Andrea • Professional, Blogger

Andrea, a semi-Colorado local, has lived here since the age of two. In 2018, she started her blog “Travel +Explore + Play with Sallee Jay” and is on a mission to be independent no later than 2023. She‘s passionate, introverted, and curious. She is committed to making the future and legacy for our Black and brown communities better and more valued within American society. Andrea is also studying the healing and restorative benefits of floating in sensory deprivation tanks and hopes to one day own a studio.

When I asked Andrea to describe Denver in one word, she responded with: Home. Here’s what it means to be Andrea in Denver.

What does it mean to be Andrea?

It means to be introspective. It means to unplug and reconnect with myself. It means reaching a hand forward and a hand back. It means to have a strong sense of community. I’m not a complicated person. I am simpler than most. But I feel that when I’m in the world, I am prejudged by my people and others. In some instances, I’m not Black enough. In some cases, I’m too Black. I’ve been labeled the angry Black woman, stupid, too serious, not serious enough, aloof, etc…

For a long time, I maneuvered in that space of who am I with a lot of noise. Now, I focus on my inner person, and that person tells me that I am peaceful, thoughtful, caring, compassionate, and loving. I am here for my community, and I want to do the work, primarily for women of color. However, I know I can impact all women. There are all types of women that are hurting out here too. I want to have conversations with them and create allies and partnerships with people because it takes all types of people to push forward and make a change. That’s what I’m into ultimately.

What does it mean to you to be Black in Denver?

Being Black in Denver reminds me of the old FB status, “it’s complicated!”. Denver, to me, has meant being exposed to skiing, hiking, floating, rafting, and camping, all while eating soul food with a green juice on the side. It’s defining who you are in spaces to people that refuse to see you or want you to conform to how they see you, which generally are not in alignment. Being Black in Denver means that you’re multicultural, vibrant, and global in your perspective and thinking. It is boldly going into spaces that may not be inclusive and standing your ground because you want impactful change for those coming behind you. Being Black in Denver is not being called the “n” word – because we are too polite for that – but being treated as such in certain spaces. I love the Mile High City. It has made me who I am. But like I said, “It’s complicated.”

What do you love most about living in Denver?

The great outdoors and the seasons.

How have your experiences in Denver shaped you?

My experiences in Denver have made me stronger, wiser, and more compassionate towards others.