On Bloggers: An Interview with Popped Black Woman

One of the best things about these internets are the many opportunities we get to ‘meet’ new people, read different perspectives and broaden our little bit of the world. I am very happy to have come across Popped Black Woman one day in my WordPress feed and have been hooked on her positivity and good nature ever since. I’m encouraged by her spirit and I’d like to pass that on to all the wonderful folks who follow my blog…we all need a positive, optimistic, and powerful woman in our blogosphere…

Please enjoy getting to know Carla of the Popped Black Woman Blog!

Carla Duckface

I’ve come across some very interesting blog names and I really like yours. How did you come up with Popped Black Woman and what does it mean?

I wanted to choose a name that would be different and memorable. Since my blog is all about empowerment for women, especially women of color, I thought the phrase positively (P) optimistic (O) and powerful (P) would get the point of the blog across since I wish to create a space of encouragement as we recognize how much power we have when we change our perspective from negative to positive. Yet, I knew that the acronym would get attention and a few chuckles, especially from the younger crowd since “popped” has so many different street meanings, but also in light of the popular YouTube video that popularized the phrase “P.O.P. Holdin’ It Down” @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgV4RIWGC6I

What are your goals for your blog?

I hope to turn my blog into a real community where women feel connected and encouraged to be better than they were yesterday. I hope to have Popped Black Woman meetups and conferences. I hope that it really makes an impact on peoples’ lives for the better.

One of the things I really enjoy about your blog is your positive introduction to your marriage and family. How important do you think it is to show positive images of marriage, specifically black marriages and family, on your blog or in social media?

It’s interesting that you mention that because it was never the intention to do that. Being a married mother is just kind of my context so I can’t help writing about it. Yet, I’m glad if the blog does give positive images of marriage and family. I think it’s important because there’s a lot of propaganda out here that young black people don’t value marriage or commitment, but I’ve been noticing more and more young black couples getting engaged and married on my social media newsfeeds. I think positive images of marriage are also important to give single black women hope as well since the media keeps telling them that there’s no hope for them to find a “good, black man.” I hope that the blog shows people that marriage is not perfect, but is worthwhile work. I hope it’s also clear that marriage is not the cure for anything and that we still have to continually work on ourselves to reach our full potential and fulfill our personal goals.

Aaron and Carla Going Out Pic

When will we get Popped Black Man again? I loved it

I’m not sure exactly when it will be back. Aaron tends to be pretty busy plus the blog is so new that I wanted to take a step back and get a good foundation of female voices of empowerment before adding a regular male voice to the mix. Plus, honestly I think that it’s good to keep some things separate in a marriage. As a current stay at home mom, there are few things that are just for me so blogging is one thing that I’d like to keep my space for a little bit.

What do you want your readers to feel/understand about you and your blogging

I want my readers to feel that they can relate to me in that I’m just another young woman that doesn’t have it all together and is trying to slowly make progress and be better than I was yesterday. I want my readers to understand that I blog in hopes of lifting others up and providing encouragement for those rough days or periods when life presents more questions than answers. I’ve had my share of dark moments and seasons. I’ve battled with depression and still work to keep it at bay so my hope is for Popped Black Woman Blog to be a safe haven of good vibes.

What blogs inspire you and why?

Besides your blog of course, I’m really inspired by Yesterday, I Was a Mom (https://andevengreaterworks.wordpress.com/). The blogger of this site, Puddin, is really sweet and she’s done and is doing things that I feel passionate about as well. She blogs about teaching in China. I love traveling and at one point I considered teaching abroad. The longest I’ve been abroad was a summer in London for study abroad during college. Puddin is actually living in China right now and I think it takes major guts to uproot yourself and become immersed in a different culture. I was homesick in London after a couple of weeks so I can’t imagine the difficulty of living in a completely different culture for several months plus! She also used to be a foster mom, which is something I would like to be in the future as well.

What do you find most challenging about blogging?

One of the most challenging parts for me is being open about my views and feelings. I’m a pretty private person so it takes a lot more effort for me to draw from my personal experiences to talk about certain issues. But, I feel that if my story can motivate others in some way, it’s worth putting my neck out there a little. Another difficult part is being consistent with a good amount of posts each week. Sometimes I have ideas but it’s difficult to make the time to write and post.

Name three things you want your blog to be known for?

I want it to be encouraging, relevant to people’s daily lives, and enjoyable to read.

What makes you positively optimistic and powerful?

The moment when I realized that I had to take responsibility for my life and my thoughts in order to have my definition of success and be the best Carla that I can be, I became positively optimistic and powerful. For me, it is about making the choice to be optimistic and realizing that I am not powerless to the happenings of life, but that I have the power if I can retrain my negative thought patterns. For the longest time, I played the victim for things not being how I wanted them to be in my life. I blamed by childhood. I blamed God for making me shy and insecure. I don’t blame anybody else anymore.

