We were so honored to have the opportunity to chat with Adrianne George.
Adrianne is originally from Washington, D.C. and is an American ex-patriate currently living in Stockholm, Sweeden. She has lived in London and Brussels and traveled to over 100 cities in 30 countries. She is a social media marketing communications consultant, an award winning blogger, and avid social networker. She is involved in several Internet projects including the Black Women in Europe Blog, EurObamaBlog, BlackExpat.com, StockholmExpat.com, JobsinStockholm.com Blog, and the Women of the African Diaspora website. She has also been featured in a web exclusive for the Tavis Smiley show.
We asked Adrianne about her interests in the African Diaspora, her website and her life experiences. Here is what we learned…
Live Unchained (LU): How did you become interested in the African Diaspora?
Adrianne George (AG): I can’t remember not being interested in the African Diaspora. I became fascinated with the Black European experience after reading about American ex-pats in Paris during the Harlem Renaissance.
LU: Why did you want to start Women of the African Diaspora (http://womenoftheafricandiaspora.com/)?
AG: I thought that starting the Women of the African Diaspora website was a good way to combine my resources with Sandra’s (co-creator of Women of the African Diaspora website). I wanted to keep a focus on Europe and she wanted to continue her outreach to Amercan sisters. And we both wanted to connect with sisters on all continents in the process. That is why the welcome page of our social network is written in several languages. I was able to find sisters on the Black Women in Europe social network to translate for us!
LU: How long has the website been up?
AG: We celebrated our 1st anniversary in November 2008.
LU: What are some of the things women use the website for?
AG: The site is a source for books, artists, musicians, advice, news, etc. I think women use the website for inspiration and information.
LU: What modern day men and women inspire you? How?
AG: My family has always inspired me. I am fascinated with my famliy history. The other expats I meet inspire me as they have created such wonderful lives for themselves. And of course the Obamas inspire me!
LU: Why do you think it is important to understand that the black community is global in scope?
AG: I think it is important to understand that we are all one on this planet and particularly important to recognize the global Black community because we are so disconnected in ways, yet we aren’t. For example, it is absolutely wonderful to travel to different continents and see beautiful brown faces like yours. Yet if you never leave your front yard, often you are unaware that you are part of a huge community.
LU: What does activism mean to you? Would you consider yourself an activist?
AG: Activism to me means letting your voice be heard for someone without a voice or unsure of how to use their voice. I think I am an activist for raising the positive profile of Black women, particularly in Europe.
LU: Are there any thinkers who have been influential in your politics? Your global perspectives?
AG: I was taught to think for myself. Everyone has an opinion, why not trust your own? But my grandparents, uncle and parents have travelled extensively. My mother is an ethnomusicologist so respecting different cultures was the norm.
LU: Outside of politics, is there another connection you feel to women of the African Diaspora? Spiritual? Intellectual? Personal? (We aren’t trying to suggest that spiritual, intellectual and personal motivations can’t also be political…).
AG: I don’t feel connected to every sister I know on a deep level. You connect with some people and others you don’t. But on a large scale I feel connected to my sisters everywher because their experiences are mine. All it would take is a different set of circumstances and I would be in their shoes, and vice versa. Oursiders don’t look at me and think: oh she’s American. They look at me and think, wow, what a beautiful Black woman! At least in my mind they do. That is the same for all Black women.
Watch Adrianne George for Tavis Smiley: