King Series collaboration
Damilola and I are both members of the Black British Bloggers group. Since I joined, I have spoken at length with founder – Mariam, collaborated with Annika Spalding from the group and now Damilola because of the write up she did of the first #BBBSOCIAL where she highlighted the male bloggers that she met at the event. She felt that the man dem needed support and encouragement particularly those who may be shy about writing. Throughout our conversations Damilola continuously questions
Where are the male Black British Bloggers?
Damilola has a lifestyle blog DAfroambiance that focuses on the melanin so of course we hit if off. DAfroambiance reviews black owned businesses and organisations, which I have also done in previous posts.
I like Damilola’s writing style because her personality shines. From the way she writes, you can tell that she’s a no nonsense kind of woman who talks plain and is honest about what she thinks. Whilst I sometimes shy away from being as candid as I am in verbal conversations, DAfroambiance does not and I admire this about her writing style.
This collaboration came about when I read her blog post about the first #BBBSOCIAL back in June. Of all the blogs I read about the event, I found them really helpful and got me thinking how to develop my own blog whilst I’m on Nevis island. What I really enjoyed (and its seemed so did everyone else), is that the focus was not only on the speakers but the man dem – the male Black British Bloggers, who are a minority in a minority group of bloggers.
“Man dem who write, where are you?”
Now that I have found my passion and execute it, I do consider myself ‘a writer’. So I find it very attractive that there are King bloggers out there that know how to string sentences together. It’s not easy to start a blog because you are opening yourself up to criticism and exposing yourself to the public.
In part 1 of the King Bloggers series, DAfroambiance reviews some of the male bloggers that she met at the #BBBSOCIAL event. The short reviews were her opinion of the type of blog; the design; and the content that she enjoyed reading. I found myself directed to these #KingBloggers and reading for hours. I hadn’t come across any of the blogs prior to her post. One particular blog I really enjoyed based on the post is MusicFootballFatherhood.com.
Whilst I am not a parent, I’ve always been interested in sociology and I do enjoy reading some of the parent blogs that exist and this one really had my attention because it’s from a fathers perspective, and a black dad (and his friends) at that.
I have my opinion about ‘bad dads’, but I also think, let the active dads have the stage because they deserve it. On Father’s Day, I don’t like to see my timeline inundated with the memes and statuses about mothers who are doing the fathers role. This is not to take away from the phenomenal Queens who don’t have a choice but to be both parents but as far at these occasions go, let the men who deserve it have their moment. Even if your child’s father isn’t active, Father’s Day should be an opportunity to big up the men in your children’s lives who assume a father’s role or who are just great male role models whether it be granddad, uncle, god father, cousin, brother etc.
This blog is for the active dads and they describe themselves as the “mumsnet for dads“
In one of their posts, Elliot reviews the book by author Tola Okogwu who wrote Daddy Do My Hair? This book not only ensures that representation matters and that children see themselves in the media but it also highlights the importance of father-daughter bonding. In my opinion, Dads should be encouraged to do their daughters (and their sons) hair because it is a good way to bond. If I had a daughter and I broke my leg and ended up in hospital overnight, I’d like their dad to be able to look after their hair. The role of caring for a child’s hair should not be exclusively for mothers or women.
When I attended Robin Walker’s class where he discussed The Sociology of the Black Family, he said women raise their daughters and love their sons. Girls are taught life skills but boys are just loved. In my opinion, some men need to get to know their children more. Some men also need to show their emotions more. Bonding over hair is a good way to improve the relationship. Robin Walker also talked about the adaptability of family roles. He said, most black men can cook and they tend to be good at it. If someone walks out of a family, the black family can cope. On the other hand, this is not so prominent in a white family because they don’t have the same kinship bond as the black family. The same should apply to fathers being able to do their children’s hair.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie discussed gender stereotypes around family roles, where she said girls are taught to cook for their brothers, fathers and husbands. Why is this role assigned to women especially when the most famous chefs are male? It’s nothing to do with a woman’s genetic make up that means she is better at cooking or that men are incapable of preparing a meal.
Men that can do their daughters’ hair, are bonding with their child. MusicFootballFatherhood.com have a weekly fatherhood Twitter chat called #DaddyDebates where they asked dads about the challenges of fatherhood. One of the challenges a dad posted was bonding and finding your role early. In the write up of the Twitter chat, the author of the post Elliott discusses issues such as having grandparents and in-laws around the baby and returning to work after paternity leave which can interfere with bonding time. Elliot recommends that from the beginning, father’s should get stuck in as much as they can so that they aren’t left out when it comes to bonding. He encouraged fathers to spend time alone with their children so that dads can build their confidence and bond with their little ones. This was interesting because I’ve heard stories where dads haven’t been left alone with their kids until they were toddlers.
After being inspired by this post, I shared Damilola’s post with a familiar male blogger ‘Thvughts Conveyed’ and in part two, DAfroambiance included Dom’s blog in her review of male Black British Bloggers.
Talking about dads doing their daughter’s hair, Dom, dad of beautiful twin Queens posted some beautiful images of him combing his daughters’ hair and captioned “these kids thought the idea of me taking their hair out was hilarious…until I started doing. it..”. He is breaking down the parent-gender stereotypes and showing his daughters that “daddy duties have so many aspects”
I’m fortunate enough to have a male best friend who is active in his son’s life and its heart warming to see other dads out there doing the same. Often there is too much focus on the inactive fathers but lets give the role models the mic and the stage – we see you.
Dom’s blog writing style is very honest. Damilola mentioned his post about homelessness. I too felt goose bumps when reading this. It touched me. I honestly believe that everyone has a story and should be treated with dignity and humanity.
I find is very inspiring how openly this blog speaks about mental wellbeing. This is a subject that is still quite a taboo but through his blog, Dom is breaking down the barriers to talking about the subject as well as coping with the emotions such as feeling depressed.
Damilola feels that the male voice gets lost in the blogosphere. She also felt that the man dem got left behind as the female voice got louder. The Queens are slaying but the Kings need encouragement too. She says “There is something about men. We still need them in our lives“. Leave a comment below and let us know if you agree.
Are there men out there that want to write but don’t know how to start? If so, how can the blogger community support and encourage you? Are there #KingBloggers that who want to collaborate with the Queens or other Kings? Comment below.
Please share any male bloggers in the comments below so that we can give them the exposure that the Queens experience.
You can find more about Damilola here: