The various black footballers we approached for investment support preferred to spend their piles of money on fast cars and even faster women instead of nurturing a new publication that could in turn promote their achievements to our young people specifically and the outside world in general. Now we sit around paying lip-service to the need for more black role models while our teenagers stab each other to death on our city streets and few of us seem particularly bothered.
I was amazed to see how quickly a bunch of young white teens organised a march (via Facebook no less) with hundreds of their friends campaigning for an end to this senseless violence. Yet, while 90% of youth death from knife crimes are black-on-black murders – what are we doing about it? Have you seen any marches organised via Facebook? I’m still waiting…but we can spend our valuable time, money, and energy promoting the sale of Vogue magazine in our thousands (in some vain hope that a Vogue exec somewhere will decide to have more black models promoting products in his magazine). Shame on you! Take it from me, that ain’t never gonna happen any time soon. There’s a much better chance of electing a black man the 44th president of America! Magazines make money not from their cover price but from the advertising revenue they generate based on the perceived economic spending power of their primary audience.
Are you with me so far? You’d be better off spending your money on something like Talawa Theatre or Pride Magazine in the UK, where your hard-earned dosh has some real chance of circulating back into our community. Better still, if we supported our own like other communities do, then the advertisers would feel they have a duty to target us (in order to access our spending power), and would therefore spend their money advertising in black publications where black models feature as standard. As things currently stand, the brands and advertisers know that you’ll buy whether they specifically target you or not, in which case, we’re virtually useless to the economic development of our own communities.
You can download back issues of Drum magazine (UK) here. Still a thing of beauty after all these years!”