Liz Brazile describes herself as a “23-year-old with an opinion, a voice and a platform.” While she’s all those things, she is so much more. With a BA in journalism from the University of Cincinnati, Liz is an emerging online voice. Her writing brings a critical and empathetic perspective to controversial social topics.
This oftentimes invokes reflection and a reaction from her readers, which has caused her to gain a larger online audience. Her blog “Reclaiming My Time” was titled as an ode to black women remaining vocal and not allowing themselves to be talked over or gaslighted. The blog features some of her most talked about pieces including, “The “P” Word: Examining the Intersections of Privilege and Oppression” and “7 Unmistakable Signs Your Allyship is Performative.” If you visit the comment sections of these essays, you will find a mixture of gratitude and appreciation for her opinionated essays, as well as criticism and condemnation of her point of views. However, she doesn’t let this stop her.
“I’ve gotten quite a bit of backlash for the essays I’ve written. Calling folks out for their participation in another person’s oppression,” she shares, “tends to piss them off.” Though Liz doesn’t allow the hate to deter her from shedding light on important issues, she doesn’t simply ignore it either. “I handle backlash, one of two ways,” she explains, “depending on how I’m approached: either I take the opportunity to explain my rationale a little bit deeper to my disgruntled reader or I clap-back for the culture one time and keep it moving.”
Despite the effect of her writing and the fact that it acts as an impactful form of activism, Liz asserts this is not her primary intention. She explains, “I want people to know that I write what I write because I feel compelled to do it. I think it’s wonderful that my writing resonates with so many people but at the end of the day, I am writing my own conscious.”
Nevertheless, Liz is effectively participating in a form of activism that has helped shape society for the better for centuries. Whether through the form of journalism, providing social commentary, creating film scripts or authoring books, writing has helped to bring light to minimized issues, connect the masses with the marginalized and make sure important issues are not forgotten.
Liz offers an educated rebuttal to those who minimize the importance of protests and speaking out. “I say take a look at history,” she retorts, “People who downplay the role of civil unrest or social commentary in inspiring change, have a narrow understanding of what “change” is. Most people who protest understand that results are not going to be immediately visible or quantifiable.”
With the current climate of society, an increasing amount of people are becoming more instrumental in bringing awareness to injustice and helping marginalized and oppressed groups. While immersing ourselves in social injustice to stay informed and helping facilitate change is important, it can also have adverse side effects. The reality is, not shying away from hot-button topics and the current perils of society, and dealing with backlash, can be emotionally and mentally exhausting. To keep herself sane, Liz allows herself to disconnect when things become to much. She encourages readers to draw boundaries when deciding how many and which issues to put their energy into. “A lot of the rhetoric on social justice reinforces the tenet that “the work is never done”. While that is true, that doesn’t mean that you have to crusade for justice 25 hours a day, 8 days a week,” she explains, “It’s okay to take a break and mental health should be a priority.”
Going into 2018, Liz intends to continue elevating her career, expanding her blog and taking on new creative ventures. While doing these things, she’ll be sure to make time for continuing to learn herself and the world around her.
To read some of Liz’s essays, please visit her website at reclaimingmytime.blog .