Black Sewing Network

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Carmen Green

Carmen Green is a stylist, an influencer, a community builder, an absolute fashionista, and a role model entrepreneur who always aims to learn not only about fashion and sewing but marketing as well. She is the founder of the Black Sewing Network on TikTok. She believes in building creative communities on social media not only by shifting the culture of Instagram to be more fun, relaxed and authentic but also by trying new platforms such as TikTok  to create a really inclusive and safe space like the Black Sewing Network where women from various countries not only learn to sew but are seen and supported in order to thrive.

 

Lisa Woolfork

Lisa Woolfork is an associate professor of English, specializing in African American literature and culture. Her teaching and research explore Black women writers, Black identity, trauma theory, and American slavery. She is the founder of Black Women Stitch, the sewing group where Black lives matter. She is also the host/producer of Stitch Please, a weekly audio podcast that centers Black women, girls, and femmes in sewing. In the summer of 2017, she actively resisted the white supremacist marches in her community, Charlottesville Virginia. The city became a symbol of lethal resurging white supremacist violence. She remains active in a variety of university and community initiatives, including the Community Engaged Scholars program. She believes in the power of creative liberation.

 

Insights from this Episode

  • How did Carmen start sewing
  • Carmen’s perceptions of the differences between TikTok and Instagram as a sewing community
  • Why TikTok is a great place to create a sewing community
  • How did Carmen achieve 5000 followers on TikTok in 30 days
  • Carmen’s thoughts on the aggregate value of her sewing content
  • Differences between going live on TikTok and Instagram
  • Explanations on why social media reproduce the white supremacy standard via algorithms
  • Why the Black Sewing Network is much more than a sewing space
  • Carmen’s opinion on the stereotype that black women don’t support each other
  • How does Carmen manage to organize her social media schedule
  • Carmen’s advice to help us get our stitch together

 

Quotes from the Show: 

  • “I think in the way that Instagram first was curating still images, you were meant to look at a picture and get all the information you needed and it was really about putting forward something that was already finished, it was like the end result, not about the process at all and what I think TikTok has done is that it has opened the door to real true learning-” – Lisa Woolfork in “Stitch Please”
  • “I think people think Black Sewing Network is exclusionary, it’s not! We welcome everybody but the goal is…to amplify and celebrate black voices in the sewing community” – Carmen Green in “Stitch Please”
  • “There is not enough forward facing social media programming that right off the bat  says hey Black women, hey Black folks, I see you and I want you to see me and we’re gonna do this thing together and support each other” – Lisa Woolfork in “Stitch Please”
  • “There’s a huge misconception that Black women don’t like each other and don’t support each other when it’s just like no…Black women have been the ones that had elevated me, pushed me forward, supported me, bought my sh*t, it’s always been Black women first” – Carmen Green in “Stitch Please”
  • “[About Black Sewing Network] I’m using my personality to push others forward, that is ultimately essentially my goal” – Carmen Green in “Stitch Please”
  • “Don’t be afraid to fail, everybody makes mistakes regardless of how long you’ve doing something, I’ve been sewing for ten years and I’m not afraid to make mistakes publicly, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable in a safe space, Black Sewing Network is that space for a lot of people of various backgrounds…we’re not afraid to fail” – Carmen Green in “Stitch Please”

Shout out to Julian Collins of Julian Creates for the name Black Sewing Network

See Safiya Noble’s Algorithms of Oppression to learn more about why social media seems/is whitewashed

Stay Connected:

Lisa Woolfork

Instagram: Lisa Woolfork

Twitter: Lisa Woolfork

 

Carmen Green

TikTok: Carmen Green

Instagram: Carmen Green

Amazon Store: Carmen Green

Facebook: Carmen Green

Black Sewing Community: https://linktr.ee/blacksewingnetwork

 

This episode was produced and managed by Podcast Laundry.

Hosted by Lisa Woolfork

Lisa is a fourth-generation sewing enthusiast who learned to sew while earning a PhD in African American literature and culture. She has been sewing for more than twenty years while also teaching, researching, and publishing in Black American literature and culture.

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