Education Lifestyle

NASHVILLE BLACK GIRL BLOGGERS ARE LAYING THE TRACKS FOR THE DIGITAL MEDIA MAVENS TO COME

The digital landscape is a new arena with hardly any rules, and this group of black women is forging their paths as content creators, bloggers, and entrepreneurs. The world sees them posting photos, but they’re adding value to the lives of others through their passions. There are so many stigmas to the digital world that we’re all familiar with, but these women aren’t just Instagram models. On any given day, they are champions of their trades as a dental hygenist, pharmacists, a lawyer, a senior accounting revenue specialist, a legal assistant, a boutique owner, and more. They’re upholding many trades as they figure out how to build sustainable brands that align with their interests. We must celebrate and highlight black women creatives that are designing admirable lifestyles and sharing it with the world.

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The most impeccable part is that they encompass talents and truths passed down for generations that they’re able to share via the world wide web. It truly is a beautiful thing, especially in Nashville. Traditionally diversity and inclusion have lacked here, but these women are still showing up and tapping into their respective audiences. Rule number one in media should be to have representation, and that is not always the case. It is my prerogative to share these women in a new light in hopes that we can magnify their representation and glorifying their will to curate. They deserve to be seen and acknowledged for having the courage to tell stories that wouldn’t otherwise be told.

I asked each woman three questions that are relative to our current digital climate, and it’s inherited historical context. Check out each one of the women, and be sure to follow them and keep up with each torchbearer!  They are #BlackHistory!

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Jamaria Johnson 

Trade: Legal Assistant

Blog: Through Jam’s Eyes 

What legacy are you intending to leave through your work on your brand? Whether I am in people’s lives for a season or a lifetime, I want to be the woman that inspires them to live their best lives. I am an optimist that loves to smile, even if things are hard at the time, and I am an advocate for self-love. I want to inspire people to step outside of the invisible box they put themselves in and understand that as long as they look and feel good and they are proud of themselves, then that’s all that matters! 

If you could say one thing to your Great, great, great grandmother what would it be? I would say thank you. Thank you for every sacrifice, for never giving up, and for laying the foundation for the life I am able to live today. I am forever grateful for the ancestors that came before me. 

What do diversity and inclusion mean to you? Diversity and inclusion are often words that are used interchangeably, but they are vastly different in my opinion. Diversity acknowledges the need for a mix in the workplace. Inclusion is the act that will actually make it happen. You can have diversity and recognize the need for different viewpoints, opinions, & a range of different things, but what will you do with that diversity once you have it? Will voices of different backgrounds and cultures actually be heard once they are there? To me, that’s inclusion. 

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India Marie Newsome

Trade: Shop Indy Boutique, Owner 

Blog: India Marie

Podcast: She & I

What legacy are you intending to leave through your work on your brand? A legacy of authenticity and a testament to what can happen when you forget about the convention and chase your wildest dreams. I hope to inspire other women through my work in fashion, media, motherhood, and marriage. Life can be challenging and rewarding, but it’s better when you laugh through challenging times, love like there’s no tomorrow, and remember to seek balance, including, taking time to care for yourself in the process.

 If you could say one thing to your Great, great, great grandmother, what would it be? I would tell her that like so many other women in my family, I was raised to be strong and independent, and at the same time, I was raised to value and preserve the bonds I share with my family. I would tell her that I’m breaking all of the generational curses and healing all of the trauma so that the generations to come after me can walk in their full purpose.

What do diversity and inclusion mean to you? Diversity focuses on what makes us different. Inclusion focuses on purposefully and respectfully bringing diverse people together. My wish is that we can someday look at ads and campaigns and see that diversity and inclusion were intentionally done within the brand.

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Melissa Wilcox 

Trade: Dental Hygenist

Blog: Eat Whole Live Fit

What legacy are you intending to leave through your work on your brand? I intend to show that living well is not a luxury. Women of color are too often left out of the discussion of health and wellness, and I want to change that! We can eat whole, even on a budget. We can live fit, while having a full-time job, kids, and we can look amazing while doing so! 

If you could say one thing to your Great, great, great grandmother what would it be? I would tell my great, great, great grandmother that I am a product of her strength and perseverance.

