What prompted you to start Blavity?
Morgan DeBaun: I started Blavity last summer and it originated because I felt like something was missing. I felt like having a media brand that was focused on the topics that I cared about was long overdue our own community.
How did it start?
MD: I am a techie and I moved to Silicon Valley straight after college.You can access to so many pieces of information on the internet but nothing we can relate to. So we actually started off as a video site. I was writing blogs and the team was doing video content but no one wanted to watch. It was all video and then we were doing a blog. The blog got more hits than the video was itself. So when we saw that we noticed there was a need for the blog site.
What does Blavity mean?
MD: Blavity means black gravity. It’s a term that my friends and I used in college that was a moment when all the black people sit down at lunch. You’re loud and you’re having fun and you’re talking about tons of different ideas ,what happened last night and that moment of comfort sitting at the black table was black gravity; Blavity represented that moment for us.
I see Blavity is in the DC area what do you have in store for the city?
MD: DC is awesome as it relates to having a diverse set of black people and proximity to other cities NYC, Philly and ATL. California is far from a lot of happenings in the black community. We are a tech company and most of our time and energy is spent online building a community. Honestly, it’s “to be determined” to see what that looks like in the future for Blavity and the city.
What’s next for Blavity as a business?
MD: We are working on an iPhone app.The main thing about the black community is access is to information and communication. Currently black folk around the world create lots of work around the world to communicate with each other.Blavity will combine those things and give access to media that mainstream media doesn’t provide.
What’s been the biggest challenge with Blavity?
MD: The hardest thing for me as leader of Blavity is not being distracted by people who don’t get it or don’t see how “black people influencing American culture influences the world”. Black people are so important for us to understand and invest in. It’s fundamental truth. That’s something that I had to learn that it’s not my responsibility to get people to understand. My journey as a tech entrepreneur looks different for someone who is in tech whose not building something for the black community.