I met Kierna Mayo, at dinner once.
She was beautiful, young and struggling with Honey Magazine.
Kierna Mayo and Jocelyn Dingle were the founding editors
of Honey Magazine.
I was a student at the New School, which was hosting
a media talk event of some sort, which I attended, where the fella's from
Ego Trip magazine were discussing hip hop, magazines and race.
Kevin Powell, who I met previously through a friend, was at the
talk as well and invited me tag along to dinner, at the Indian
restaurant on 13th between 5th and 6th, with some of his friends,
Kierna Mayo and Karen R. Good.
This was a new experience for me, because I had never been
around a collective group of young Black artistic folks, who
were making their way in the world, earning an above poverty
living as working artists.
Previously, the young Black people that I knew with money
were the sons and daughters of professional's, doctors,
lawyers and media personalities. For example, my "big sister"
at my college prep high school was Ciara Coleman,
Valerie Coleman's daughter.
At dinner, Kierna turned to me and asked me what I was
working on. I told her that I wasn't a "writer" but that I was
working on my senior thesis on the connection "Black
English, Gullah Languages and West ." She stared at me
for a moment and said, "That sounds absolutely amazing
and so different from any of the stuff that I am reading
right now." At the time, I didn't understand why a magazine
editor would be interested in my "little essay on Ebonics."
However, I did feel special, but, I didn't get what
the moment meant until years later.
After Kierna and Jocelyn lost Honey, in some ways, I was
soured on being a writer. I wanted to pursue it, but I saw
what happened to them, and I was type hesitant. Little did
I know that years later, I would have come to understand
that my passion is my passion. Stifle it if I wish, it was just
going to come out sideways.
And sideways it did. Last December, a dear friend invited
me to Honey Magazines relaunch party. Honey is being
relaunched as an online magazine and a social media network
website with a blog component which allows, folks to blog on
the Honey magazine website. I was invited to be a blogger, but
I think that the content on my other site, Brooklyn Magic is more
closely related to Honey, than the personal, random and
social commentary rantings here at Model Minority. I have
been toying with the idea of cross posting over there.
The past and present of Honey converged for me at the party.
It was surreal to be at that party, to have met and been
encouraged to write by Kierna and to see Honey relaunched
as an urban brand that wasn't specifically black or decidly urban.
The one thing that I remember about the first few
issues of Honey was the interview with Lil 'Kim where
she speaks honestly, if I recall correctly, about getting contacts,
wearing blond wigs and sex. Where in mainstream media
can you hear a Black woman talk about weaves, contacts
and sex? (Does anyone have a pdf of this interiew?)
Honey was edge, gritty, sassy and urban. We loved it.
Don't get me wrong. The new Honey site is beautiful. But, there is
no difference between the look of the editorial and the look of the
website ads. It sort of blends together.
You know how you read a magazine, and there is a page that
is an advertisement, but it looks like an article. That's what the
editorial aspects of the site remind me of.
After leaving that party and thinking about my blog, I realized
several things. The new Honey magazine site taught me that Model
Minority blog is special because my content is decent, I have
found my niche and my community is strong. I know
that these two things do not happen overnight.
I realized that as a writer, having a platform and a targeted
audience is a gift. I realized that not only did have one, but
that my site design should match my content and that it was
time to do a relaunch. The url has been purchased, the site
has been designed, now, I am waiting for my new logo.
Speaking of logo's, I realized that my tagline was special as well.
While, I used Thug's, Feminist's and Boom Bap, to describe
what I was interested it, the tagline really describes the interests of my
audience as well. Then a lightbulb went off, I decided that,
Thugs, Feminists and Boom Bap would be the basis of the logo
for the New Model Minority site.
I now have a better understanding of Kierna's appreciation
of my Gullah essay. Given the barrage of unoriginal material
on blogs and in print, I now get the moment that I had with her.
I also have a better understanding of the fact that when it comes to
being creative, it takes that what it takes. As cliched as it sounds,
it is about the process.
Y'all remember Honey?
Do you remember urban magazines in general?
All the magazines will be online soon? No?