Why don’t you write?: Some reflections of 7 months of blogging

In Uncategorized by Adrienne K.7 Comments

(Leather postcard found at an estate sale by Jodi–great use of the alcohol, right? geez.)
Many of you have probably noticed the blog has been a bit quiet this summer, going from about five posts a week during the school year to, like, one–if that. I’m not going anywhere, I promise! I’ve just been finding it a bit hard to balance summer life with its lack of schedule and blogging, which requires a fair amount of discipline. But it’s given me some time to think about the direction of Native Appropriations, and definitely lots of time to reflect on what I’ve learned over the last few months of writing.

Back in January, when I started Native Appropriations, it started with a Facebook-note blitz to all of my friends, asking for suggestions and contributions, for a “project” on cultural appropriation and images of Natives. The response I received was overwhelmingly positive, and I never realized how many of my friends kept files on their computer (like me) where they stuck the offensive images they encountered in everyday life. From that, le blog was born.

I can’t believe it’s really only been 7 months, I’ve learned so much since that first trip to urban outfitters. We’ve dealt extensively with The Strange Case of the Hipster Headdress, endured a wave (that’s turned into a tsunami) of tribal fashion, seen an “Indigenous Olympics,” and survived a sh*t storm created by discussing non-Native participation at powwows. But there were some great things too–like Native street art, powerful advertising campaigns, representing ourselves, and beading contemporary life
I should also thank the “big” blogs–Sociological Images, Racialicious, Shakesville, and even Jezebel(!), for believing in the message and featuring my blog. I’ve truly been humbled by the response.
Through it all, I’ve had my identity as a Native person questioned more times than I can count, had my character attacked (“no better than a pedophile” I think was the best one), and been told I have “no life” or should find “something better to do.” But for every scathing, negative comment, there have been 10 people who’ve emailed to say how happy they are to have found the blog. I’ve definitely gained a thicker skin and a desire for constructive criticism, which has already begun to serve me well in my grad student life. 
So, Dear Readers, thank you. Thanks for sticking with me, for coming around even in these dry months of summer, telling your friends, neighbors, and colleagues, and sending in all the fantastic tips from around the world. I truly wouldn’t be anywhere without you! 
With that, here are some things (minor changes) to be expecting from Native Appropriations this fall:
Guest Posts:
I want more voices than my own on this blog. This started as a collaboration, and I want it to return to that. There are millions of Native perspectives on these issues, and I represent only one. I’m in the process of trying to work out some formalized relationships, but I’d rather just have you send in your thoughts on an issue. Write it up: 250-500 words (or a little more), include some pics, a little snark, and you’re on the blog. Truly. Don’t hesitate, just send it over! 
I’m going to start moderating comments on older posts–it’s not productive to the conversation to have trolls jumping in on old issues. I’m also going to try and contribute in the comments a little more, up until now I’ve tried to stay out, since I didn’t want to seem like the all-knowing “expert” on everything. (see #1) But do know that I read and appreciate all of your contributions, and do take them to heart.
I read them. All of them. I get a ton of tips, and admittedly I’ve been bad about responding–so I’m going to be better! I love hearing your thoughts.
Expect a bigger mix of the usual Random Appropriations and longer posts, but I’m also going to start talking about some of the “bigger” issues in Indian Country too, and linking Native Approp’s readers up with some other great Native blogs and resources on the internets. 
What are your thoughts? What would you like to see more of on the blog? Less of? Anything I didn’t cover that’s been bugging you? Let me know! 
Thanks for a great start, and let’s get the word out about Native Appropriations–remember, you can also interact with the blog in other ways:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nativeappropriations (I tend to post some interesting articles and links here in between posts, and “fans” post some great stuff too, so check it out!)
  • Rob

    All your plans sound good. I’d especially like to hear your thoughts on some of the bigger issues, as you put it. The smaller issues are, well, too small to deserve a lot of attention.

  • The bigger issues are always good for deep discussion, however all the little things don’t normally get any attention anywhere else. That’s one of the reasons I love your blog. There are other sites out there that always talk about the “bigger” issues. Maybe it would be cool to read about such things here too – just don’t ignore the niche with which you started. Keep up the great work!

  • Great blog – be sure to keep up such excellent work! As a Dutch Ph.D student I have found your blog both informative and shocking (the things you come across…). Good luck in the future. Marianne Riphagen

  • I would be interested in hearing about the ‘smaller’ matters, I assume that means the more local/personal things? They are not unimportant!

    This one is more dangerous but I’d appreciate hearing more about you and other’s personal stories, about your clashes with people, about your parents/ancestors/history and your thoughts on them…

    And as others tell you, this blog is fantastic. It’s going to take me a while before I finish going through all of your past posts but you’ve got me hooked, this is a great resource :) Thank you so much.

  • Rob Williams (especially his book ‘Like a Loaded Weapon’) does a great job of linking the seemingly ‘little’ or ‘trivial’ things (like buying into or supporting stereotypes) to the ‘big issues’ (like the deciding of major law cases that affect our daily lives).

    I think this blog has already started to follow his lead (and does so in an accessible and pop cultural way) and provides an important forum for discussing these bigger issues.

    This blog is a wonderful resource and I hope to use it as a teaching tool in the future. Keep up the great work Adrienne!

  • Good blog! We are a political powerviolence band and we linked you on our blog.

  • B

    I’ve been thinking for a few days, and decided I should just say “keep up the good work!” Your ideas for new direction and features for the blog sound good, and what you’ve done already is good, so I fully expect that this blog will continue to grow in awesomeness. Thank you for writing and maintaining it.