Love, Life Stories

My presence online brings visibility to mixed-race women

A few months ago, I was spending weeks pitching ideas about my experiences to various websites, struggling to get a reply. Today, I'm editing the Race Section at The Tempest.

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A few months ago, I was spending weeks pitching ideas about my experiences as a mixed-race woman to various websites, struggling to get a reply. Today, I’m editing the Race vertical at The Tempest.

Allow me to elaborate.

After networking with other creatives as Mixed-Remixed, I was inspired to share my work across various platforms. I pitched my stories to several sites; I even submitted a piece to the Huffington Post, and (perhaps obviously) never heard back. I’m telling you – rejection culture can be real. Add to the equation that mixed-race identities are often placed in a binary – and you’ve got a relatively tough atmosphere to crack.

They actually wanted my piece on their site! Click To Tweet

But I decided to persevere. I remember really enjoying a couple of articles that were published on The Tempest, so I decided to pitch an article around my struggles. A week later, I heard back – the first time someone actually responded back to me that wasn’t an automatic rejection email.

They actually wanted my piece on their site!

After that piece went live, I began to send in more pitches about mixed race representation in TV and literature. At that point, I was just writing as a contributor. But soon enough, I was approached with the opportunity to come on as an Editorial Fellow. I said yes right off the bat. I was that excited! The fellowship would allow me publish pieces on the site five times a week, and write for other sections besides Race.

Being an Editorial Fellow for The Tempest gave me a platform to talk about what it meant for me to be mixed-race in various contexts. I didn’t always write pieces about multiraciality, but when I did, it was a great way to receive feedback from others who either didn’t know that that’s what some mixed women experienced, or was able to relate to it if they identified as mixed.

The Tempest gives me a special space to be myself. Click To Tweet

Having my face, and voice, on this site for others to see a mixed-race writer means so much to me.

A bit before my fellowship came to an end, our CEO contacted me about taking on the position of Race Editor. At that point, I wasn’t even thinking that could be a possibility in my future with The Tempest. I thought I would be a contributor again once my fellowship ended.

Being able to help other women tell their own stories while being a part of a diverse staff is not an opportunity that is just handed to anyone. It takes time and effort to get to that place.

I am proud to be a part of this safe place. Click To Tweet

With some time and elbow grease, here I am. And I couldn’t be happier. The Tempest is comprised of such a great online community of women. Our fellows and staff are so open and kind.  Their hard work ethic makes me proud to continue to be a part of this safe place.

I believe that the future of women in media will continue to expand in being a safe space and including other forms of media, and I am confident that The Tempest will be a part of that future.

Maya Williams

Maya Williams

Maya Williams has her Bachelor’s in Social Work and Bachelor’s in English from East Carolina University. She also has her Master’s in Social Work and Certificate in Applied Arts and Social justice from the University of New England. She has published articles and poems on sites such as The Tempest, INTER, Black Girl Nerds, Multiracial Media, GlitterMOB, and Soft Cartel. In her spare time, she enjoys writing and performing spoken word poetry, facilitating writing workshops for youth, and watching movies/musicals.

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