When I walk into a new place, I usually do a sweep. It’s not something I do consciously. It just happens, and I’m not sure where I learned it.
I’m looking for people who look like me. I do it in churches, restaurants, movie theaters, airports, concerts, grocery stores, and sitting at a red light waiting for the green. I do it when I’m thumbing through the array of magazine choices at the check-out stand, I do it in the Christian bookstores when I scan the book covers and author bios. I do it everywhere.
I do it here. On the internet, among the people who blog about faith.
In Nebraska, the people who look like me make up a scant three percent of the population. That’s just the way it is. So, when I’m doing the sweep in Nebraska, I don’t expect to see too many people who look like me.
But on the internet? Well, on the internet, in the world of faith bloggers, I’d expect to see more people who look like me. I mean, I know there are people out there who share my skin color and hair type as well as my faith. But, when I do the sweep on the internet I have to wonder, where IS everyone?
I’m not the only one asking that question.
Lately, I’ve been having this conversation with a few of my blogging friends. Some of them look like me, but most of them don’t. One evening I sat across the table from a blogging friend who doesn’t look like me. She asked me questions about my upcoming trip to Haiti and, before I knew it, we were talking about this very thing. She leaned in over her plate, raised her hands, looked me in the eyes, and said, “Deidra, where IS everyone?”
“I know,” I said. And then I leaned back in my seat. “I don’t know. I’ve been looking.” And I told her how I do a sweep of the thumbnail images on her blog and on your blogs and wherever I see them, looking for bloggers who look like me. Whenever I find one, I click and I read and I comment and I follow, because I know it’s highly likely they’re doing the sweep, too.
That night at dinner, my friend agreed to pray about this with me. That was just a few weeks ago, and since that night, incredibly, when I do the sweep here in the world of bloggers who write about faith, I’ve been seeing more and more who look like me.
In America, we are good at dividing the world of faith into little homogenous packages and I have to wonder just how well that serves the big picture. We need all of the stories. We need all of the voices.
Would you do me a favor? If you’ve found a blogger out there in the blogging world whose race or culture is different from most, would you introduce us? Would you leave a link to their blog in the comments below so that we can stop by and share the love? If you ARE a blogger of color, would you leave us a link so we can introduce ourselves? (Later in the month, I’ll ask for links in different categories.)
I’ll go first (and these are just a few): Kendra Tillman, Daniele Evans, Alison Hector, Simone Dankenbring, Kacey, Brooke-Sidney Jackson, Kwana Jackson, Tahlitha Chadwick, Kathy Sykes, Karen Wallrond, Enuma Okura, Tonya, Kela Nellums, Latoya.