Being A Black Male Blogger In A Female-Dominated Space

You probably noticed that either the words “tips”, “wanderlust”, “travel” or “travelling” are not mentioned in the title. This is more of a discussion about something that’s personal to me and I feel is important to reflect on, more so in light of everything that’s going on now.

I’ve been blogging about travelling for the best of 3 years, sometimes writing about blogging, networking and lifestyle on the side. Over that time I’ve come to the honest reality that blogging is a hobby, and by extension a business for many, done predominantly by women and predominantly by those from a white background. Most times I’m the only black male, if not one of few, in the blogging spaces I’m involved in. It’s noticable when I’m engaging in threads on social media, when I attend blogging conventions and expos and by the demographic of the majority of my 10k readers of the 100+ blog posts I’ve written.

So what’s it like being a black man involved in a space that’s dominated by women.

Honestly I don’t tend to think “I’m the only black guy here. I’m gonna feel so left out” or “I’m a black man so won’t be able to relate to and conversate with everyone else” here and let it haunt me in every interaction I go into. I don’t feel that the colour of my skin or my gender is a hindrance to what I do. There’s more to my identity and personality than being a black man. It’s definitely still a main part of my identity but there’s other factors that have shaped me into the person I am. If anything I use it to my advantage because that means I’m one of a kind and it makes me seem more interesting in the eyes of others. It’s an example of what the black male community are capable of, showing that black men can also articulate themselves well about something they’re passionate about, on essentially what is a piece of paper. We’re not just the footballers, basketball players, doctors, bankers or musicians that we’re stereotyped to be.

Image Credit: Pexels

It’s weird in a way because this world is proclaimed to be a man’s world as much as that narrative is slowly beginning to change and women are beginning to assertive themselves more. Normally the conversations nowadays are what’s it for women in male dominated industries and spaces, the marginalisation they’ve experience and how much harder it is for them to get to positions of power compared to men, and rightfully so. But I personally feel I find myself in a unique situation where the roles are reversed. As a man I’m in a female-dominated space and therefore a minority, contrary to the real world. As a black person I’m in a white-dominated space and therefore a minority, but much like in the real world.

I find myself scrolling down threads and barely seeing anyone who is like me or sounds like me. Some topics such as beauty and skincare I struggle to identify and relate with because its something thats majorly exclusive to females. It’s hard to engage with that content because I don’t think its authentic for me to talk about something that I don’t relate to. I can support it as a fellow blogger but not to the extent my gender counterparts can.

I do think it’s a bit of a shame that not many black male bloggers are out there, consistently too. A question might be why is that the case? Perhaps because it’s not something they are encouraged to pursue as much. This is especially when you compare it to how many black men are thriving in industries like sports, music and financial. It could be that men in society are not being encouraged enough to open up and express themselves. Otherwise it takes away your manhood. There are various explanations and reasons for it. Some reasons I probably dont know and may have to be done in a separate post. There are loads of opportunities bloggers get to work with brands, go on press trips, attend top-quality events. Such things that enhance the quality of their lives. There’s even those who are doing it full-time and earning a living from it.

I don’t perceive it as an issue for myself. I enjoy writing and being a part of a friendly and supportive community. It’s still very much a diverse community despite the lack of black male representation and when I speak of diversity I don’t just refer to race and/or gender. I’m grateful that I have yet to experience some form of ill treatment or marginalisation. Like no one has backed away a few yards from me or sat away from me at seminars and workshops because I look intimidating to them (another stereotype of the average black man). No one has overlooked my content on socials or at least havent felt like they have. Blogging has given me so much pleasure and opportunities that I didnt expect it to give me when I started out and I’m grateful for.

I thought with the lockdown and share some experiences from the perspective of who I am. With everything else going on in the world that it would be an opportunity to reflect on things I may not have been in the mental space for or had the time. I can’t speak for the other few black male bloggers out there nor black women who blog because their experiences may very well be different or similar. It wouldnt be fair for me to generalise it without giving them the chance to talk about it.

