“Part of being a revolutionary is creating a vision that is more humane. That is more fun, too. That is more loving. It’s really working to create something beautiful.”
“I think that in order to struggle you have to be creative. In my life, creativity has been something that has sustained me; it awoke my spiritual struggle.” —Assata Shakur
It’s not that I don’t love MyBrownBaby anymore—I do. It’s my baby. Has been for more than six years. But with more than 1,750 published posts about the joys and struggles of parenting Black children logged on my website, I’ve grown and morphed, as has this space and its audience. And as we celebrate the New Year and dive head first into 2015, I’m anxious for change—to create something beautiful.
This was always the MyBrownBaby mission, you know: to show the beauty of us. But the ugliness of the past few years—the political run against reproductive rights, the assault on Black children (by the criminal justice system, the educational system, the prison system and every other doggone system), the high-profile shooting deaths of African-Americans by law enforcement and the protests that followed—has been tragic, disgusting, heartbreaking. Relentless. And frankly, writing and arguing about it everyday has me feeling some kind of way. Exhausted. Angry. Some days, helpless. Hopeless.
I’m not going to front: the constant flood of negativity drowns my soul, turns me into a cranky, reactionary mess and makes me want to holler, throw up both my hands. And of late, it’s made me want to quit the internet. Or at least MyBrownBaby. Because I did not start this website to write hundreds of blog posts about racism, child murders, strikes against abortion and birth control rights or any of the other things that stress me (us) out and keep me (us) angry and on the defensive. Still, this is what MyBrownBaby has turned into: a reactionary mess with an editor who’s plum wo’ out by it all.
The internet is full of people willing to write angry think-pieces about these things. I can’t be in those ranks. Not anymore.
I’ve got to get back to beautiful.
I’ve got to get back to creativity.
I’ve got to get back to love.
This is what we deserve, you know. I’ve made absolutely no bones about my quest as a journalist, author, speaker and outspoken advocate for our people that my goal is to move past stereotype and show, without apology and with abandon, how Black parents and our families walk in the light. But I’ve gotten away from that. I acknowledge that it’s important to continue to be that advocate, but it’s important, too, to live. To breathe.
This space will stretch in ways that I’m stretching as a parent, as a woman, as a writer and as Denene. The staples will remain: posts about pregnancy, childrearing, motherhood, pop culture and politics, events and recipes will continue on. But I’ll also be introducing some new things to the line-up—maybe a little beauty and art and personal lessons I’ve learned along my own life journey. I’m not entirely sure what it’ll be, but I’m excited about the prospects. MyBrownBaby is a space in transition.
Will y’all breathe with me?
I hope you do.
Rock on 2015. Buckle up.
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.