Pam Spaulding was born on July 8, 1963. She is an award-winning journalist, blogger and social justice advocate. She is best known as the former author and publisher of the esteemed blog Pam’s House Blend (2004-2013), which focused on progressive politics with an emphasis on issues relevant to women, and the LGBTQ and African-American communities. On her blog she described herself as a “recovering political junkie, human (and pit bull) rights advocate, and Journey fan.”
Pam Spaulding was born in Durham, North Carolina, and currently lives in Merced, California, with her pit mixes, Casey and Malia. Her family moved to the Hollis neighborhood of Queens, NYC, in 1976, and later to the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. She attended Stuyvesant High School before earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Studies from Fordham University in 1985. Pam returned to Durham in 1989 for an easier pace and better quality of life. With roots in both North Carolina and New York City, Pam considers herself to have “dual citizenship” status as a Southerner and a Yankee, and brings that unique perspective and voice to her writing, focusing on current political events, LGBT and women’s rights, the influence of the far right, and race relations.
Pam Spaulding hails from a family with a history of activism in the civil rights movement, electoral politics, education, business, and race relations. Notable family members include businessman C.C. Spaulding, who was part of the team that founded what was once the largest black-owned business in America, The North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company. Asa Spaulding, Sr. and Elna Spaulding were her paternal grandparents, and were active in local politics, serving as Durham County Commissioners. In addition to her two terms on the Durham County Board of Commissioners, Elna Spaulding founded and served as president of Women-In-Action for the Prevention of Violence and Its Causes, served on numerous boards, and was active in the Durham Day Care Council, Lincoln Community Health Center, Duke Medical Center, North Carolina Central Museum of Art, and local chapters of The Links, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and the National Council of Negro Women.
Pam has guest posted or contributed to Americablog, Pandagon, Firedoglake, The Rude Pundit, and Glenn Greenwald’s Unclaimed Territory on Salon, and has written for The Independent Weekly. She has also contributed to CNN, The Huffington Post and Salon.com. She wrote a monthly column for the Raleigh News & Observer’s The Durham News, where she was the first out lesbian columnist for this major newspaper. Her advocacy extends to social media as well, with thousands of fans and followers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google+. After a special week-long guest election column for The Bilerico Project in 2016, Pam returned to political commentary on her personal Facebook page.
Pam Spaulding provided commentary on CNN during the 2008 presidential election cycle, spoke at national forums, and performed the first-ever live-blogging events for the OutServe-Servicemembers Legal Defense Network’s annual dinner in May of 2006, and the National Black Justice Coalition’s Second Annual Black Church Summit in March of 2007. Pam has landed exclusive interviews with the first openly gay man to run for the U.S. Senate, Jim Neal, as well as the only out lesbian serving in Congress, Tammy Baldwin.
Her former blog, Pam’s House Blend, was ranked in the top 50 progressive political blogs. Pam Spaulding is a highly respected lesbian in a gay blogging world that is overwhelmingly male, and a woman of color in a field dominated by white males. Her popularity stems from her ability to examine current events with razor-sharp clarity, and deliver a compelling narrative to complex issues, with abundant humor and insight. On July 1, 2013, Pam’s House Blend ceased publication. Equality North Carolina launched a day-long “Thank You Pam’s House Blend” campaign on Twitter and Facebook that day, and tributes to her uncompromising work and loving personality poured in from around the world.
In 2006, she received the Distinguished Achievement Award from The Monette-Horwitz Trust for making significant contributions toward the eradication of homophobia. Pam was named one of Huffington Post’s Ultimate Game Changers in Politics in 2009, honored with the 2009 Women’s Media Center Award for Online Journalism, received the 2009 Courage Award from the New York City Anti-Violence Project, and selected as one of the OUT 100 for that year. In 2012, she was honored with the Bob Page Equality Champion Award by the Equality NC Foundation for her online and offline work against Amendment One, the ballot initiative that bans legal recognition of same-sex couples.
Pam Spaulding is a board member of the Institute for Southern Studies, which publishes the award-winning investigative journalism publication “Southern Exposure” and the blog “Facing South,” where she serves on the organization’s Media Advisory Group.
Pam is an avid fan of the San Francisco-based rock and pop band, Journey. Her encyclopedic knowledge of all things Journey was even noted by Melissa Harris-Perry on her show. She serves as the Social Administrator and Web Angel for the tribute band Journey Revisited. You can read her smart posts here.
Pam turned attention to her health in 2013, due to a battle with rheumatoid arthritis and spinal disc herniation and deterioration that ultimately impacted her 22-year career at Duke University Press, where she was let go after the Family Medical Leave Act was exhausted. There has been an incredible outpouring of heartfelt generosity for Pam and her past work on Pam’s House Blend with a GoFundMe campaign established in 2015.
We celebrate Pam Spaulding and thank her for informing us, prodding us into action, and warning us of harmful actions that might impact our communities.