The Beauty of Blogging

By Jennifer Palma

The Beauty of Blogging

By Jennifer Palma
UM alumna and award-winning blogger Patrice Grell Yursik, also known as Afrobella, is back to talk to students as part of the USpeak program at Books & Books.

When Trinidadian native Patrice Grell Yursik decided to attend the University of Miami, she did not anticipate that her education would take her full circle.

As the creator of Afrobella.com, Yursik is returning to Coral Gables to speak to students about how her time at UM helped shape her into one of Women’s Wear Daily’s 50 Most Influential People in the Multicultural Beauty Market, alongside Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez.

On Friday, November 4 at Books & Books in Coral Gables, Yursik will take current students on a journey through her time as both an undergraduate and graduate student at UM.

Like many college students, Yursik was unsure of her career path upon graduation from the School of Communication.

At the time, writing was a passion but she didn’t necessarily know where it would take her. It wasn’t until she was presented with a teaching assistantship that she decided to pursue her Master of Fine Arts from the Creative Writing Program in the College of Arts and Sciences’ English Department.

“During my teaching assistantship I was confronted with the task of creating content and lessons that would keep my students engaged and interested,” said Yursik, now based in Chicago. While she rose to the challenge, she never thought her content and ideas would be on constant display.

Upon graduation, Yursik started her career at Books & Books and eventually moved on to Miami New Times. She credits the Creative Writing Program as the inspiration to continue her education outside of the classroom.

“As a student at UM, I was shown that I could write anything from a novel to film script. I learned the basics and was encouraged by faculty to follow my passions,” said Yursik.

In 2009, while working full time, Yursik dedicated late nights and free time to writing and sharing her voice on her blog. She used her education and writing skills to develop engaging content that would eventually lead to the award-winning Afrobella.com.

“I started writing for Afrobella to tell my own stories,” said Yursik. “While I liked my career at the time, I noticed a void in the media in terms of representing the voice of women of color. I wanted to see more of a reflection of black beauty in a holistic way. I wanted to see and hear from more women like myself; women with natural hair, women of different sizes, a variety of skin tones and textures that were interested in beauty from the inside out. I created the magazine that I couldn’t find.”

Today, that “magazine” is known around the world as Afrobella.com and Yursik is often referred to as the “godmother of brown beauty blogging.” She has been featured in Essence, Ebony, and Glamour magazines, and on NPR for her expertise in blogging and business. As one of Ebony Magazine’s Power 100, Yursik continues to fill a void in the media and aims to empower women to try new things and rise to the occasion when opportunities present themselves.

During her appearance at Books & Books as part of the USpeak Program presented by the Creative Writing Program, Yursik will share her experiences to encourage students who may be unsure of their career options.

“If I had programs like USpeak when I was a student, I would have left with much less trepidation and fear. The road may be rocky at times, but now is a beautiful time to follow your passions,” said Yursik.

As her blog and success continue to grow, Yursik is grateful that her journey has brought her back to where it all began.

“Everything I’ve done at UM and in Miami has made me who I am today,” she said.

Patrice Grell Yursik will be presenting as part of the College of Arts and Sciences USpeak series presented by the Creative Writing Program in the Department of English and Books & Books on Friday, November 4 at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.