Today is Martin Luther King Day and Black History Month is just around the corner. JJP has been around since the summer of 2006. In the past, we’ve recruited new voices to add to Jack and Jill Politics from leaders in the comments and from leaders in the community. As we’ve grown and entered our fourth year, we’d like to continue working with you to create — not just learn about — the kind of black history that makes America a better place for everyone. We’d like to find and nurture new leaders — the ones we might not even know yet — but should. We’re asking you if you’d like to join our team or have recommendations of others you think would help make JJP better.

Why contribute for JJP?

We have a strong multi-racial community firmly rooted among younger, plugged-in African-Americans. In addition, we are influential among mainstream media (e.g. New York Times, Washington Post, Politico, CNN, MSNBC, Huffington Post, NPR and many more), topical TV shows such as The Daily Show, Glenn Beck, Keith Olbermann, other political blogs (Crooks and Liars, DailyKos, etc), progressive (and conservative) do-right organizations, Members of Congress and the White House. Many of those who follow JJP even pitch us or ask us for quotes to encourage coverage of stories of interest to them! So your words and ideas will go far and wide, potentially persuade people and change the national dialogue on issues important to you and our shared community.

Is there money?

For now, we’re an all-volunteer crew. The revenue from our ads primarily goes to fund basic operations of the site and server. We also occasionally provide financial support to contributors for conference fees or expenses related to extraordinary coverage. Primarily, however, we’re dedicated to using our words, our network and our energy to benefit black people and indeed, all people. We can’t promise to make you rich, but you might get a bit more famous (or infamous if that’s more your style).

In return, you’ll get mentoring and special attention from founders Baratunde Thurston (aka Jack Turner) and Cheryl Contee (aka Jill Tubman). We can coach you on blogging, leadership and perhaps introduce you into new communities. Blogging at JJP has opened so many doors for both Baratunde and me, whether it’s attendance at amazing trainings by groups like the New Organizing Institute, creating deeper relationships with other grassroots leaders in the progressive community or generating a media presence. Things have happened to me that I never imagined. JJP has made some of my dreams come true. Many of our other bloggers here at JJP have also had some great experiences that JJP’s community and influence made possible. We’d like to share that with you.

So here’s the application process:

1) Send samples of written blog posts (or 2 or 3) or sample video blog posts (or 2 or 3) to

These posts can be something you’ve already published elsewhere or something you write just for the application.

What we’ll be looking for:

  • Quality and professionalism of writing including grammar, a clear voice and evidence of research
  • Intelligence
  • A sense of humor or irreverence
  • Hipness around pop culture
  • A sophisticated grasp of contemporary American politics
  • A progressive spirit willing to take action
  • A lil bit of bougie (optional)
  • Comfort and preferably strength with the role of technology in political blogging and activism

If it helps, consider offering up a short post focused more on relaying information you’ve found (e.g. a video, quote, article, image) and another with a deeper level of original analysis.

If you already have a blog, podcast or web video show, that’s fine with us. You’re welcome to cross-post and several of our bloggers started that way.

2) A short statement of why you want to contribute to JJP. What do you bring to the site that may be missing, and what do you hope to get out of your participation?

By the way, you don’t have to be black to apply — we welcome diversity. However, if you’re not black, please share with us why you think your perspective would be of strong interest to a blog targeting African-Americans and focused on politics and pop culture.

3) If you’re not interested in applying yourself but think you know someone who might be, please forward this post to that person. Similarly, if you know of someone who is already blogging whom you think we should have a look at, please let us know in the comments or via the email address below.


Please submit your samples to by Feb 15, 2011. We will announce the winners in Feb 2011 at the end of Black History Month.

Good luck and please do leave questions & nominations in the comments.

One love & peace out, Jill

(with extra love and thanks to Jack AKA @baratunde for helping write this)

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