Women in Color: Darian Symoné Harvin, Journalist

Photo: FLRS Global for The Volta

Photo: FLRS Global for The Volta

Noted as an outspoken member of #BlackTwitter, Darian Symoné Harvin shares her observations like spotting a secretary of state look-a-like, trying new foods, or stalking Beyoncé's Instagram page on the regular. She's direct and honest. She's a storyteller at all times. But what makes her stand out is her wit combined with professionalism that's landed her roles at Yahoo, NBC and currently BuzzFeed. 

Find out all about her below!

Photo: FLRS Global for The Volta

Photo: FLRS Global for The Volta

Age: 26
Town/City You Claim: Buffalo, NY and Columbus, OH. Living in Brooklyn
Occupation: Journalist, News Curator and Podcast Host
Favorite Quote: "If ya stay ready, you ain't gotta be ready." - Every Instagram Blogger Ever

1. As a storyteller, who has been your most intriguing subject?

As of recently, probably Cardi B. Right now, so many people are trying to dissect Cardi B, and even think they have her figured out. It was nice to get to talk to her one-on-one, and see for myself what is on her mind and what makes her feel. Although she is so transparent on social media, nothing can replace the in-person experience

2. Can journalism ever really be unbiased? How important is it for media companies to have a diverse staff?

I think it depends on what you define as "unbiased". If you idea of unbiased is based in upholding and perpetuating the white male experience in the newsroom, then fine. But if you're idea of unbiased allows you to realize how damaging it is to have one experience and one lens telling many different stories, then I would continue to interrogate yourself. This is going to sound like basic knowledge but, people of color are just as capable of telling fair stories, just as white people are, but racism holds people back from believing this. Fortunately — although long overdue — we are starting to see new perspectives in newsrooms. It's better for readers and it's better for business. 

3. Why did you start your podcast "Am I Allowed to Like Anything?" and what draws you to the individuals you speak with?

I started my podcast because I wanted to create a safe space for people to talk about the things they like and appreciate in culture. I want it to be cool to actually like things. What draws me to the people I speak with is their optimism for life, despite all the garbage we deal with.

4. There's a perception that Millennials, specifically in media, are entitled: Do you think that summation is valid? And where do you think that stems from? 

I think it depends on your perimeters of what entitled means. For me, I treat people with respect, so I expect respect from other. So, yes, sometimes, I am entitled. Sometimes, I do believe I am eligible and qualified of certain treatment. It also just depends on the situation. What keeps me humble is that I am only 26. I have a lot more work to do, a lot more to prove within my career field. So not getting ahead of myself is important as well. 
 

Photo: FLRS Global for The Volta 

Photo: FLRS Global for The Volta 

5. How has access to people, information and news been influenced by social media?

I've realized the people working the hardest probably aren't on social media every waking moment.

6. Have you found that anything in your daily life that connects you with the African diaspora? And would you ever consider living abroad (within the diaspora or somewhere else)?

My friends keep me connected to the African diaspora. Living in NYC, I've made friends that are constantly teaching and reminding me how important it us for us to stay connect to our ancestors. I will absolutely live abroad one day. Either in the Caribbean or in Africa (not sure of what country yet).

7. When did you first realize you were Black?

I don't remember an exact moment. I think I've always realized I was Black. I lived in an environment (a loving family that taught me how beautiful it is to be Black) and community (going to predominantly White schools my entire life) that never let me forget it.

Tune into "Am I Allowed to Like Anything?" here and look out for her at SXSW's "Stay Hungry: Increasing Diversity with Hip-Hop and Food" on March 13.