I currently am on the bus going to ECBACC so yay for time to actually be able to write something. Or just watch the kid on my left who’s throwing his hands as if shadow rapping.

I got an email not too long ago of some person confusing the Black Witch name. See, instead of actually reading the site or anything crazy like that, they thought I was a black magick practitioner (also known as the “Left Hand Path”). Granted, even though magick is neither black nor white, I am not on the Left Hand Path. Also, when I say I’m Black, it’s in reference to my race. The “witch” part is in reference to what I do. This email annoyed me only on the principal that the person who wrote the email never had it cross their mind once that I could be called Black Witch becaaaaaaause I’m, I dunno, Black? Like, as in a Black person, a person who is part of the African diaspora, a Negro, I have the skin tone, facial features, hair texture and all. I’ve been bothered by cops, passed up for jobs I’m perfectly qualified for, even yesterday, some random lady pulled her bag closer to herself when I was behind her on the escalator. There’s even a picture of me on the “About Me” page. It’s dated by five years or so, my hair is now natural instead of permed like back in that pic so I should change it but that’s basically still me. Y’know, Black, as in a Black person.

I think I even wrote on there on the About Me page that this blog is for the intersection of the Black and Pagan experience. I have posts on race here that are pretty decent written – waaaaaaaaaaaay too well written for this site to be penned by a White person, especially the average White Pagan. Most of them can’t even get past their own micro-aggressions and casual racism to just not culturally appropriate, it would be nearly erroneous to assume they could pen nuanced and sensitive pieces on something they know little about. Actually, I think that I mentioned my race several times in those pieces, either directly (“I’m Black”/”as a Black person”) or indirectly (“Black people have definitely suffered many trials and tribulations but we as a people…” (Notice the “we”?)) so I don’t know how the letter writer missed that. And if they weren’t checking, they still should have skimmed the site some before simply blowing me an email I ultimately would dismiss because of their lack of attention to detail.

I also know that I have made really clear that this site is mainly for Black Pagans, the core audience. Anyone outside that audience, I don’t care so much about. So many Pagan blogs are hyper-focused on Whiteness and White-washing that I don’t have to care since there are literally hundreds of options out there for White Pagans to pick their media, even down to Pagan magazines down to random blogs and social media. And the average Black blog is so Christian centered that it’s pretty annoying in and of itself. Christianity is an important part of the Black experience, true, but wow, how about acknowledging Black folks in different faiths exist? And not in a “potential convert”/”Look at that weird person over there not worshiping Jesus” way? But ultimately, this blog is for Black Pagans, plain and simple. I’m not incredibly concerned for my White readership, this isn’t their learning ground of “how to interact with darkies”, it’s a space for Black Pagans ultimately so they have something to read that, at least, is directed at them. I’m not the champion voice of the Black Pagan experience, there’s definitely other Black Pagans who have opinions that are just as valid as mine on the same subjects I write on, even if it is not the same opinion. I just want to provide something because there wasn’t anything I could find prior to Black Witch and trust, I looked. As said originally on the “About Me” page, you don’t have to be Black and Pagan to read Black Witch but please know that Black Pagans will always come first and that particular intersection only. We have such few spaces as it is, needing a space for ourselves in the whole world of Pagan media is important.

Because having folks write to me thinking that I’m not Black despite my site saying it in such point blank and not-so-point blank ways is really annoying and insulting. The letter writer could have saved themselves the time and megabytes it took to write their email if they decided to read – or skim – the site and figure out, “Oh, she’s a Black person practicing witchcraft, not a person (assumedly White) practicing Black magick, my question is probably not her forte. Back to Google it is.” That would have been a much smarter idea. Yeah, I could be a left handed practitioner who is also Black (for the LH people who need directness: I’m not.) who is actually Black but I’m pretty sure it would also be noted in the naming of the site and how I talk about things here. Pretty certain. Besides, Konstanos doesn’t take mail? Go bother him. This site is mainly for the African diasporic experience within Paganism. Only reason I don’t have the tagline saying “Life as the African diasporic Pagan experience” because why sound like a text book because some random White person was too dumb or lazy or hurried to even skim for basic information? If this site isn’t for them then it also means I’m not going to construct a site name or tagline to help them along when the average Black Pagan seems to understand the point of this site just fine. The point of this site isn’t so buried that someone should or could say, “I didn’t know what the site was about, I just assumed.” That is why this is fairly irritating. Even when being direct, your identity is still White-washed. It’s like the Tumblr posts about white washing book characters when they hit movie theatres:

race and literature

Because God/dess save the Queen, King and rest of the kingdom if there is even the slightest mark of visual representation. Or any marked representation at all. Same here, I’m a Black person, that part of my identity (which is part of why I made this column-turned-blog) is kinda important. Just a leeeeettle important. Thus I’m going to get miffed if people not simply dismiss it but confuse it for something else I have never alluded to ever.

It’s almost as bad as when White Pagans come onto this blog to comment on race topics as if a) I nor any other Black person hasn’t heard whatever excuse or reasoning they’re going to say b) their opinion on something they have never experienced before is going to have weight c) they’re going to get e-cookies for trying to center the discussion on their feels or on how White people feel. Those guys know I’m Black and should know that I’m probably more hip to race issues than they are since I’m more negatively affected by it and at a much, much more frequent interval but it doesn’t stop them from going “but what about the White people?”

Dude, it’s like if someone wrote a blog called “Rainbow Express” that was about gay relationships and I wrote in regards to my boyfriend, completely neglecting the point of the blog and then sending in another email going, “Oh! I didn’t know that you were a gay person! Well, I’m straight but could you still provide some help?” Yeah, no. The writer would have every right to go, “What? Are you serious? How did you not catch that this was for gay people? Dude, there’s countless relationship sites for straight relationships and you had to pick this one. That’s not for straight relationships. At all.” That’s exactly what happened to me. Not cool, brah.

So yep, do your research. This worse than when folks have written to me thinking I was a guy. Do people just not read or something or is my About Me picture not big enough? I certainly thought it was. And the pictures the Black Witch facebook page (actually, I’m in both pictures, the profile picture and the cover picture). And this pictures on the Black Witch tumblr. Even the illustrated icon should be a pretty strong hint of what I mean by saying “Black Witch”. And on the Black Witch Twitter. Basically, would have taken the letter writer a couple clicks, if even that, to figure out they made a boneheaded assumption.

Reading and research are both fundamental, everyone. Please actually do some so you don’t look like a dunce like this person.

Alright, that’s all the Black Witch for this week. Next week is The Arts!, let’s see what is getting featured:

– Neko no Shuukai

– Musicogny

– Dr. Nerdlove

Also, the Black Witch 4th anniversary is coming up on June 9th. This means vCast livestream. Celebrate with me on Ustream as we go into the fifth year of Black Witch. I’ll be communicating with readers over the livestream via chat and over twitter (@thisblackwitch)