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Monday, November 13, 2006

Looking Backward to go Forward or My Gripe with Black Mags

If you haven't guessed, I have a problem with some of the African American magazines that are currently available. It really hit me hard recently as I have taken it upon myself to collect vintage Ebony mags. I'm a collector to the core and along with my comics, vintage pieces(clothing, ties, watches), music and dvds, I have acquired a taste for Ebonys dating back to the mid 1940s. Who wouldn't want to have a framed 1949 Ebony with Billie Holiday or Jackie Robinson on the cover? When you read these particular magazines, you have an indelible sense that the purpose of the magazines was to highlight Black achievement as well as inform. During this time, it actually appeared that entertainers took a second tier position to those who possessed accomplishments in the medical, legal and scientific fields. Of course, jumping ahead to 2006, many publications are suffering from what I have dubbed the celebrification complex. It is the overemphasis of the celebrity lifestyle to the exclusion of far more informative and socially relevant stories. It has become a constant frustration for yours truly to uncover so many things that are ruining our rich and diverse culture. If you ever get a chance, try to pick up one of these vintage Ebonys-Ebay has been an excellent source. Again...it's your history.

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