Are print magazines a dying breed? If the statistics are any indication, all signs point to yes. Although a select few continue to see growth in their online presence, even more are shuttering completely for more than a few reasons. For the most part, advertisers would rather make their money and support internet-first entities, where readership is constantly on the rise. According to Women’s Wear Daily, magazines lost at least $417.5 in ad revenue last year, while readership grew a measly 1.4 percent.
“A total of 50 magazines with at least a quarterly publication frequency closed last year, despite 134 titles being launched, leaving the number of magazines last year at 7,176. The number of magazines has been a bit up and down over the last decade, but on the whole, down, as there are 207 fewer than in 2008,” they said.
But in the midst of a dwindling presence, a small but significant renaissance has also taken place. In response to an industry that has often neglected the need for minority audiences to see themselves reflected in glossy pages, independent titles are filling that void. Though they may not be published every month or even every other month, a slew of specialty magazines have mastered the unique balance of an upscale, mainstream aesthetic with the specific needs of a marginalized group.
For black women, this has been especially gratifying. Sure, the beauty industry is making room for expansive shade ranges and brand marketing that features all kinds of women, but there’s the underlying fear that executives see inclusivity only as a trend. What sets print magazines for black women apart is the fact that they are indeed created by black women and not necessarily tied to the business needs of a large corporation.
If you’re a woman of color who wants a piece of this growing movement, add any or all of these beautifully curated glossies to your coffee table, stat.
The Solange-penned song “Don’t Touch My Hair” isn’t just a catchy tune. For black women who choose to wear their natural hair in the workplace and beyond, it’s a mantra for those who have to constantly worry about their hair being policed or treated as unacceptable. This quarterly print magazine, cofounded by Lindsey Day, exists as a place “to create a progressive dialogue around natural hair and the women who wear it.”
Inside its beautifully bound pages, you’ll find a wide range of textured hair inspiration, commentary about black beauty and features with changemakers. The latest cover star is Morgan Debaun, founder of news site Blavity, as well as M. Roze Essentials, a natural skin care line.
As noted by Coveteur, Qimmah Saafir started this biannual publication because she was tired of black women being overlooked by mainstream magazines. Inside, you’ll find a hodgepodge of beautiful photography, conversations between game-changing PoC and much-needed spotlights on growing movements.
Their latest cover star is none other than Tarana Burke, a BlogHer VOTY recipient and founder of the #MeToo movement.
With a focus on global creation, this biannual publication explores the diverse range of fashion, music, art and culture being created by black men and women around the world. The mag has especially owned the lane that is spotlighting under-represented talent in the fashion industry through hi-def photo features both in the print edition and online.
The inaugural issue, which is already out of stock, features Caleb McLaughlin (Stranger Things), rapper Azealia Banks and model Sahara Lin on separate covers.
This 200-plus-page magazine is a love letter to the “strength, ambition and beauty in women of color.” Its inaugural issue, centered around the the feeling and stories evoked by the word nude, features the work of more than 50 writers, photographers and creatives around the globe.
On the magazine’s website, you’ll also find a bimonthly podcast and monthly playlist filled with music made exclusively by women of color.