If you could say one thing to your Great, great, great grandmother what would it be?When safe spaces are intentionally created for minorities, and not as an afterthought, this shows a genuine desire for diversity and inclusion. Too often diversity and inclusion are thrown around as a way to seem progressive, but the actual work falls short.

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Ashley Williams

Trade: Pharmacist

Blog: Pharm Decor

What legacy are you intending to leave through your work on your brand? My blog came about after going through a hard time. I decided that I truly wanted to do things that made me happy, things that reminded me to always go for it. That’s the legacy I intend to leave. Whatever it is that gives you passion and excites you and reminds you to just go for it is exactly what you should be doing. 

If you could say one thing to your Great, great, great grandmother what would it be? Thank you for being a strong, God-fearing, beautiful black woman. You endured a time in which you likely weren’t valued based on the color of your skin and the fact that you were a woman. Your strength and endurance have passed from generation to generation. Because of you, I’m able to reach for any goal and dream I have. I hope that I’m my ancestors’ wildest dreams. 

What do diversity and inclusion mean to you? Diversity and inclusion mean that I’m able to have a seat at the table that I’m wanted and respected at and look around and see a group of people of different genders and ethnicities. It means embracing the differences between us and respecting that people having different viewpoints is what makes businesses prosper, companies develop new ideas and creatively grow their client base. African American women specifically can often feel unheard and not valued because we aren’t always included when we know we have so much to offer. We work hard and take on more trying to climb that corporate ladder. An atmosphere of diversity and inclusivity could create a place where we’re able to boldly walk into the room, confidently voice our ideas, and proudly walk away knowing we were heard. 

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Brittany Coleman

Trade: Senior Accounting Revenue Specialist

Vlog: Pockets and Bows

What legacy are you intending to leave through your work on your brand? The Legacy that I want to leave through my brand is to pursue your passion because they are infectious! Fashion is so much bigger than clothing and how you look, it’s about how it makes you feel and it can give you the confidence to walk into a room and command it! So through sharing my passion for fashion and beauty, I hope to inspire women to live boldly no matter their size, shape or any other social construct that they may see as a setback.

If you could say one thing to your Great, great, great grandmother what would it be? I would say Thank you for setting the standard! Thank you for instilling into us that it is ok to place importance on appearance and that it shouldn’t diminish your work! Thank you for showing me that women can be both beautiful and impactful!

What do diversity and inclusion mean to you? Diversity and inclusion, to me mean appreciating the differences in all of us without making those differences be a reason to separate us. Everyone needs to be represented, and where there is representation, there is inspiration. 

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Malaka Watson

Trade: Lawyer

Blog: Scales of Style 

What legacy are you intending to leave through your work on your brand? Using fashion as the fabric that connects us, I intend to leave behind a brand legacy that continues to inspire people through style, savvy, and the strengths, and sometimes setbacks, that have led to other people’s unique and inspiring stories. 

If you could say one thing to your Great, great, great grandmother what would it be? I would tell my great grandmother that her strength and wisdom have been continuously passed down in my family from generation to generation. I would want her to know that she could be extremely proud of how we’ve carried on her legacy and how we’ve treasured the love and life lessons she gave. 

What do diversity and inclusion mean to you? Diversity means the qualities and characteristics that make us different (such as race, gender, values, economics, geography, mentality, physical fitness, etc). Inclusion means recognizing each other’s uniqueness and intentionally creating spaces and communities that are respectfully and deliberately non-exclusive. 

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Jasmine Sweet

Trade: Marketing Manager

Blog: THIS ONE!

What legacy are you intending to leave through your work on your brand? Having a lifestyle blog, I hope to create a space of healing content that transcends time.  I want people to be able to look back at content that I’ve written and be motivated.  I hope that my brand explores all avenues and highlights the many facets of living a better life.

If you could say one thing to your Great, great, great grandmother what would it be? I would tell her that I’m a living testament to the strength that carried her through.  I’d tell her how we’re able to communicate and send messages through digital data!  She’d probably be in awe of that!  I’d tell her that I’m taking the leap each day to show up for myself in order to honor her. 

What do diversity and inclusion mean to you? It means communication without visibly physical boundaries.  It means wanting to understand each other across channels and cultures and reaching out to do so.  It means making an effort to showcase a cohesive world where we’re all working together for the greater good for generations to come.

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