Demetria Lucas: A “Belle in Brooklyn”

Monday, 09 January 2012 04:13 Written by  Frances Moffett

Demetria Lucas––a.k.a. Belle a.k.a the Black Carrie Bradshaw, a.k.a. one of the top bloggers you should know––has taken the black female dating experience to a whole new level. Her personal blog, A Belle in Brooklyn, took off after she created it in 2007, drawing black women in with her anecdotes of being a single and dating African American woman in the professional space. As a former relationships editor and dating columnist at Essence magazine and book editor for Harlequin and BET Books, she gained her foothold on the game of relationships. Now, Lucas, a life and relationship coach, pens the weekly “Ask Demetria” column for The Root and writes the daily “Real Talk” column for Vibe Vixen, Uptown and Essence’s websites. And her book, “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life,” is making single black women everywhere reevaluate their outlook.

GlossMagazineOnline (GMO): How do you feel about the success of the book? Did you think it would take off like it did?

Demetria Lucas: You never know. You always hope. Every writer puts a product together, and you think it’s the absolute best thing ever created, but you never know how other people are going to take it. So I totally didn’t expect this and I’m glad that it’s been well received in terms of sales and reviews.

GMO: Your book was kind of derived from your blog. Why do you think it was important that you started your blog at that time?

Demetria: There are a couple things. At the time that I started my blog in 2007, everybody didn’t have a blog. It was still something that was kind of peaking. So I put this blog out and it was about relationships. And there were lots of gossip blogs starting to pop up. There were a few relationships blogs here and there, but there were none that were really focusing on black women and relationships that came from a positive space. [My blog] wasn’t saying you have got to find a man, you have to change this, change that, fix it, fix it…I was 27 at the time, and I was dating and I was having fun and I was living in New York and wasn’t really thinking about marriage and I wasn’t thinking about having a relationship. I was a huge fan of Sex and the City, and I was always like, where’s the fly black chick and I couldn’t find her there, I couldn’t find her on any other pop culture platform. I was just like, where does she exist and I was looking to find her. I just started writing about my life and my friends’ lives because I knew we existed and I wanted to document that we were there.

GMO: At what point did you say I’m going to write a book?

Demetria: It was something I always wanted to do. I was a huge fan of Terry McMillan, I grew up in a house full of books—with the Baldwins and the Ellisons and the Wrights and all those people, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker. I was a huge fan of reading and of writing. It was always something I wanted to do in the back of my mind. Never thought that I would do it; it just never seemed plausible to me. I was really good at writing 2,500 word cover stories, and even that was like, oh my God, 2,000 words, where am I going to find 500 more words? I think my book was about 85,000 and that just seems completely overwhelming. I had the blog for about two and a half years at the time, and I would write stories about my life, and my readers would be like, 'D, you have to write a book.' And I sat down and I started working on one, and I said let me see what I can do. And then a couple years later, we got it.

GMO: Your book is not the typical relationship/self-help guide. How did you decide what direction you wanted to take with the book?

Demetria: I wanted it to be something that people got something out of. It wasn’t just talking about myself; I wanted people to be able to learn from my mistakes and learn from the smart things I did as well—learn from my triumphs as well as my tragedies. I never got anything from those advice books that said, if you’re X girl, do Y, if you’re Y girl, do Z. I always remembered the stories and anecdotes that people told to make their point, that’s what always stood out for me, and so I wanted to make it a book of anecdotes. [Readers] remember that line, they remember that chapter and it really stands out for them. I wanted something that people could relate to, and I think black women especially over the past couple of years have taken extraordinary beatings about being a single professional woman. It’s like, what’s wrong with you? You’re too mouthy, and you weigh too much and you’re hair’s not this and you need to do X, and just trying to jump through hoops, and the last thing I wanted to do was put out yet another book that says, 'here’s what’s wrong with you, this is what you need to do differently.' So I knew that there was a way to get the message across that didn’t have to point the finger and look down at people and tell them they need to change everything about themselves.

GMO: Where does your relationship insight come from?

Demetria: I have had nothing but guy friends for most of my life. I have my sociable sisters who are very close to me, but most of my friends who I hang out with and interact with on a pretty daily basis are guys. Like I’m the prissiest girl you’ll ever meet in the world, but I hang out with dudes…and dudes hang around more dudes, so you pay attention; you listen to those conversations.

GMO: Why are so many people talking about single professional black women?

Demetria: It’s a reading bonanza. Telling people that there’s something wrong with them—this is how everything is marketed to women. It’s ‘something is wrong with you, and we’ve got the thing to fix it, and if you just pay $5.99, $19.99, $24.99, a thousand-whatever; we can make you better.’ But in terms of black women being single, I think from the first person who put the article out, I don’t think they knew what it was going to be. The hits go through the roof, and I can tell you from writing at that anytime you write about relationships, everybody is chiming in, even if it’s to say: 'this is the dumbest thing I’ve ever read.' That’s why people keep writing the stories, that’s why the books keep getting published, that’s why the newscasters keep covering the story. In terms of why are people drawn to it, because 42 percent of black women are single and a lot of them don’t want to be. There are some that are like, shrug, 'I don’t care one way or another, I’m just dating, I want to have a good time and I’ll worry about that down the line.' And then there are women who want the help, but they don’t want to be bashed in order to get the help and I think that’s where I come in.

Learn more about Demetria Lucas at and follow her on Twitter @abelleinbk.

Frances Moffett

Frances Moffett

GMO Editor-At-Large Frances Moffett is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism. She has worked with GMO since its inception. With a love for journalism and all things writing, she is currently pursuing her master’s degree in public relations and advertising from DePaul University. Frances is also an editor at the country’s largest association management company and has written for a variety of publications, including Jet magazine, The Chicago Defender and The Chicago Reporter.

Frances can be contacted at

Follow her on Twitter: @FrancesMMM