Dodai Stewart is an editor at Jezebel.com who has enlivened the offerings of this dynamic women’s blog since 2007. Based in New York City and part of Gawker Media, Jezebel is renowned as a respite for intelligent women looking to seriously discuss celebrities and jest about the absurdities of politics. Dodai is an African-American editor there who lends her seasoned expertise to this successful mix, parlaying her background as an executive editor and writer at magazines into her delightful execution in one of today’s most lauded media roles: star blogger. It is thrilling to see a black woman shine in such a prominent position, helping Jezebel.com generate monthly page views in the millions with her quick-witted perspective on the hottest issues of the day. Here is what this black beauty with buzz has to say about writing, pop culture and women working together politically for our greater empowerment.
It’s wonderful to see a woman of color at the helm of a powerful web site geared towards a general female audience. How do you use this platform to bridge the gap between the audiences in terms of understanding and perspective?
I do not attempt to write anything that makes sweeping generalizations about black people. I could never write from the vantage point of “black people are like this.” I try to write with honesty, from my personal perspective, which is as a woman of color. Explaining where I’m coming from can open the mind of someone who perhaps never considered how a woman of color might feel about a certain subject.
In particular I have noticed that online discussions between white and black women tend to quickly dissolve into blame games and negativity. Could the medium be used to promote better synergy between these groups?
Even if online discussions between black women and white women do dissolve into blame games and negativity — I am not sure that this is always the case — but at least there’s an open line of communication happening, with a diverse range of viewpoints. Although our commenter community is incredibly vocal, they are actually a very small percentage of our readership. So for every conversation that seems to dissolve and go nowhere, there are possibly a couple of hundred other people who digested the information and didn’t come away with the same negative result. But I believe, in most cases, a conversation is never a waste of time. Exchanging ideas is how we learn and grow.