On December 27, 2014, baltimoreblackwoman.com was born with the posting of my first essay, Christmas Past: The Toys I Played With—And How They Shaped Me – baltimoreblackwoman, written as an introduction to me and to the world I grew up in. My initial goal in starting the blog was to share my stories in the hopes of demonstrating what is now my tag line: Black lives matter. The Black Experience Is the Human Experience.
When I wrote that first essay, I was attempting to engage readers in a Conversation about Race, in response to then-President Barack Obama’s call for such conversation at the end of a year fraught with violence against Black people. At the end of the essay, I posed the following questions:
“How is it that this little Black girl from Baltimore, who did not grow up well off financially yet never wanted for anything, have such an ordinary and decent life? And how is it that in today’s world, my story sounds like an aberration or a fantasy instead of the norm that I know it to be?” [emphasis added]
Six years and 122 essays later, these questions are still being asked – not just by me, but by so many writers, including famous Black male authors such as TaNihisi Coates and Wes Moore, and countless “ordinary” citizens of Baltimore.
That my people still have to have this conversation at all seems to indicate not only that we have made little progress, but that we are in worse condition now. Yet, some of the essays I have written also demonstrate that we are making progress, however fitful it may be.
I have also covered the issue of Race less explicitly, in stories about politics, social issues, and the arts, among others. In fact, there are now 9 categories of essays to explore, out of a total of 24 categories of writing that also include Book (fiction and non-fiction) and Film Reviews, and 196 postings, in all.
Poetry has become an essential part of this blog. Since January 2015, I have posted 55 poetry-related items, including 3 Guest Poets, 2 Announcements of poetry readings I’ve given (between 2018 and 2020, with a 3rd Announcement on the blog’s companion Facebook page), and 53 original poems (several of which, honoring family members, were reposted on anniversaries; some posts included multiple poems).
Videos. Eight posts are classified as “videos.” These include spoken word (5) and music videos (3, including 2 original songs)
Photos. Many of my posts include original photos of scenes around Baltimore and some from my family archives.
Currently, there are 197 followers of the blog (that’s roughly one follower for each post!), including 60 who follow the companion Facebook page, called Baltimoreblackwoman.
Growing the Blog
I may not have the biggest, most popular blog in town, nor am I the most prolific writer. But over these last 6 years, my audience has grown, my writing skills have expanded, and I have made many friends in the process. I refer you to last year’s 5th anniversary post [baltimoreblackwoman Celebrates 5-Year Anniversary – baltimoreblackwoman] for details of how this blog has enriched my life, pushing me into action and activism. I also invite you to explore one of my latest categories, My Coronavirus Diaries, created to cope with this devastating Pandemic year. In the process, I joined a writers’ group on Facebook, which specifically encouraged my poetry writing and led to my having 2 poems published in poetry journals this year!
As for technical growth, I created the Facebook companion page Baltimoreblackwoman and advertised some posts to broaden my reach. One result of this effort is that I have now become an expert Zoom user (for virtual poetry readings as well as technical support). Equally important are the many creative people I have come to know.
To the Future
As year #7 begins, I want to thank everyone for your interest and support. For me, this blog is a continuing journey of discovery, learning, and growth.
May 2021 be a Year of Renewed Health—Physical, Mental, Spiritual, and Financial—for us all!