I’m gonna leave it at that. Before I sign off my heart and thoughts go out to the late George Floyd and his family and friends. My blog doesn’t touch on social and political issues very much and this post originally didn’t have any ties to it. But the issue of police brutality and systemic racism is so significant and has gone on for far too long. George isn’t the only one. Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Kalief Browder, Breonna Taylor – the list is insurmountable. Innocent lives have been taken by the very people that are supposed to serve and protect them and their communities. This is worth writing many blog posts about.

I would like you all to support in whatever way you can. Spread the word on socials, sign petitions like these, attend peaceful protests or donating to charities. You can even donate to the Floyd family themselves via their George Floyd Memorial fund page. These are not affiliate links nor am I being paid to promote these charities or fundraisers in anyway.

You can follow my blog and follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Stay safe guys, stay healthy and let’s fight the good fight together!

#BlackLivesMatter

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Johnny

Johnny is a 23-year old solo traveller and travel blogger with a craving to know the world better and make the small world bigger!

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44 Comments

  1. June 4, 2020 / 11:44 am

    Such a great and insightful post Johnny!

    And I’m glad to hear that despite not being particularly diverse, the blogosphere is a welcoming and inclusive environment in your eyes. At least within the travel blogging genre, I think it might have something to do with the fact that a lot of us are experienced travellers and thus generally culturally fluent?

    But hopefully we’ll be seeing more and more diversity in the blogging industry. I for one really enjoy reading different people’s perspectives and seeing the world through their eyes.

  2. June 4, 2020 / 12:19 pm

    This was a really great post to read Johnny, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences in the world of blogging. It is definitely a predominately white, female space which can hopefully be addressed by showing more men and Black people that it is okay to have a platform to address feelings and their life – because I would love to see more diversity within the blogging industry! Thanks again for sharing Johnny 😊

    • June 11, 2020 / 1:13 pm

      You have a great voice and this is a great topic that many may think of but havent talked about. I appreciate you sharing this bc it sheds light on female bloggers to also broaden their audience

  3. sdecosmo87
    June 4, 2020 / 12:33 pm

    Great post, thanks for sharing your thoughts! I think it’s awesome to have a different perspective in this space and I look forward to following your adventures!

  4. Ofai
    June 4, 2020 / 12:43 pm

    This is a great post Johnny. I’m glad you don’t feel left out in the bloggers space and you’re making it your own 💪🏾 #RIPGEORGEFLOYD ✊🏾✊🏾

  5. June 4, 2020 / 12:56 pm

    I really enjoued your post and I think you’re touching on what should be done more in the world, having conversations like these. I think its admirable that you are entering the blogging space with it being a white, female dominated space. If anything, it means we need more diversity and uniqueness. Thanks for writing this post ans I’m glad I got to read it, I can’t wait to check out more of your posts.

  6. June 4, 2020 / 12:59 pm

    This was such an insightful post. As a black female who recently entered the blogging community, I’m glad to here that don’t feel left out and you don’t feel like your race is a hindarance to what you do. Seeing that there are few black travel bloggers in general made me question whether it would be more difficult for me to find some success in the blogosphere. You give me hope.

    Also, I’d never considered how few black male bloggers there are. I hope that postlike this enourage more black men to blog. I also hope that we see more diversity in the blogosphere in the future.

  7. June 4, 2020 / 1:03 pm

    This is such a great post! I am so glad to hear it, I agree I believe that this space is loudly white and female and I admire you speaking on that. We need to address it and hear more voices, include more. Thank you!

  8. June 4, 2020 / 1:14 pm

    YES! I feel like the majority of bloggers cover mostly makeup and fashion and as a white female I even find myself having a hard time engaging with those posts because that’s just not where my interests are.

