@BlackGirlsWhoBlog — an Instagram account with 34.k followers, 85,881 posts under the IG hashtag and an endless scroll linked to the hashtag on Twitter — is one of those happy accidents that proves the unifying power of social media. What started as an afterthought is now an inspiration-based collection of the founder’s favorite bloggers.
Morgan Pitts, the woman behind the hashtag, quickly realized that Black Girls Who Blog was larger than a trending topic. It has become a place where black women who blog can support, promote and discover one another. She created a community.
Ready to meet her?
Tell me about how Black Girls Who Blog got started:
It was tweeted into existence. I shared a post to Twitter that I’d just published — I was still blogging at the time — and I included the hashtag #BlackGirlsWhoBlog. A second later, I followed up with an additional tweet expressing that I’d love to have a T-shirt that said “#BlackGirlsWhoBlog.” Lindsay Adams, the eventual artist behind the BGWB logo, asked if I thought an illustration should accompany the hashtag. It was never meant to be anything more than a tweet, but in that moment, I knew that this could be a thing…that I would have to make it a thing. People were interested in purchasing the tees before they even existed! They just saw our public Twitter exchange.
We took the conversation offline and Lindsay sent me the illustration of a black woman in a white top and black bottoms with a laptop in hand. The shirts launched on April 15, 2014. [I started] the Instagram to promote the shirts, [it] evolved into a place for me to highlight my favorite black female bloggers and here we are.
How has Black Girls Who Blog opened up your world, and how has it shifted your perspective in terms of fashion, blogging and writing?
I have discovered that SO MANY black female bloggers exist. It’s humbling to receive emails about how much these women appreciate what I’m doing. I’ve been able to make connections between women and see them form their own relationships with one another because of this hashtag. It’s really awesome.
My perspective hasn’t really shifted, though: part of the reason I kept the ball rolling on BGWB was because black women are still underrepresented in fashion and blogging. I created what I saw was missing instead of just complaining about it.
I would look at lists of the “best/top bloggers” or “bloggers you need to know” and see MAYBE one woman of color; she might not have even been black. But I knew many black bloggers who were just as talented and qualified. I would also see black girls who blog not getting the same kinds of endorsements, sponsored posts, brand collaborations, etc. as our counterparts. The blogosphere has improved from when I started BGWB in 2014, but we are still underrepresented. I’m hoping that by doing my part and creating something that I always wanted to see, black girls who blog will feel seen, heard, celebrated and validated.
What else can be done?
When “bloggers you should know”-type lists are compiled, black women should definitely be in the rankings…and not just as a “token.” When bloggers are featured in editorials, a black woman should be included. I don’t think the blogosphere has an issue with highlighting asian bloggers (think of Aimee Song, Nicole Warne, Susie Lau, Tina Craig and Kelly Cook), but black (and also latina) women don’t seem to get the same kinds of exposure and opportunities.
What are you most proud of?
Bringing black female bloggers joy. They are so happy, excited and appreciative when I feature them. Sometimes I’m like, “Wow, all I did was post on my little Instagram page,” but it really means a lot to my community when they get that exposure and a chance to shine amongst their peers.
Do you have advice for anyone who wants to start a blog or an Instagram account?
Be consistent; post often. Stay active and engaged. I know that posting frequently can be intimidating and difficult because you don’t ever want anything to seem or feel contrived. However, you can do things to help get into a rhythm: make a calendar/schedule, organize your ideas (write them down somewhere, create a spreadsheet or chart on your computer) and come up with daily themes or a weekly series that will help you categorize your content. Keep your eyes (and ears) open to inspiration; it can be found anywhere.
Additionally, remember that self-promotion is not a bad thing. If you don’t share your posts — especially as a beginner — how will people know they’re there?!
Finally, do it because you genuinely enjoy it and want to do it. Don’t do it for a huge following or money or fame (as cliché as that sounds) because you will never be fulfilled. It will never be enough.
Do you currently have a top five list of your favorite Black Girls Who Blog?
My current favorites, which coincide with BGWB daily themes:
Mani Monday (sometimes Mane Monday or Makeup Monday, i.e. great beauty tips and tricks): Adia Adores – @adiaadores
Tasty Tuesday (i.e. foodies, restaurant reviewers, recipe sharers): Bite Our Style – @biteourstyleclt
Wild Card Wednesday (a hodgepodge of topics): Mattieologie – @mattieologie
Travel Thursday (i.e. adventures [mostly] abroad): Peaches, Beaches & Urbanistas – @pb.urbanistas
And last but not least, Fashion Friday (i.e. #OOTD and all things style…the HARDEST category to choose just one!): Chanel Files – @chanelfiles
Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis.