Today we’d like to introduce you to Rebekah Hutson.
Rebekah, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am a black transracial adoptee (adopted by another race). I grew up in Olympia, Washington in a white family and had a different experience than most as I was a black girl growing up in a white family in a white town. I struggled a lot growing up with racism, my identity as a black woman and overall just understanding where I belonged. I was “too white” for black people and “too black” for white people.
Over the years, I started to find my voice through writing. In college, I was exposed to more diversity and became more comfortable in who I am and was encouraged by other minorities to explore my history and identity. In 2014, I started a blog on Tumblr called “OnlyBlackGIrl”. I chose the name as it related to my experiences growing up literally the only black girl in town. I started the blog to write about my adoption experience. I didn’t really expect it to gain followers, or for anyone to relate to me. It was more of a ranting space for myself. But to my shock, I gained nearly 20k followers in less than six months.
Realizing that I wasn’t the only one who dealt with this experience and that other people appreciated hearing my story, I decided to expand to YouTube and my own blog/website. Now OnlyBlackGirl is a larger platform that I use to educate the adoption community and transracial adoption and to provide support for my fellow adoptees that are going through the same thing I did.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Absolutely not. It still isn’t a smooth road. I struggle with depression and anxiety on a daily basis. I deal with sexism, racism, colorism on a daily basis. Simply being a public figure on the internet who dares to discuss race invites many disgusting comments and death threats, that I get all the time. On top of my work, I’m still just a regular girl working several jobs, trying to pay rent and put gas in my car, trying to survive in Los Angeles. The work I do is emotionally exhausting but I do it because I am passionate about changing the adoption industry. Adoptees are the last ones that anyone listens to and we are the ones that should be listened to the most. Everything I do is to uplift adoptee voices and as long as I can help at least 1 person think differently, I feel that I have done my job.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with OnlyBlackGirl – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
My company/brand consists of a few things. Overall, I am here to educate people on the transracial adoption experience and strengthen a community. I am primarily known for my blog “OnlyBlackGIrl” which also consists of my YouTube videos and Instagram content. Additionally, I have launched a live event series called “The Adoption Experience” in which I host workshops and adoptee panels for the public to come learn first had from adoptees and ask questions.
On top of all that, I also run a Meetup group for Black Young Adults in Los Angeles called Care Free & Black: LA. This was something that was important to me to start as an LA transplant myself. I wanted to create a free and easy way for black young adults like myself, to find each other and connect.
I am very proud of the work I do. I have always lived by Ghandi’s quote “Be the change you want to see”. I don’t like the way the adoption industry currently runs, so I decided to try and change it. I didn’t like that there wasn’t many ways to connect to the black community in LA, so I decided to change that. It’s not easy but I am happy knowing I tried to make a difference instead of spending my life complaining about things I wish would change.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I am currently working on a memoir, I will be telling my adoption story and addressing important topics that I think everyone needs to understand about the transracial (TRA) experience.
March 22, 2020, I have my first live event in Burbank. I am hosting an Adult Adoptees of Color panel where I have four adoptees come and share their stories and answer some questions.
Beyond that, I plan to continue what I have been doing and just expand it to more locations so I can reach and educate as many people as possible.
- Website: https://www.onlyblackgirl.com/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org