    I am so glad that you are sticking with the blogging community. Keep doing you, the blogging community needs it 🖤

  9. June 4, 2020 / 1:37 pm

    My Bro, myself as a Afro-Latino male, living in america is very tough. People who look like you and me aren’t well represented in the blogging industry as majority of my followers are white. We as minorites need to stand together and speak out on these issues, even if they are uncomfortable to others. Keep striving for greatness because you got a supporter right behind bro. ✊🏽✊🏼✊🏿

  10. June 4, 2020 / 2:20 pm

    This post is really important! I’m sure you don’t need any encouragement from me but I’m glad that you have a space in this community and hope you carry on to inspire others to join 🙂

  11. June 4, 2020 / 2:27 pm

    This is such a great post Johnny! I love the blogging community because we are all together here and it’s like a family. It was very interesting to read your experience and for you to share your thoughts on this matter. I love reading your blog anyway, but this was eye opening and does make you question why isn’t there more male black bloggers. Also I really hope we see more diversity overall in the blogging community and even outside this community but just overall in life. Wonderful post x

  12. June 4, 2020 / 2:37 pm

    As a person of color in the blogging community it’s really great to be able to read a post from this perspective as though I try not to, I often am reminded that this community often lacks diversity. This could just be due to the resources/people I’m exposed to but I’m grateful that out of all of this, I’m able to meet and reach out to more people like me in our bubble.
    Sharing this post a hundred times, thank you
    Bri C

  13. travelonthereg
    June 4, 2020 / 3:09 pm

    Great post, and am heartened that you feel included in the community, despite the fact that yes, it’s completely lacking in diversity, and oftentimes pretty vapid. Like, do I need to read one more plug for a Caribbean beach escape right this sec? Excited to see what you come up with next on your journey!

  14. I’m glad that you opened up and shared your personal experiences in the blogging community. I am also incredibly happy to read that you haven’t felt excluded or treated differently by other bloggers. From my experience, the community is pretty supportive and inclusive. That being said, I hope that by opening up your post will find it’s way to others that may be considering getting into blogging by holding back due to not seeing others like themselves in this space. There is room for everyone!

    • June 4, 2020 / 4:39 pm

      Love this post Johnny. Absolutely agree that there isn’t many males in blogging, let alone those of black ethnicity. I’m British Indian and I haven’t come across one British Indian male blogging. Love your experience and love your posts. I’m relatively new to blogging and thank you for sharing your experience so others can learn and interact.

  15. June 4, 2020 / 5:13 pm

    I have to say, the reason I clicked on your post was because you said that you’re a ~male~ blogger. I have noticed that the blogging community is mostly consisting of female bloggers, probably because many women gravitate towards revenue streams and hobbies that they can do from home. It was nice to read about your perspective.

  16. Gigi M
    June 4, 2020 / 7:35 pm

    Such an insightful post and thank you for sharing your thoughts.I will be a frequent visitor to your blog

  17. June 4, 2020 / 7:43 pm

    Johnny boy! You are and will always be one of my favourite bloggers. You write with passion and honesty. You make me smile whenever I read your posts and see your comments!

    You are one of a kind and a true gent within this blogging community.

    Thank you for sharing this post, it really is one of your best.

    Much love x

  18. June 4, 2020 / 7:56 pm

    This is such an important and insightful post. I’m really happy to hear that you feel comfortable and haven’t been treated differently or excluded in the blogging comunnity for being a black male in a predominently white female dominated community. I have been thrilled over the years to see more and more diversity in the blogging community and enjoy reading blogs from bloggers from all different backgrounds, but your right that it is mostly female and what males there are typically are white. I really hope to see more males and more males from all different backgrounds. I am horrified by what is happening in the US right now and it makes me so sad to think of all the families of these victims who are being murdered by the very people as you say who are supposed to be protecting them. It breaks my heart. I am so glad I found this post on twitter and will definitely be looking forward to your next posts.

