Image Credit: MomBlogMagazine.com
Latina Bloggers Connect is challenging Latina bloggers to write their story, to tell the world why they started blogging and in the process, have the chance to win a ticket to one of the most important blogging conferences around. It might not be on the radar for every blogger out there, but for women of color, it’s a place where you can feel accepted. It’s a place where you can be yourself and meet other great women from your close-nit network of online bloggy amigas and form bonds that you wouldn’t find elsewhere. Nope, I’ve never been to Blogalicious, but I’ve heard about it enough that I can’t stop thinking about it. I’m in awe of a place where women are accepted as women and where you can bring your kiddies knowing that they will also be welcomed…it all sounds more like a warm family get together than a conference for business professionals. That’s why I’m hooked, why I’m a Blogalicious lover before I’ve even been. It doesn’t help that nearly all the chicas I love chatting with online are going! How can you not love an event that gives you the opportunity to connect with your online familia? Ruby will be there, Ezzy’s going to be there, Angélica’s going too…and you know Michelle will be there…not to mention many other talented bloggers! All women I would love to meet. And it’s so weird, because I feel like I already have. :)
So who are bloggers and why do we blog? Well, everyone’s story is a bit different, but I can share my own experience…
I’m nobody special…I’m just a mom, a wife, a woman, somebody who get’s deep into social issues and yells at the TV when I watch our government being overrun by corporate monopolies. You wouldn’t look at me and see my strength, if you didn’t pay attention you might not even hear it in my voice, but if you read my blog you know where I stand, if you read my writing anywhere you know I’m very passionate about certain issues and human rights is one of them. For me, I started blogging because I felt like my voice wasn’t being heard. I felt like my opinions weren’t valued and I felt like the people closest to me couldn’t understand my perspective. More than anything, I wanted my family to understand why I love my husband so much, why it’s important for me to raise my daughter Latina, why I love speaking Spanish and why racism isn’t just about “hating Black people.” There is so much more to it than that and it’s something that is hidden deep inside of us, something that we can’t see, something that we spend so much time fighting to defend…even if we don’t think we do. I didn’t want to be fought on my words anymore. Why do you have to tell me not to speak Spanish? Why do you have to tear down my husband’s heritage? Why do you have to ask whether my daughter should be raised “American”? She is American…Latina is American! She is part of both of us and questioning her right to both identities is just as racist as calling her a slur. My daughter is who she is and I want people to understand that questioning her identity can make her feel invalid, make her feel like less of who she is. I want people to think about racism, to talk about it and really analyze it, because it’s often so ingrained that we don’t even realize we’re participants. Read more.
For many of us, and especially for women of color, blogging is about finding your voice and putting it to use. There are so many voices out there who need to be heard, but who too often go unheard by the media, by their colleagues or families. I see blogging as an opportunity for a level playing field…it’s a place where nobody owns you, but you own yourself. That’s something worth cultivating. Places like Blogalicious succeed, not only in inviting bloggers to meet sponsors, but most of all…they invite them to show support to each other and build strong nurturing communities online. This is something that we should all want to be a part of.
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