jasmin brand, dallas black, dallas culture, the real dallas, the city influencer, darby james

I love Dallas.

No for real. It’s a borderline obsession honestly. And not because it’s a city with a perfect past or free from the typical complaints that most city dwellers possess.

I love this city because it’s home and for me, it’s a place where opportunities are possible. You may think that could be said about any American city, but I would beg to differ. There is a special formula needed for a city to “have it” and Dallas just does.

It’s no coincidence that this city’s mantra is BIG THINGS HAPPEN HERE.

And they do happen…these big things. All of the time. And it’s the people that make it possible.

The idea for The City Influencer came out of my own personal need to see a greater representation and more innovative coverage of people that looked like me in DFW’s current news landscape.

I couldn’t find the stories that I knew were out there; the stories of  the awesome things people of color were living, doing and being here in my city.

So I started a blog.

I posted the first story two years ago in February. And I posted another. And another.

I quickly began to see that I wasn’t the only one craving a deeper and richer level of culture and community.

As the months flew by and the stories began to accumulate, I witnessed another massive thing that in my heart of hearts I already knew – culture means something different to everyone. There are some in the city who may disagree, but it is not just Black people that want to read about Black people. And it’s just plain false to think that only Latinas care about the stories of other Latinas.

As our readership grew, I was excited to see many people of all colors following, listening and sharing The City Influencer’s stories. It was then that I realized that TCI couldn’t just be a blog or a hobby. No. This means so much more. It’s been so much fun meeting new people and uncovering the lives of the many fascinating people that live here in the Big D. But taking me out of the equation for a moment, The City Influencer truly has a mission now; a mission to celebrate ALL of Dallas and to spread the word on how cool and diverse our city really is. It is our differences that truly make this city shine.

#therealdallas, dallas culture, dallas black, the city influencer, dallas texas

The City Influencer Launch, May 2015. Travis Lilley Photography

We the people that love, recognize, embrace and support our differences is #TheRealDallas.

So The City Influencer is going to keep sharing our stories to everyone. I hope that you will continue with us on this journey. I’m warning you now that the road won’t always be perfect and there will be times when it will feel downright uncomfortable, but we will still continue to move forward.

Over the next few weeks, The City Influencer will be undergoing some site changes. We are also finally at a point where we can slowly and surely begin adding to our small but mighty team. Subscribe to our monthly journal, The City, as we’ll be posting the openings next month.

I’d also love to hear your suggestions on how we can improve or what you would like to see more of in 2017. We are open to all of your ideas and brainstorms.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you for your support and readership. We are excited to see what the future holds.


Jasmin Brand

President, DARBY JAMES

DARBY JAMES is a creative agency and digital publisher dedicated to American cities and the people and brands that make them great. The City Influencer is DARBY JAMES’ inaugural digital publication.



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