Thoughts on Black Media.

The graphic above is one of the earliest covers of The Crisis Magazine:

founded by W.E.B. Du Bois as the official publication of the NAACP, is a journal of civil rights, history, politics, and culture and seeks to educate and challenge its readers about issues that continue to plague African Americans and other communities of color. For nearly 100 years, The Crisis has been the magazine of opinion and thought leaders, decision makers, peacemakers and justice seekers. It has chronicled, informed, educated, entertained and, in many instances, set the economic, political and social agenda for our nation and its multi-ethnic citizens.

The Crisis archives can be found using google books.


Please give a listen to Rev. William Barber, President of the North Carolina NAACP, and architect of the Moral Mondays Movement, speak in Asheville NC this last weekend about the power we have as bloggers to carry the message:

We must utilize social media, text, twitter, facebook, whatever. We must get our story out Mainstream media doesn’™t always tell our story. We had 100,000 people in the street in North Carolina on a winter day.. but you know who tells that story? You do. A movement is only as strong as those who stand together. We have music and storytelling and spoken word and the arts.



He also named us “Baruch” (messengers) and I thought about how important Black Kos is, not just carrying the message to readers who don’t post here, but to people we interact with in the blogosphere, especially people who are not black. We are certainly a small group, with 786 Daily Kos followers, as well as having readers on Motley Moose, though we have no current data about how many people read us.

Many of us who are black grew up in two media worlds, one that was black; ”with magazines and newspapers that targeted us directly, ”and the other was a white media world, which covered us infrequently, and not always with any particular understanding or empathy. We learned to deal with both.

Pew Research did a recent study, African-American Media: Fact Sheet, which showed interesting data on black print newspapers, magazines, broadcast television, and digital media:

To get a sense of the current digital footprint of African-American media, Pew Research analyzed audience data for 18 African American-oriented websites and associated apps tracked by the Maynard Institute, an organization aimed at helping news media accurately portray all segments of society. The set of web entities includes entertainment and lifestyle outlets as well as news organizations. Thirteen garnered 1 million or more monthly unique visitors in January 2015, according to data provided by the analytics firm comScore, four of which are outlets dedicated to news: The Root, NewsOne, The Grio and Huffington Post Black Voices.

Pew discussed black radio, in an earlier piece.

I wonder how many folks who aren’t black regularly read black media, or subscribe to black publications?

In Asheville I asked the assembled bloggers, and attendees, almost all of whom were white how many of you are members of The Black Kos community? Several said they would be joining us. That is a good thing, and I hope it happens, but I also challenge readers here to expand their horizons. My friend Yasuragi regularly forwards me “Racism Review,” which I recommend highly. Check it out.

I don’t want to make this a poll, but I am curious. What black media do you read, listen to or view regularly?

Cross-posted from Black Kos


  1. I’ll confess I don’t know much about black media. In addition to reading Black Kos regularly, I do know and read some black authors, especially Ta-Nehesi Coates and the Angry Black Lady.

    My wife and I were talking about the entertainment side of this divide. There are very few TV shows and movies with Black leads or majority-black casts that get wide viewership among whites, it seems to me. Shonda Rhymes seems to be working this problem successfully. I was especially pleased to see the beautiful and talented Viola Davis win for How to Get Away with Murder.

    Thanks for posting the Rev Barber video here. He’s a very compelling speaker!

    • I have to admit – I watch very little television – but it seems to me there used to be more black series.

      I do watch Larry Wilmore on Comedy Central (the day after cause he is on too late for me)

  2. I lurk on Black Kos when I get a chance – the Friday post. I try to get to the Tuesday one but usually can’t manage that one. But then I don’t do much “white media” either – DK and MM are largely it, although I do follow links from those two sites.

  3. I have The Root in my Tweeter feed and of course ABL who writes for several publications including and #TWIB ( which is a gateway to a dozen other media sites.

    Thanks for posting that video here! I embrace the word “Baruch” and hope to be a messenger of truth in my writings and what I choose to report on when I am sharing stories as the Moose News Network :)

    Our reach extends past subscribers because all of our posts are Tweeted and posted to the Motley Moose Facebook page where they get “Liked”. I have a page views count available in the WP states but they are kind of deceptive on any site because they include visiting bots that are indexing content for search engines. Looks like about 100 views per day for our non-community content.

    • This is a fascinating post, one that especially interests me, being the daughter of a journalist. I’ll subscribe to Black Kos. Regrettably, haven’t had time to read much on line these days but if we get through this move, will have more time to read Tuesday’s Chile and other sources of black news.

      Love what the Rev. Barber said about social media! Surely, not many people read magazines nowadays. I get my views of the world from MM, DK, and Facebook, and sometimes the PBS news hour. Didn’t realize MM had its own FB page! The minute I get a minute, I’ll go “like” it.

    • You are way more active on twitter than I am – and I am grateful for tweets you post here.

      • When there is breaking news, I go to Twitter. It is unfiltered there which is both a blessing and a curse (some things are not accurate and it is wise to check a few sources). Considering the track record of the mainstream media (CNN, NY Times) there is no guarantee that their breaking news will be any better.

        Twitter is best for this:
        – News breaks. Twitter tells you that something happened.
        – Information starts coming in. Fire hose mode, 90% unsourced.
        – After the news is confirmed, links to commentary

Comments are closed.