Slauson Girl is a writer and journalist from South Central Los Angeles. While in her undergrad she produced a weekly column entitled “Slauson Girl Speaks,” which won 1st-place in a multi-state competition. Her experience as a reporter and editor in college has sparked her love and passion to tell not only her story, but the story of others.
She is currently building and growing her own news platform and hopes to make Slauson Girl a trusted source for independent news and media. Her drive and intent is representation for marginalized communities–including the one she comes from.
Slauson Girl represents the “Ghetto Girl” in inner city America who are left out of mainstream discussion. She hopes to broaden the perspective around girls in the inner city through her branding and writings.
RESPECT.: Where are you from and who is Slauson Girl?
SG: I grew up in South Central, Los Angeles. Slauson Girl is from South Central, Los Angeles and represents the “ghetto girl” in American inner cities who are deemed voiceless by society.
RESPECT: What is important and matters to you the most?
SG: In my lifetime I would love to see disenfranchised communities like the one I come from be able to transform from throw away sections that are wiped away by gentrification–to communities of economic empowerment for residents–after centuries of being exploited by the systems of white supremacy which dominate our society. I am aware of my identity as a Black woman in America and I am always thinking of ways to ensure that I have complete autonomy over my life for all the centuries that my ancestors did not.
This means that becoming a successful entrepreuner and businesswoman is something that is of extreme importance to me.
RESPECT.: Who are your inspirations and motivations?
SG: There are so many people that I draw inspiration from in history as well as locally in my community.
Journalists and writers such as Ida B. Wells who was an investigative journalist and early pioneer in the civil rights struggle, to Sister Souljah, author of the famous book ‘The Coldest Winter Ever.’ Sister Souljah is one of my favorites in history because she is someone as far as identity, that I feel I relate to the most. Imagine this educated, girl from the hood, with big, gold, earrings, a side ponytail and a nose ring firing off facts on national television programs like Phil Donnahue. Yep! That was Sister Souljah.
Tiffany Haddish is another person who is very inspiring to me because her journey is a true testimony of a Black girl from South Central, L.A destined for greatness who is just trying to find her footing in the world
Overall, those who believed in their own potential and were able to rise above the confines of their communities. Hip-Hop got me through so much and I respect those who speak truth to power. When I listen to some of my favorite Hip-Hop artists I am able to see my inner city community in a different light and it gave me the language to help me process some of the traumatic experiences I had growing up.
So I am forever grateful for some of my favorite artists like J.Cole, Tupac, Nas, Boogie from Compton and of course Nipsey Hussle.
RESPECT.: When did you first get started in your career with digital media and your podcast?
SG: My interest in journalism began as a writer for my campus newspaper in college. I spent a couple years working for the weekly newspaper. Eventually, I became the Opinion Editor, writing weekly editorials for the newspaper as well as producing an award winning column “Slauson Girl Speaks.”
In college I started a blog to help me process what I was learning in my race in gender studies class as a girl from South Central attending school in a rural, small, white town. The culture shock was a lot to deal with so like many others of my generation, I turned to the internet to see if I could identify with others who were sharing similar thoughts and feelings as myself.
Journalism is my minor so overtime, slausongirl.com the blog, was revamped into a news and information website to provide hyperlocal news coverage and digital first content to the residents of what is now referred to as South Los Angeles but it is stil South Central minus the gentrification.
My interest in journalism began as a writer for my campus newspaper in college. I spent a couple years working for the weekly newspaper. Eventually, I became the Opinion Editor, writing weekly editorials for the newspaper as well as producing an award winning column “Slauson Girl Speaks.”
Now, with my podcast Slauson Girl Speaks, I discuss local news and interview people from the community who are doing great work.
RESPECT.: What are the priorities in your community at the moment?
We are constantly being bombarded with messages and imagery that does nothing but affect our self-esteem and negatively characterize us as individuals and Black people in America. We all have the capacity to read, research and study so that we can better understand ourselves, each other and the world around us.
It is important to me that people learn to think for themselves and learn to take destiny into their own hands, from the systems of white supremacy that have killed so many of our people and confines many others.
RESPECT.: How do activists like Nipsey that come from the same cloth like you, empower you to speak your truth in dark times?
SG: Nipsey Hussle is a constant reminder that you are so much bigger than your surroundings. We must remember that the conditions of the inner city as well as other poor and disenfranchised communities around the U.S are all by design. To see someone dodge the obvious traps and pitfalls that have so many of people that look like us in bondage, was like Nipsey Hussle really decoded the matrix and it was a beautiful thing to see Nipsey Hussle was tapped in. Tapped in with the infinite potential of his mind as himself as a person.
RESPECT.: Do you feel the media tells only the shadow of the actual story?
SG: We must remember that many media channels are all a part of the same three major networks, who have become these massive conglomerates by buying out smaller networks. As someone who is within the world of journalism I understand that nothing is being printed without going through an editorial process that goes beyond fixing for simple grammatical errors. If a journalist wants to print something and the editor does not agree, the writer is at the mercy of the editor who has the final power of sending your piece to publication. So yes I feel that within that model only certain shadows of the story are really presented.
RESPECT.: How do you plan to inspire the next generation and empower them with your platform?
SG: Through example. People are really inspired by those they can identify with and those who they can see progress and results from. Instead of spending so much time preaching my message I want to live by example and inspire the next generation not through rhetoric but action.
RESPECT.: What advice and light do you have to give to our community this year?
SG: We need to make buying back the block more than a cool hashtag on Instagram. With gentrification moving at a rapid pace in our community, time is the time to make sure we are in better positions to retain ownership in our own communities so that we do not continue to be pushed out.
RESPECT.: What’s important to you in this next decade?
SG: Achieving set goals for myself and evolving myself and my media company. I would also like to see my original screenplay or scripted series on television.
RESPECT.: What does RESPECT. mean to you?
SG: A bottom line understanding of who you are as an individual but it can vary from person to person. Respect to me, means common ground and not crossing lines with people who may find it offensive.
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