    Kadie ♥ The Great Canadian Housewife | A Story About A Girl

  19. June 4, 2020 / 9:18 pm

    There are not enough men who are Black, who are also Bloggers and so I really appreciate this post. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  20. Louise
    June 4, 2020 / 10:01 pm

    Thanks for sharing Johnny! The world needs your voice 💜

  21. Amber Page
    June 5, 2020 / 8:01 am

    I loved reading this! I like reading your posts anyway so reading this was really insightful. I really do think the blogging community is a wonderful place and I am glad you are a part of it!

    Amber – The Unpredicted Page

  22. June 5, 2020 / 8:26 am

    Great post, I can relate to the male half of it, and the struggle to relate to skincare/beauty etc. It does narrow down enough more when it comes too black males, there a couple I read regularly but that’s all I’ve come across.

  23. momminintherealworld
    June 5, 2020 / 1:25 pm

    Hi Johnny,
    I enjoy reading all kinds of blogs in different niches. I like to read current events from many different authors’ perspectives and believe diverse representation is critical in media; I don’t believe we should just pigeon hole ourselves. You never get close to understanding the world until you’ve seen it through other people’s eyes.
    You have a great blog! <3

    • June 5, 2020 / 8:04 pm

      What a beautifully written piece Johnny! I loved hearing your insight into the blogging world and it was very interesting to read. Your blogs are always so thoughtfully written and I look forward to your posts in the future!

  24. June 5, 2020 / 3:39 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your perspective and yes you are right – blogging is a very female, white place (right now). I personally would love to see more diversity in blogging (with race, gender and sexual orientation). I too feel a lot of content in threads doesn’t relate to me as a blogger – not due to my ethnicity but because the way I have lead my life is not the ‘norm’. I too travelled for years and I happen to be a stepmom and can’t have my own kids. Therefore so much content isn’t relevant to me – and I’m not much of a makeup fan so can’t share that either!! I think finding your ‘tribe’ as they like to say feels great, even if it’s a smaller growing tribe of likeminded individuals. Anyway, thanks so much for sharing and keep it up!

    P.s. I wish I blogged back in the day when I was travelling the world! So amazing to do 🙂 Take care!

  25. June 5, 2020 / 3:44 pm

    It has been great connecting with you through blogging. You are definitely one of my favorite male bloggers. I’ve enjoyed reading your traveling posts and have appreciated your support on my fitness related posts. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I hope more black male bloggers will be inspired by this and join the blogging community.

  26. June 6, 2020 / 1:40 am

    I loved reading this. There definitely needs to be more black male bloggers in the community. Personally, I know that my blog is super girly so it may be uninviting for men at first glance, but I do have some posts that both genders can relate too. I try my hardest to be inclusive. I’m proud of you for not letting being a minority in the blogging world stop you, just as us being minorities out in the real world shouldn’t stop us from doing and being whatever we choose!

  27. justthegameoflife
    June 6, 2020 / 4:45 am

    This is such a great post! I am glad that you continue posting and giving a voice to other black male bloggers/readers. Hopefully maybe you might even encourage others to start a blog as well. I know it’s hard to relate to us girly bloggers sometimes but we do appreciate it! I enjoy reading others posts that are different from me though. It helps me get a better outlook and perspective on others lives and ideas/the way others think.

  28. June 6, 2020 / 4:34 pm

    I just thought about this topic a few days ago. Great hearing your insight and seeing your perspective.

  29. June 6, 2020 / 5:19 pm

    Thank-you for this Johnny. Your perspective is important. The blogosphere is definitely saturated with white women, and I’m glad to see your voice being heard. I’m glad to hear you enjoy your experience as a blogger, and hope you continue to thrive.

    I’ve linked to this post in my blog post about Black Lives Matter, I hope that’s okay.
    Wishing you all the best,
    Emily

  30. June 7, 2020 / 10:56 am

    Great post! The blogosphere has no colour or gender – as long as your write about what you love, that is all that matters.

