Blogging While Young Gifted and African American
by William Jackson, M.Edu.
Edward Waters College
The need for youth to write has grown in importance and value,
in too many cases it is a challenge for many African American (AA)
youth, teens and young adults that have not developed the skill
sets to write coherently and in turn articulate what they have written.
There may be a struggle to develop, create and design comprehensive
sentences and paragraphs that combine together to tell a story.
Blogging allows the writer in this case AA children to “create content”
which is web based and tells their story, sharing experiences
through a story, their stories.
AA children cannot afford to have “educational incapacity,” there
cannot be a blindness to new learning nor to learning how to properly
integrate useful skills. As I discuss writing and blogging, I want to
make sure that blogging is understood as original content from a
writer, expressed through written words, a new talent in the ability
Writing is no longer a boring activity, it is dynamic and exciting
because its integration and infusion of multimedia elements that
allow for multicultural ideas, dynamic mental images and even
embedding descriptions of emotions. AA students can share with
peers and those of similar ideologies the same experiences of life.
“The Danger of the Single Story,” by Chimamanda Adichie shares
why storytelling is vital for clarity and comprehension of people,
AA children have an important story to tell and blogging
is a platform to use.
AA children draw, they share their stories by art. The use of writing
by free hand and digital tools are tools to transition from drawing to
writing. Educators are learning the value of writing/blogging for
creativity and language development of their AA students, some that
grow up in poverty may lack linguistically the exposure to words that
encourage intellectual thought, but the art work is there for expression.
Writing prepares students for the ability to speak on a higher level of
engagement. Writing teaches “formal” skills past Social Media mentions
and likes. Students must not be allowed nor encouraged to write like
they talk or use cultural vernacular, when “proper” English is needed,
“cultural vernacular” or “cultural speech” is needed sometimes to
make a connection or show a value in culture and color.
As a higher education professor all students need to learn how to
write and even transition to blogging. The exposure to diverse
technology tools builds skills that can transition to areas of academia
and students of all grade levels feel ownership and accountability for
Wole Solinka (Nigerian)
Once a child starts blogging they create a digital footprint that can be
followed globally. Chinua Achebe, and Wole Solinka; (Nigerian)
African writers, emphasis that youth need to write as early as possible
to tell their stories and encourage others to enter into sharing content.
Parents are the key to encouraging their African American children to
read, write, comprehend and get out of their mental boxes to explore
new worlds that challenge their thinking. Parents must expose their
children outside of their communities to see other parts of their
cities, states and countries.
There is no age too young to write, storytelling was once told by
coloring on cave walls, then transitioned to stone tablets, then parchment,
and finally to the diverse resources of paper and digital parchment that
allows for continuous creation on unlimited pieces. African American
children deserve to share their stories, to show their personal stories
matter. Listed are suggestions to help youth, teens and young adults
to be excited about writing and telling their stories.
Suggestions to grow as a writer/blogger:
- Put items in order from most to least important, learning
organization is important.
- Write a short summary of your writing. This will develop into
your first paragraphs.
- Expand on each item in your list to build on to expand.
- Read – re-read and modify your writing until you get is right,
these are your words and you should have ownership of them.
- Avoid run on sentences, watch grammar, slang and cultural slang
Be aware of stereotypes, slang can be used when making a point
to that audience you are writing to.
- Check grammar and spelling as you write, no one likes bad
grammar and spelling.
- It may help to read out loud what you are trying to write and
read in a mirror, practice now for the future audiences.
- Listen to how each word sounds and try not to write like you
talk, but write like you’re telling a story to an audience.
- Even if you don’t have one yet write for your audience and
watch it grow.
- In your writing you’re not trying to impress your trying to
educate – share knowledge.
- Speak in front of a mirror to practice expressions that
emphasis key elements.
- Have a neutral and supportive teacher read your writing or
a mentor to bounce ideas from.
- Attend conferences, workshops, spoken word and poetry
readings, listen to the diverse styles of writers.
- Never give up on your writing, it is your story and never let
anyone, but you tell your story.
- Listen and read other authors, find connections and experiences.
- The more you read the more you know, the more you know
the more you grow.
- Allow your writing to help you to grow in new directions. Don’t
be scared to move outside your comfort zone.
Blogging While Brown – https://www.facebook.com/bloggingwhilebrown/
Black Girls Code – https://www.facebook.com/BlackGirlsCodeOrg/
People of Color In Technology – https://www.facebook.com/poctech/
Blacks in Technology – https://www.facebook.com/blacksintechnology/
Moxie Girl – https://www.facebook.com/theadventuresofmoxiegirl/
My Quest To Teach – http://www.myquesttoteach.wordpress.com/
Black Superheroes – https://www.facebook.com/events/244794949186578/