently, I hadn’t much either. But this month I wanted that to change, so when the opportunity to guest write for Jenna’s World View showed itself, I grabbed it with both hands – even before I could process what I had signed up for!
As a micro blogger, I own a tiny piece of the internet, and I can’t even lie, it can get lonely in my little corner of the web. Even in the real world, I’ve found that being black and a creative is a lonely path to trek. I have a great group of friends, who I call sisters and love with my whole heart. But none are creatives, and none fully understand what it feels like to be one. By the same token, there are hundreds of thousands of amazing black creatives online. It’s no secret that we are hugely underrepresented in mainstream media, underpaid and rarely invited on the big press trips.
Black creatives are powerful together
Having said that I still believe to be black and creative is a wonderful experience. We get to tell our own stories. Turn stereotypes on their heads and speak on issues that matter to us! Some of us have built huge platforms and are getting great opportunities off the back of our creativity. No one can deny that we’re going through a black renaissance when it comes to online content creation. Seeing my favourite girly podcast become exclusive on Spotify, and Blogosphere bestow its highest accolade on a Black British blogger are just two examples of the fact that slowly, we’re winning.
It makes me wonder how much more we could achieve if more of us were to connect. What if we exchanged ideas, networked and collaborated more frequently? Whilst you’re hustling hard to build your own brand, it’s worth considering why you should connect with another black creative every now and then.
The Perks of Black Creatives Connecting
1. Learning and knowledge sharing
Let’s be honest that there are barriers to success that keep some from progressing whilst others go on to flourish. What’s sad is that in this big 2019, the scales are still tipped against us. As a blogger, one of my biggest frustrations is the complete lack of access to knowledge and the right contacts. The amount to charge for a brand collaboration, or how to write a bomb pitch are just examples of the biggest mysteries when it comes to content creation. It’s disheartening to see black creatives being repeatedly passed over for press trips, mainstream media representation and brand collaborations. But this can be partly resolved if more of us are willing to talk to each other, and to introduce our fellow black creatives to our network.
2. Mental health benefits and inspiration.
Like most creatives, I balance blogging with five days a week at the office. As much as I love my job, I am less excited about being surrounded by daily conversations on how spicy prawn cocktail crisps are, or the best ways to top up a tan. Being able to disengage from the noise and catch up on my favourite black podcast, blogs and YouTube channels is therapeutic for me. Not only do they provide me with diverse relatable content, as a black creative, I often get inspiration for my own platform, and enjoy the fact that I can develop and share material of my choosing.
3. Securing the bag
My mother used to say to me “if you want to go quickly go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. This simply means joining forces with the right people will result in expedient growth. As black creatives, collaboration is not only good for helping us to diversify our content, but in a world which often leaves us out, it also enables us to reach wider audiences, build bigger networks, and carve out stronger brands, which will inevitably lead to more of us getting the recognition we deserve, and the money that is owed us!
4. Amplifying our collective voices
As a collective, our voices are amplified on the issues that matter to us. This year so far, creatives and non-creatives have been vocal on the injustice faced by Caster Semenya, the unfair plagiarism faced by the authors of our much loved Slay in Your Lane Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené; many of us ‘went blue’ to raise awareness on the instability in Sudan when traditional news outlets wouldn’t, and stood up for our good sis Yewande Biala when she got played by flip-flopper Danny on the much loved and hated show, Love Island.
5. Making meaningful friendships
Lastly, there is nothing like community. Building a tribe of people who have the same interests as you do and can see life through the same lens as you is an absolute bonus! Obviously not every connection will transform into a blossoming friendship. However the close alliances that can be built in the lifetime of a black creative is definitely worth it!
So there you have it! Five reasons why it’s important for black creatives to connect with each other. Hopefully you’re convinced more than ever to reach out to that content creator you admire, to sign up for that event, or to even leave a comment beneath that blog post.
Madeline Wilson Ojo, is a Ghanaian Queen living in London she is a Copywriter, Author and well seasoned Blogger. Madeline will one of many Black Creatives attending the #JWVDayParty next week Saturday. Which will be a fun filled day for Black Creatives to meet, connect and vibe. Get you tickets (here) today as sale ends Sunday July 27th.
Lots of Love
MadelineWilsonOjo x JennasWorldView