Written By: Jordannah Elizabeth
I’ve been a blogger since I was about 11 years old. Long before Friendster, Myspace and Facebook emerged; the internet was a secret hiding place for intelligent introverted (young, nerdy) writers and graphic designers to express themselves without the drama or disdain of the outside world…or trolls.
Reading and writing are activities that sculpted my identity as a child, and they continue to morph and mold my personality and lifestyle as an adult. I was not a great student. I was moody and strange and very quiet. My parents were divorced and although I had brothers and a circle of friends, I have always experienced a loneliness that only words could heal. I scribbled in notebooks and journals, writing short stories, poems and songs by hand, but when I discovered the internet in 1997, I became completely enamored and wanted to know everything about it.
I learned how to create an email account, and designed “do it yourself, java and template based websites on webspace providers like GeoCities, Tripod and Angelfire. As I got older, I taught myself HTML and my mother bought me domain names so I could own, design and write my own “webjournals”. I cracked codes to Photoshop 5.5 and Paint Shop Pro 7, and built and designed my own web-world in the midst of the pioneering internet nerds that are probably currently making a living, being just that.
So, now I run a couple of online publication and write for a few others. Nonetheless, I want to share three of my favorite blogs..that aren’t mine. These blogs keep me intelligent, entertained and fulfilled.
If you’re connected to my personal facebook account, you have probably noticed that I share a post from Brainpickings.org almost every day. This blog has my complete attention day in and day out, and has a special place in my obsessively intellectual little heart. The site is geared towards out-of-the- box writers and intellectuals, and it certainly makes me feel like I am a part of a club (of 2 million readers) who have tapped into something very special.
Sometimes being a professional writer can leave me feeling misunderstood because the lifestyle is so foreign to many people. Brainpickings understands how writers and bloggers think and what we need to know to grow as professional, well- rounded writers. This site challenges the way I think about love, religion, other famous writers and how I interact with the world. It is a must read.
RAM DASS, LOVE SERVE REMEMBER
Karma Yoga. That’s my whole thing right now. Ram Dass has become my “go to guru” over the last couple of years. I was introduced to his book “Be Here Now” when I was attending college at 17 years old . My hippie boyfriend brought the book to me, and shoved the Tao Te Ching down my throat at the same time. I mean, I’m glad he did that now, but as an adult, Ram has become a source of inspiration in my spiritual life. His humor, honesty and understanding of how human imperfection fights the beauty of enlightenment every day, has taught me to not be so hard on myself. Everything is the way it is supposed to be, and every mistake is just a lesson for us to learn and grow from.
He teaches karma yoga, which is the life path of finding enlightenment through the service of others. That is what I love, it is what I live by, therefore I love Ram Dass and his blog, Love Serve Remember.
SON OF BALDWIN
I have been known to be called “outspoken, real and honest”, but Baldwin was a strong, intelligent, angry man. I personally have not taken the time to really dig into his work and philosophy as I should. Nonetheless, I have a source that not only eases me into understanding the complex black philosopher and thinker, but I have a blog that I connect with on so many social levels, I cannot turn away from it. Son Of Baldwin took the essence of James Baldwin’s beautiful rawness and turned it into an amazing blog that is an activism hotspot for LGTBQ people of color, and African American intellectuals.
“The literary, sociopolitical, sexual, pop-cultural blog. Live from Bedford-Stuyvesant.”
The author of the blog, facebook page and social media magnet keeps his personal persona very private, but I do know he is an African American homosexual man who is sickeningly intelligent and fiercely pent on keeping the eyes of our culture open and aware in regards to the injustices put upon minorities in America.
As a woman of color, a free thinker and a journalist I have the highest respect for Son of Baldwin and believe it is one of the most necessary blogs in America right now.