How It Feels To Be A Black Girl: Beyond The Hashtag
First off, I'd like to start this post by saying what How It Feels To Be A Black Girl was created for. This web series was created for black girls/women to have a save space to share their thoughts on multiple topics in relation to being a black girl. When I first started this series, I used the hashtag to get the word out. I also hosted a few tweet chats on Twitter and also encouraged black girls to post their selfies on the tag. Unfortunately, this brushed over the fact that #HowItFeelsToBeABlackGirl was more than just a hashtag. Don't get me wrong, I was still happy to see so many black girls using the tag and relating to each other. However, the amount of work that is put into this movement is not just a catchy hashtag (no offense to others). Hashtags are very effective when it comes to uplifting black people, but having something beyond that is difficult do deal with.
My best friend/co-host, Nia, assisted me last season by coming up with the subtitle, "Black Girls Reloaded", as well as the topics for the whole season, but even then, I felt so much pressure. I had to constantly remind a good deal of my cast to send in their videos on time. I had to edit videos last minute because I would not get most of the videos on time. Editing softwares like iMovie and adobe Premiere take a while to save and upload to YouTube. Then it was the money I spent to get the right logo, and despite selling products online, I still do not get half of those profits. I just wanted to see people supporting by wearing the logo. Another issue is promotion. I had to get people to promote the series and I'm using the tag to do so, which was harmful. Since the hashtag was trending, the actual episodes got lost in all the tweets that were composed. Despite my Twitter name standing for "How It Feels To Be A Black Girl", people still did not pay attention.
What I am currently doing is redefining the web series and how it is done. Instead of doing individual videos, the show is now panel-style. This is where more work came in for me and my cast members. I had to come up with topics and with the help of my cast we narrowed 11 topics down to our favorite 5. I also had to schedule studio time, create a schedule, and ensure that all of my cast members made it there without any issues. I am also a college student and unfortunately unable to compensate my cast for their travels (most came via metro).
This is something dear to my heart and that is why I work so hard for this movement. I just hope with this information people will understand and further look into the movement beyond the hashtag.