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black Russians, black Ukrainians

Me hanging out in my apartment in Kyiv, Ukraine, with my Ukrainian friends on Sept. 4, 2010.

I want Diaspora Wire to be the world’s largest news site that covers important social issues about Black people, no matter which continent they live on. I’ve always had an intense fascination with black people who live beyond American borders, so this is my first attempt at using news reporting and social media to bring as many black people around the world as possible¬†into one space where they can share stories about their struggles, joys and anything else they to discuss.

The main frustration I’ve run into during my journalism career is that I have yet to see a media space where well-financed black journalists can cover a broad range of issues anywhere in the world that exclusively centers the experience of black people.

It’s a pity because wherever I’ve traveled, be Russia, Senegal, Ukraine, Haiti or any place else I’ve been, I saw black people. I was always fascinated with their lives. In the case of Russia, were they born there and did they feel safe? What do Black Russians do for fun. In Russia, of all places? I really wasn’t too interested in Vladimir Putin as much as I was in the Africans I passed on the streets of downtown Moscow who, without fail, extend me the peripheral head nod of black recognition we extend to each other no matter where we are in the world. In Haiti, I was curious about the lives of the people in Port-au-Prince beyond the “Papa Doc” and “Baby Doc” headlines.

I wanted to learn more about all of these people, but one week (which was the maximum amount of time I spent in many places) wasn’t nearly enough to accomplish that.

As I got older and started my journalism career (at age 28), I began following local news sites in Africa, the Caribbean and elsewhere but I wanted read a site where black people around the world hung out in one space speaking to each other about, well, black stuff: politics, dating, police brutality, sports, all of those things.

That is what I am going to do with Diaspora Wire. When it’s all said and done, my news blog will transition into a site with fulltime reporters and staff and will claim the largest global black audience in the world.

You’ll see.

For now, I will be the lead editor. At least twice a week, I’ll report stories and provide analysis on global issues that black people around the world care about.

If you have any suggestions on the kinds of global stories I can cover, Twitterchats I can host, Hangouts I can produce or people I should meet, please email me at tjstarr2@gmail.com

I’m here to serve all of my people, no matter where you are in the world.