Last night, I went to sleep after reading a few tweets about the Black Perspectives blog. They were disturbing. To sum it up, white writers were contributing to the Black Perspectives blog. How? Why? Like WTF?
I woke up this morning and I reached out to my gf to see if she was following. After a long discussion, I said this is not the space for inclusion and she responded “Why can’t we have our own shit?” EXACTLY THIS!!!
I was very annoyed. But moreso, I was hurt. I really championed Black Perspectives because that’s what I thought it was. I thought “This is great. It’s thought pieces for us and by us.” And to see it infiltrated by white people— No that’s not accurate—to see US invite white writers/scholars into our space of black thought and perspective was and is overwhelming. Like WTF do we have to do to have a Black space? Free of white thought? The editor, Keisha N. Blain, had this to say of the engagement that occurred on Twitter on this subject:
“Many used the opportunity to publicly denounce AAIHS for having white bloggers in general. They accused us of creating a space to amplify white voices over black ones. I’ll leave it up to readers to decide if that’s the case. What I will say is that as an organization and as a blog, we value diversity and inclusion and ensure that pieces are accurate in their portrayal of black thought, history, and culture.”
I’m all for diversity and inclusion. But someone please tell me how TF white people can have Black thought or black perspective. PLEASE. I think the African American Intellectual Historical Society (AAIHS), via Black Perspectives, is doing a disservice to Black writers and scholars, as well as their reading audience when they rob us of actual black voices. Keisha painstakingly explains what went on behind the scenes and the Twitter fallout. But you don’t need to know the back story of why this white writer is here in order to know that they shouldn’t be here.
AAIHS publishes great pieces. I fell in love with it immediately. I cannot take that away from them. But I cannot love this. I cannot love a diversity that isn’t true to the intent of the project. When I read Black Perspectives, I expect to actually read a piece written by, and from the perspective of a Black person. Wherever he or she may be. You don’t have to be an intellectual to understand that.
I started using Twitter in 2016. I followed Huffington Post Black Voices and I began to notice a startling trend.
It just didn’t make any sense to me. I kept seeing white writers from this entity that claimed to be Black voices. This is why I was so excited to see Black Perspectives. We need something exclusive and I thought that’s what this was.
Including white writers gives the appearance that you don’t believe you can get enough content from Black people and that is simply untrue. But whatever the case, a blog, called Black Perspectives implies just that and to do anything else is disingenuous.