Black Women's Improvement Project (BWIP)

The Great Snub: Why Are The Major BW Publications Ignoring Us?

Just a quick glance a the headlines of the usual suspects, and I see news about crazy Niki Minaj, Lebron James finally wants to make an honest woman of his baby’s mother after milking that teet for over a decade, Beyonce news, single woman’s New Year’s resolutions, and one titled, “The Mistress, the Jump-off and the Wife: Which One Are You?” Then there’s the tips, the tricks and the lists. Endless lists, no critical discussions, everything dumbed down so an eighth grader can read it. If I was an alien from some distant planet and I had a black-girl skin suit and had to learn real quick how I’m supposed to behave from magazines and television, I’d assume I only care about my hair, whether or not my man is cheating on me (that is, if I even have a man), and be completely off-the-hinges obsessed with Kim Kardashian and the cast of the Real Housewives franchise.

Discussions about the cluster-cuss of out-of-wedlock births? Oh no, we can’t talk about that. We might make somebody mad. Mention that the most dangerous place a black girl can be is in a low-income neighborhood composed of people who look just like her? “Nope. We wouldn’t want to be accused of bashing black men, so scratch that from the editorial line up, La Keisha.” Actively advocate for black women to pursue love based on character and not color? Meh. Actually talk about something different besides hair, athletes and celebrities? “Why, Wanda, whatever would be talk about then?” Actually call black women out on misguided and self-destructive thinking? Not in a million light years.

We ladies are the oddballs. We’re the critical thinkers, non-Matrix-living, independent-voting, free-thinking black women that seems to be completely ignored by all the outlets advertisers think we’re supposed to read. We’re the women who don’t buy the bull donkey that says to just embrace our singlehood (just wear fancy shoes and an fierce cut while you do it) instead of looking at the REAL REASONS so many of us are stuck.

All that pablum, with no mission to improve the lives of black women–not like in the 70’s when a black woman’s magazine had so much promise. Know what we have now? Just a bunch of Essence Jr’s.

Ladies, it’s time to change the game. No publication listens to us because they have, in truth, simply taken us for granted. They don’t ask what you want to read, they just assume they know better what you want than you do. But this is our place, where we can write, discuss and debate on any subject we choose. And this, my friends, will be the first interactive magazine made for us and by us.

Now tell me, what you want to read, learn and discover, and I’ll do my damndest to make it happen.

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