Discover 8 Great Black Indie Publications

The need for independent media platforms and diverse voices in publishing is more important than ever. Culture journalist Natelegé Whaley spotlights eight digital and print publications that elevate the conversation about Black identity, culture, health, photography, LGBTQ perspectives, and more.


Hannah

After leaving the mainstream magazine industry, Qimmah Saafir founded Hannah Magazine to create a space for Black women’s perspective on culture that didn’t require they justify “their existence, presence, or humanity.” Issa Rae and Tarana Burke have graced the cover of the biannual print publication, which also publishes digital features.


Seeing Sounds

Noted journalist Jenna Wortham (of The New York Times and the NYT podcast Still Processing) sits down with superb music supervisor Morgan Rhodes (Middle of Nowhere, Selma, Dear White People) and talks beginnings, process and chance.

An Ode to The Mamas

Our mothers, ourselves. Hate it or love it, traits of the women who birthed and raised us are coursing through our veins.


gal-dem

Liv Little created gal-dem, a UK-based new media publication centering the storytelling of women and nonbinary people of color, in 2015. The outlet publishes writing across a range of topics, including race, culture, politics, arts, and music.


Bookmark This: Are Acronyms Like BAME a Nonsense?

Chanté Joseph

Turning the experiences of disparate groups into a monolith has never been good practice. We need to think radically about the terms we use to identify collectively moving forward.

5 Ways I’ve Been Celebrating Pride in Lockdown

Leah Cowan

From watching queer film and TV to cooking up a storm, there’s more than one way to celebrate Pride this year.


Womanly

Womanly Magazine focuses on accessible health information for Black and brown women and nonbinary people through the lens of visual and literary art. When you purchase the latest issue, “Stressed Out,” Womanly donates five issues to under-served women around the country. Attiah Taylor is the founder and editor-in-chief.


Your Identity is a Risk Factor: Workplace Stress and Your Health

Sarah Cuddie and Betty Fermin

The workplace can be stressful for everyone, but there are additional stressors that negatively impact women and non-binary people in the workplace, especially if they also hold other marginalized identities.

Protect Ya Neck

Cara Taylor

A photo series created in contemplation of what it means to nourish the Black body.


Blvck Vrchives

Whether it’s the annual local parade or street fair celebrating Black life, kids playing in the park on a hot summer day, or family time at home on the couch, Blvck Vrchives captures the pastimes and traditions across the African diaspora through the photographs of everyday people. Founder Renata Cherlise has curated thousands of images via an online archive and a popular Instagram page.


The Class of Blackness

Renata Cherlise

A research based series examining the yearbooks of predominately Black high-schools across America. The series begins in Chicago & takes a look at the many ways Black lives were documented and celebrated throughout the years.

Polo Silk: ‘BURY ME WITH THE LO ON’

Renata Cherlise and Russell Hamilton

Paying homage to Sthaddeus “Polo Silk” Terrell, the photographer who captured the heartbeat of New Orleans over three decades.


The Triibe

The Triibe was conceived out of a need for in-depth coverage of Chicago’s Black culture from the perspective of Black millennials. Its storytelling includes original journalism, documentaries, creative writing, and video. A recent viral piece about a house party during COVID-19 exposed the disconnect between young Black residents, Chicago officials, and the news media. Morgan Elise Johnson and Tiffany Walden are co-founders.


Black, American, and Abroad During the Uprisings

Classical singer and musicologist Kameron Locke talks about the anxiety, anger and sadness he feels while watching the uprisings against police brutality from abroad.

1968: When the Whole World Was Watching, the Chicago Police Rioted

Veteran Chicago journalist Monroe Anderson reflects on today’s anti-police uprisings and the 1968 anti-war uprisings, and the police who battered and bruised the press and the protestors during both.


The Tenth

Kyle Banks and Andre Jones co-founded The Tenth, a biannual magazine dedicated to the history, culture, ideas, and aesthetics of the Black LGBTQ community. In past issues, they have covered Black queer “criminality,”; the intersection of Black queer identity, the future, and technology; and Black queer Hollywood. The Tenth is in print, but you can preview some essays and features via their website.


The Technology Issue

Volume Four of The Tenth Magazine explores the Black queer identity at the threshold of the future—unchartered territory where the obvious consequences of technology are changing the face of the planet we live on, but the more obscure consequences—the far-reaching and truly philosophical, social implications—are being overlooked by us all.

The Hollywood Issue

From “Hollywood It Boys” to “The Men Behind The Muses,” our editors and collaborators present an authentic epistemology of contemporary Los Angeles from all sides— the dark side of the Southern California dream to the glitter of the Hollywood Hills.


#Blkgrlswurld ZINE

#Blkgrlswurld ZINE is an award-winning indie publishing house printing books and zines that document the work and artistry of women of color in the heavy metal music scenes: black metal, punk, hardcore, and metalcore. Their work has been featured in The Schomburg Center for Research On Black Culture and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others. The masterminds behind the zine are sisters C.A. and Courtney Long.


Spotify Playlists To Get You Through

#BlkGrlsWurld’s top metal picks from Post-Hardcore to Mathcore, plus a self-care mix for Black Womxn.

In the Scene

An interview with Chris L.Terry Writer of Black Card: A Novel.


Starfruit Project

The Starfruit Project supports trans and queer people of color’s radical healing and growth through creativity and performance programs, workshops, and regular writing prompts. Black queer writer, performer, and educator Briyana D. Clarel is the founder.


7 Black Projects for Black Well-being

Briyana D. Clarel

A short list of organizations, groups, and projects that support Black livelihood and well-being.


6 Prompts to Jumpstart Your Journaling

Briyana D. Clarel

It took a pandemic for me to start a morning routine, but it’s finally happening.

About the curator

Natelegé Whaley is a freelance culture journalist and a former reporter for Mic and BET.com from New York City. She has also written for NBCNews, Pitchfork, Eater, Teen Vogue, Vibe and other outlets. Whaley’s beats include Black womanhood in popular culture, hip-hop’s impact on the wider culture, and reproductive justice.

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