As an admin of Black Bloggers United, I have been struggling with finding Black men who blog. Therefore, I turned to one of the few Black male bloggers that I know with my questions. Get to know Devon below and I'm sure that he will become one of your favorite Black men who blog too:
1. For those who don't know, what is your blog and what do you blog about?
Cold Knowledge is my blog and I pretty much blog about how I feel at the time or the things that I went through in my life. The beauty in being me is that I didn't really sit around and not do anything after I left home. I've been to a lot of places and I've seen a lot of things, that coupled with the fact that I know how to tell a story, it just made sense for me to be a blogger. But if I had to put a finger on what it is that I talk about, well that would be self improvement and being the best version of you that you could possibly be.
2. What inspires you to blog?
It's funny but when I'm asked this I usually reply with life. Like I've said before, I've seen a lot during my time. I've come across a lot of people, all with different stories and I'm interested in a vast array of things so I will forever have something to talk about. Plus I don't think like the normal guy when it comes to a lot of things so I offer a different perspective than that you will find on other blogs or in life period. But for the most part I blog to put all my faults, flaws and failures out there so that someone can learn to do better than I did. If I can get through to just one person a day, then I did my job.
3. Have you experienced any struggles as a Black male blogger?
More than I can count lol. I mean with anything you're going to struggle, that's just apart of life. Now what you do with that struggle defines who you are as a person, male or female. But as a male blogger I've come across many stigmas and stereotypes, both in person and online. First it was always someone saying that I was being too personal or that they couldn't be that transparent to basically everyone within reach of a computer. Then in the past year I had to shake off people jumping to conclusions that I'm just a guy using my blog as a front to get women. It's been an uphill battle and the one thing that I've done is stay true to myself and after almost a year of busting my tail writing I'm starting to finally win people over with my content and not their convictions.
4. Why do you think more men, specifically Black men, don't blog?
Because of the stereotypes that are handed down to us to live up to. There's this thing that if you aren't tough or if you aren't a womanizer then you're a soft punk who can't do anything. That's just where we are right now, plus vulnerability will always be a big factor. I mean there are tons of other things you can talk about, but in terms of the kind of content I put out, most people don't want to be looked upon as weak or scared. As a black man I know I have to be a strong and unbendable force because
of everything that's going on in this country, but at the same time I've been through some things. Does it make me any less of a man to let people know that I've been hurt? No it sure doesn't, in fact in person you couldn't even tell I was a guy who talked about my feelings until I opened my mouth. Until those stigmas become old and outdated, along with an increase in education and overall sense of just knowing better, you'll see few black males blogging.
5. What do you hope will come from your blog?
There's a couple of goals that I have that I'm not going to talk about because I'm one of those people that believe in keeping their dreams close to the chest. But one thing I can say is that I hope that one day this can be a site where people come to for help or just browse enough to find something that will get them through whatever is holding them back. I want those people who want to write but don't know where to start to feel that this is the place where they can learn the ropes and get off their feet and break into the world. I want it to be that one place where anyone can come to with burdens and problems and just leave with a better sense of purpose. I was down and out too many times and I never want anyone else to feel like that, so Cold Knowledge here to make sure that doesn't happen.
6. I see that you were nominated for a Black Weblog Award. Congratulations! What category were you nominated for?
Thank you! I was nominated for Best Writing In A Blog and Best Personal Blog. It's nerve racking and exciting at the same time to even be thought of for something this awesome. Like I was telling my friends the other day, when something like this happens I will forever be that guy who's still in awe that I'm mentioned in the same company of the people that I look up to and that I strive to be better than one day. This is the first year that I've taken blogging serious and working at almost a full time rate, so I'm grateful for all of this teaching that I'm receiving, it's a blessing.
7. How has networking been with your fellow women bloggers?
Haha this one is tricky because I don't want to offend anyone, but it's been so-so. On one had I've met many incredible women this past year that includes Victoria of The Budget Divaa, who's the main reason for the good portions of networking with her Black Bloggers United initiative. Then you have the phenomenal Z of Dear Queens, who graciously and humbly became my sister blog. Jaz of Shimmy Sistah who's energy just keeps me going, she's always there when I need an ear to bend about life in general. Amber Janae of Who Is Amber Janae who's really just doing big things but also keeps it grounded and makes sure she still networks with us. She's actually one of the very first people I reached out to and she responded in kind, that's always greatly appreciated. And more recently Alyx of Black Is The New Black and we've been talking real in depth about the political & activism aspects of blogging and how important her work is. I could keep going on for days and days, and while I have so many good things to say about them, there are a couple of bad stories I can tell you about others as well. I don't focus on them at all, I just focus on the bloggers that want to network with me and we build from there. A couple of bad apples aren't going to ruin the rest for me.
8. What advice would you give to a man who is considering starting a blog?
Just like I tell their female counterparts, research, plan, prep, execute. A lot of people looking from the outside in think blogging is something that is relatively easy when it's not. Although I have training in Mass Communications and an abundant amount of patience, I tell them that even I struggle with doing the best that I can. That's a part of the beast, so come in with a good mindset that it's going to be a struggle moving upwards and that you're going to have to work hard for it just like anything else in life that you want, and they should be good. But I can't stress enough that planning and prepping at the very least will save you from a lot of headaches that us "experienced" bloggers deal with on a daily basis. Oh yea and to have fun and don't worry about what anyone says about your blog, it's your life and you have one to live, don't do it because you're being held back from nothing.
Make sure to check out Devon's blog, Cold Knowledge and to Follow Him on Twitter.