Introducing Adelina of Ad's Diaspora...
Tell us a bit about yourself and your blog.
I was tired of seeing a stereotypical narrative of Black people in the media, or no narrative at all in some spaces. I decided to write about the stories I wanted to see. I had a bit of a barrier though. With memories from school still in my mind, I convinced myself that I ‘couldn’t write’. Something I regret because I should have started blogging a lot earlier. Once I started, the insecurities I had about not being able to write ebbed away as I kept writing! Writing more helped me refine my style and opened opportunities to feature in publications.
I wrote for Dual Magazine, the first official magazine for the annual Africa Utopia Festival 2016, at the Southbank Centre London. My feature, “No ‘Fro Zone”, discussed the acceptability of natural hair in the corporate work place. As a natural myself, it was something I related to.
When did you start blogging and what motivated you to start?
I’m always having discussions with friends on the topics I write about. It was a friend who recommended I start a blog. I wrote a few posts in the beginning, receiving positive feedback. This did motivate me, but a lack of time, meant I wasn’t consistent. I started focusing properly on blogging from 2015. Being consistent makes such a difference, even though it is difficult as I still work full time in an unrelated field.
How has your blog evolved since starting your blogging journey?
My writing has become a lot more streamlined. In the beginning, I wrote about anything that interested me, regarding the Black experience. This included sport, history, entertainment, etc. but that wasn’t sustainable. I took a step back and looked at recurring themes in my posts and narrowed them down to fashion, beauty, food and positive or topical stories about the African diaspora legacy.
My fashion posts are written from a different perspective. Along with emerging African fashion designers, I also write about diversity issues in the mainstream fashion industry. Most of my posts look at the underlying stories. For example, when supermodel Ajak Deng quit modelling, that inspired a post about racism in the fashion industry.
Beauty posts include anything from natural hair (I have a curation of natural hair vloggers I follow), information about understanding natural hair, visibility of black men and women in the beauty industry and UK Black owned beauty businesses (usually these are direct interviews).
Considering the historical legacy of Black people in the UK, our food hasn’t become mainstream like Asian food. After a friend declared she would not go out socially to eat unless we went an African or Caribbean restaurant (over the years we’ve spent so much money eating food from other cultures), I’ve been interested in looking at the African-Caribbean food experience.
Where do you see yourself and your blog in five years time?
Hopefully it will be a fully established popular lifestyle blog. At that point (or sooner) it would be great to work on it full time as well as other writing ventures.
Do you have any bloggers you admire and follow yourself?
I follow so many hair and beauty vloggers on YouTube! I also follow blogs and magazines on Wordpress and via other social media platforms. It’s good to follow other blogs/vlogs operating in similar spaces as I stay in the ‘know’ and get inspiration. I try to live by this Stephen King quote, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things, read a lot and write a lot.” I’m also starting to consume more literature from Black authors.
Your blog has varied content but is centred on the Black British experience, do you have any advice for bloggers who want to go down the same route?
Do it now! The Black British experience is usually only shown through a specific gaze, to change that we need to re-write and create our own narrative. We should tell the stories we want to see, they’re our stories after all!
What are your hopes for the Black British Blogging community?
I hope it continues to grow and diversify. Black people are known for entertainment whether that be singing/dancing/acting, but we are also doing great things in science, technology, business, academia, health, and these stories should be told too.