Brittany recently had the opportunity to virtually ask DeAnna Taylor, a local freelance writer, a few questions about her role as Editor in Chief of Charlotte’s newest publication: The Block. DeAnna shared her goals for the new publication and what she hopes Charlotteans will take away from it. Check it out!

Tell us about yourself…where are you from and what brought (or kept) you to (in) Charlotte? I am a proud native of Charlotte. I was born and raised here, so I have seen firsthand all of the changes (good and bad) that my city has gone through. I went away for college and law school but came back to be near my grandmother who was sick at the time. I moved away again from 2017-2018 to live in South Korea. Now, I am back again…for now.

Tell us more about The Block…how did it get started? The Block is a digital publication focused on Black creatives and creative entrepreneurs. Some will say that having a publication for Black creatives is “racist,” but we are the only people who can truly tell our stories from an authentic perspective. So often, Black artists and entrepreneurs get overlooked or their stories covered up due to white counterparts. We are simply bringing a safe place and a space for their voices to be heard.

The publication was created from a series of in-person workshops that were launched by Hue House (founding members: David J. Butler, David “Dae Lee” Arrington, and Davita Galloway). They reached out to me for the Editor in Chief role and to take over the creative direction of the digital platform.

What are your goals as The Block’s Editor in Chief for the publication? My goal is to share as many untold stories as we can, while empowering our community and audience with any resources needed to take their brand to the next level. I want to share stories from creatives and entrepreneurs all around the globe.

What do you hope Charlotteans will take away from The Block and the stories it shares?  While we are based in Charlotte, we ultimately want to reach the world. But as far as our Charlotte community, we hope that they are inspired by the stories and information that we put out each week. A big component of our publication is our visuals. We invest heavily on striking visuals through our own in-house team of photographers and videographers. We understand that people today are drawn in by what they see, so we are ensuring that we put out quality visuals that will keep people coming back for more.

How would you describe The Block in three words? Empowering, Uplifting, Culture

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned working in the media industry? Not everyone will appreciate your work. With the internet at everyone’s fingertips, you are bound to get some negative feedback or trolling. But, you cannot let that deter you from your mission or the overall message within your work.