  31. June 8, 2020 / 11:31 am

    Thank you so much for writing this, it’s really refreshing to read and learn about your experience and it’s so lovely to know that you embrace and recognise your individuality in a space where you’re minimally represented. I’d absolutely love to see more men in the blogging industry in general as I think a lot of the time it’s a hobby/career based on personal experiences and it’d be a really good thing to have more input from all different kinds of people. Also in regards to beauty and skincare – I completely understand why you wouldn’t be able to relate if it’s something you’ve never tried before. However, I do think it’s something that is much more open to males now 🙂 You never know, you could love it!
    Alice Xx
    http://www.blacktulipbeauty.co.uk

  32. June 8, 2020 / 8:03 pm

    Hey – thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Its very insightful and interesting to hear. Its great to see it from the other perspective that there are more women bloggers in the blogging world. We have also found this and while I love a bit of beauty advice every now and then I am hungry for peoples opinions and experiences and knowledge on life. Its great to hear that you are not phased about being a black male in a predominately white female dominated space. And we applaud you for being here. May you also encourage many more black males to write about their experiences. I wonder if its about the circles we move in? We have seen and follow many Indian bloggers (as well as variety of other bloggers who make us think) We ourselves are a trio of creatives (2 women and 1 male from a South Asian and White diaspora. I also find it hugely interesting how not many bloggers, unless from the black community, who have talked about our current climate. As Artists – we could not move on without addressing it and I think this is one of the reasons we started blogging – to make a difference, to question the injustices in life, to inspire and to make people think. I think this may be because we do this in our daily lives as actors and writers. I guess the Arts is a movement in itself – also we were all out of work due to lock down. Anyway – long reply but thank you for your post. T.B.C x

  33. June 9, 2020 / 8:32 pm

    I love the refreshing positivity of your post, Johnny. I hope it inspires more black male bloggers to join our community 🙂 I for one would love to read their stories.

  34. June 10, 2020 / 12:41 pm

    Wow, this was a great read! Thank you so much for your insight. Your blog is great!

  35. June 10, 2020 / 7:53 pm

    Something I’ve wondered about for a long time is why there aren’t more male bloggers, in general! I realize that blogging is a female-dominated world, but I often wish it wasn’t. We need different voices, for sure. I’m glad you shared your perspective on this. I’ll definitely be following along with your travels from here on out. Glad that I found you on Twitter!

  36. June 16, 2020 / 1:25 pm

    Thankyou for being a voice in a crowded space, hopefully more men see your success and follow your lead

  37. June 17, 2020 / 8:58 pm

    Thanks for this piece, Johnny. I’ve enjoyed your blog and have read several articles. You are in a unique position, especially being in the travel space. For some reason I have the perception that most who have the luxury of long term travel are not minorities. It was crushing when you wrote that this was, in a way, to show that black men can be well articulated. That’s such a sad truth and it’s upsetting that is the undertone in education. The need to constantly prove stereotypes, gender roles, age related milestones, etc is exhausting.

    Nathalia | NathaliaFit – Fitness & Wellness Blog
    http://www.nathaliafit.com

  38. July 29, 2020 / 10:21 am

    I love this post and I love your honesty and transparency. I love that you are a blogger! The fact that you are a black male blogger really allows you to dominate that space. Imagine along the other men who love to travel. I’m pretty sure they would rather read your blogs because they can relate to you more than women. Keep doing what you are doing.

  39. Chrisk
    July 30, 2020 / 2:08 pm

    You are an absolute inspiration!! This post is so wonderful and timely. Thank you for sharing your perspective so we can all learn.

  40. Keena
    August 10, 2020 / 11:08 am

    Love this post , so insightful and honest . Maybe start your own FB group or search for a few for just male bloggers . Your voice is important to . Your perspective is unique because you might notice something different from the typical blogger . I hope you can inspire other bloggers to start their journey.

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