In this first installment of the SheThrives Network‘s spotlight on “Thriving” women, Jenn M. Jackson sat down with popular blogger, commentator, and television writer, Danielle Belton. The brains and beauty behind the Snob Blog, Belton is quickly becoming a household name on all things political snark.
In this three-part interview, we discussed Belton’s career as a blogger and writer, Oprah, advice for new bloggers (Part 2), and we even left a little time for politics (Part 3). Join us at the table for a SheThrives Network worthy introduction to a wonderfully “Thriving” woman.
Jenn: So I’ve been following you probably for a little over a year. I’m kind of new to the blogosphere, and I really knew nothing about blogging for awhile. But I did recognize your site immediately. I know you’ve been incredibly busy. You’ve been writing for Clutch [Magazine], you’ve been writing for Essence [Magazine], you’re on NPR, you’re on MSNBC. So, I mean besides that stuff, is there anything that you are working on now that’s coming up soon that you thing our audience and our readers would need to be on the lookout for?
Danielle: Right now I have taken some time to work on a book about race and class, and I am hoping to finish this year. Right now I have a potential publisher interested, nothing is concrete yet, but I am writing a book.
Jenn: Very cool. That is awesome. So is that something that you have always wanted to do?
Danielle: Oh yeah. It’s one of my lifelong dreams to be a published author. I’ve wanted to be a published author since I was a little kid. I loved books so much. I was always an avid reader.
Jenn: Well, congratulations. That’s awesome.
Danielle: Thank you.
Jenn: So, in terms of, so you are writing you said on race and class. Are you going to be partnering with other women in the field or is it kind of going to be your stance and maybe you’ll do interviews or pull from other resources?
Danielle: It’s going to be mostly … I’m going to do interviews with different people but it is mostly going to be about me presupposing or kind of explaining how class fluctuations affect African American culture.
Danielle: The fact that you have so many people where one minute you are middle class where if something happens you are back down to the working class or lower. Within a family you can have, like in an extended family, you could have one member of the family do quite well, and you all have to still, you are a family unit, so you’re still together.
Danielle: You still spend time together. You still do things. So, I want to talk about how that actually affects us internally. So you have such class insecurity and how that affects you psychologically, how that affects your relationships. How that affects who you date, who you marry, who your friends are, where you go to school.
Jenn: Wow. That is really interesting .Very cool. So, I’ll be on the lookout for that one.
Jenn: So, I am a follower of the Snob Blog and I love your snark. I like to believe that I have a bit of snark too but I just get told that I’m mean. Maybe I need to fix my snark. So, I know Snob Blog has been around for a while, a couple years now right? When did it Snob Blog start?
Danielle: It started in 2007.
Jenn: In 2007, and so, when you started Snob Blog, did you think that it was going to, I mean, blow up, like it did as quickly as it did and get you to where you are now? I mean, what were you expecting when you started the Snob Blog?
Danielle: I had no idea of what was going to happen. I just kind of started the blog on a whim cause I missed writing my column at my old newspaper and I had no idea that it would take off as quickly as it did. Like, I started in the fall of 2007 and then by the time 2008 rolled around, I had a really decent following like, it was amazing. And, I was doing NPR. I was getting interviewed by newspapers for my commentary. It just happened really really quickly.
Danielle: People really, the blog really resonated with people. They really enjoyed the content and it validated me because I felt, when I was in journalism, it was really hard for me to breakout. I worked for a lot of small town newspapers and I lived in small markets. And, it’s really hard to get the attention of major magazines and publications when you go to a no name university and you work in Bakersfield. So, the internet was really a way to level the playing ground for me to show that I did have the type of skills that could resonate with a larger audience. That could transfer on a larger scale nationally and without the internet, I don’t think I would be able to do that. I think I’d be still be stuck. Small towns, I probably wouldn’t even be in journalism anymore. I don’t know what I’d be doing if it weren’t for the website.
Jenn: Next question is so, I know that there are a lot of emerging black women in politics and the media, in music, so recently, I mean, we have seen Beyoncé rise to super ridonculous stardom. Serena is on the cover of Essence. And, Melissa Harris-Perry has her show. So, if you could partner with one other thriving black woman in Hollywood, the media, music, or otherwise, who would it be and why?
Danielle: Oh, well I mean, if we are going with someone with a successful track record it would be a toss-up between Shonda Rhimes and Oprah.
Jenn: Oh Yes.
Danielle: Shonda Rhimes because I really, I was a TV writer and I would like to continue writing in television so I really admire her work the fact that she has been able to produce so many hit shows for ABC. You know, it’s hard enough for anybody to produce hit shows. The fact it’s a black woman at the helm using her concepts and ideas and characters you know, that’s pretty impressive. And, I’d love it if she’d be my mentor, that’d be amazing. And well, Oprah for obvious reasons.
Jenn: Well yeah.
Danielle: She’s not thriving, she’s like made it. She’s above us all hovering.
Jenn: I mean, I think she’s been the one name “Oprah” for I don’t even know how long so she’s kind of like, up there.
Danielle: Once you hit one name status, you know you’ve made it.
Our lighthearted interview got even more juicy in part two. Stay tuned for the second installment of our sit down with Danielle Belton. She is definitely a “Thriving” woman.