What other attributes do you hope to emulate in your life?

I hope to be honest and genuine. W.E.B. Du Bois helped point out how black people tend to have 2 selves-American and Negro. I’ve always struggled with which Carla to be at certain times. I think this tension was fueled by going to predominantly white schools during high school and college. I think that I’ve grown in being me no matter what crowd I’m in, but it’ll always be an area to grow in I’m sure. I also hope to be able to call myself fully confident and secure for my sake as well as my daughter’s. I want her to be confident, bold, and fearless which she pretty much already is at 18 months! But, I know that I have to lead by example.

What advice do you give women to cultivate these attributes and why are they important?

I think we grow in all areas by stepping outside of our comfort zones and doing the very things that we are afraid of. By doing those things, we realize that we are capable of so much more than we originally thought. If you don’t feel like you’re a great dancer, dance at every social occasion that you have! The practice may help you get better and even if you don’t, you’ll have a good time J If you want to be confident about how you look but you have insecurities about certain things like your full lips, wear red lipstick (I’m clearly talking about myself here which is why #44 on my 101 Things in 1001 Days List is “Wear lipstick for a whole day.”) https://poppedblackwomanblog.wordpress.com/101-things-in-1001-days/

Can you link your outlook on being optimistic and powerful that has led to a personal triumph

The most recent personal triumph has been quitting my job to be home with my daughter. I was afraid to because of other’s people’s expectations of me and how I would be perceived personally and even professionally, but reading The Power of Focus by Canfield, Hansen, and Hewitt really pushed me to trust myself and step out of my comfort zone. My fabulous husband and I figured out a plan to make it work and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Name 3 things you want to be known for in life

  1. Treating people well
  2. Making people that don’t fit in the box embrace what makes them different.
  3. Being supportive to my family and friends

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about building authentic community where people feel free to be themselves and feel encouraged to be their best selves. This has been something I’ve searched for my whole life and I feel blessed to have experienced glimpses of this.

What do you do outside of blogging?

Change diapers, serve meals, play Simon Says, color, give hugs and kisses. I pretty much do the mommy thing 24/7. I just recently started working out again and my goal is to be consistent this time. I just feel so much better in every way when I stick to working out a couple times a week. I also like to dream about vacations and plan for them. I’m so pumped about getting to the Essence Festival in NOLA this summer that I don’t know what to do with myself. It will be extra special for me as it will be a reunion with my college roomies/besties so I hope to God it works out! I know that you want to go to the festival as well so maybe I’ll see you there!

baby

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Favorite Television show:

Of all time-“The Wire” is definitely up there (#TeamIdrisElba all day every day lol). I’m also a fan of Sex and the City reruns, Luther, Downton Abby (yeah I’m into British dramas), Scandal, and Empire.

Favorite Book:

I hate to admit it, but I’m a sucker for Harry Potter books. I have a lot of favorite books, but I’m definitely a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, especially the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows.

Advice for single women, advice for married women?

Man, if I was single (without kids), I would spend a lot of time getting to know myself, meeting as many new people as I can, taking professional and business risks, and traveling the world. My advice to married women is to hang in there sista lol! There will be ups and downs but there’s nothing like sharing your life with someone. It’s pretty great. Try to find balance between your family needs and your needs as an individual. I think this will always be a battle, at least for me.

Favorite hobby:

Blogging of course! I’m also guilty of wasting time on MadameNoir.com or playing Candy Crush. I’m in the process of finding new and interesting hobbies!

How do you spoil yourself

I take candlelit baths when everyone else in the house is asleep. Eat Hagen Daz ice cream bars. I also allow myself to get carried away in a few of my favorite TV shows.

Thank you Carla for allowing me to showcase your awesomeness on my blog. Again, I encourage all my followers to pop over and and get to know this fabulous new blogger.

P.S.  Carla- Never be embarrassed to embrace Harry Potter love. J.K. Rowling, besides being a fantastical writer (yeah I said fantastical!) is a brilliant and lovely woman! I too am a HUGE Britphobe! No Essence Festival for me this year but its on my list. Next summer for sure!

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7 thoughts on “On Bloggers: An Interview with Popped Black Woman

  1. Thanks so much for the feature, Shahidah!!! I’m so grateful to be interviewed on your blog and just grateful to have “met” you since I’ve started blogging! I am all smiles right now 😀 Plus I’m glad to hear that we share a love of Brit culture and fantastical writing!

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  2. Reblogged this on PoppedBlackWomanBlog and commented:
    PBWB Fam, I’m so happy to announce that yours truly has been featured on the Properly Improper blog in the series “On Bloggers.” Please stop by there and read about me rambling about all things POP!

    The founder of this blog is the wonderful Shahidah Ali whom you may remember from our February P.O.P. Women feature. Also check that feature out if you haven’t done so already. Shahidah’s spirit inspires me every time I read her words. Much love to you all and keep it poppin’ 😉

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