Diverse representation in the media matters. Representation is continuously needed to appropriately decipher accurate news, positive trends in communities of color, and to positively change the narrative. Media mavens like Lydia T. Blanco have set out to do so.
Blanco is effectively sharing Black stories in a positive, uplifting and dope manner across multiple media platforms. As a journalist, she focuses on entrepreneurship, career, and lifestyle. Throughout her career, she has reported on education, financial literacy, tech, health, and more at NBC News, Black Enterprise, Forbes, and a variety of publications. In addition to writing feature stories, Lydia is an on-air talent, speaker, moderator, facilitator, media content strategist, and brand transformation specialist. Some of her highlight interviews include Percy ‘Master P’ Miller, Octavia Spencer, Cathy Hughes, Sheryl Sandberg, and Debra Lee. And, her speaking engagements range from Google to Social Media Week in Lagos,
Blanco is the host and producer of the how-through lifestyle podcast, The Get My Life Tour, which focuses on practicing vulnerability and how to show up for yourself. To date, guests have ranged from Miko Branch, CEO of Miss Jessies to Lifestyle Miss Diddy, CEO of The Brand Group LA. And the podcast has garnered an international audience and is available on 10-listening platforms. “I’m looking forward to season 3 of the podcast. I’m excited about bringing people ‘on tour’ with me to share their how-through stories,” said Blanco. “Showing up for myself and others through this podcast been a transformative experience. I’ve always wanted to have my own show. And it is my prayer that this platform makes room for that.”
She is also the creator of Sincere Visions, a digital platform rooted in equity, media literacy, sociology, history, and culturally responsive reporting.
“My community inspired me to become a writer. I grew up in the Bay Area and so many things were happening around me. I felt like there was an opportunity for storytelling,” said Blanco. “Oftentimes, news reporters come to my neighborhood and leave important details out of the stories that would leave us to fill in the gaps.”
That’s one of the things that inspired Blanco to tell stories in a powerful way. However it was an elementary school assignment that peaked her interest in poetry and journalism. “We had an opportunity to make a book in the 3rd grade. I chose to write poetry about self-esteem, hair, and things that were happening in my community. I’m surprised at how God was using me at that age to lead me on a path as a storyteller,” she reminisced.
To some, it’s no surprise that she is the media maven she is today given her strong foundation in community, faith and resilience.
She channels that strength daily to maintain stay at the top of her game journalistically. “For me, it is all about being firmly rooted in my ‘why’ as a storyteller, making sure that assignments are in alignment with who I am; and what message I’m putting out there,” she continued.
It is also important for Blanco to “say yes to what makes sense,” she explained as she spoke on how she remains balanced.
That balance is fueled by her following routine in her writing. Which includes coffee, silence, enthusiasm, and taking the time to be precise. “I take time to be silent before speaking with someone. I have to have silence and peace in both my heart and mind before tackling a story,” said Blanco. It’s also key for her to be on fire about what she is reporting about as he informs others.
Her style can be described as poetic, hard-hitting, and timely. “My storytelling is moving us forward,” said Blanco.
That is why she is Black Girl Magic. “I’m Black Girl Magic, you’re Black Girl Magic; and I would be so upset if I weren’t!” she said..
Her storytelling is transforming the narrative right before our eyes. And when asked what is the essence of a great writer, her response is, “A writer is an artist; a soldier without a sword; and often who we didn’t think that we needed.”
Creatives such as Lydia T. Blanco are supporting the culture for a dope year in twenty, twenty WON in media.
How will you help to change the narrative?
Writer, C. Scott, is a mother of one; author, social worker, early literacy interventionist and entrepreneur. Follow her on Instagram as @curls_coils and @mysweettealife.
Featured Image by Omar Thomas