Thursday, March 05, 2009

Honey Magazine, Past, Present and Future


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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?


M.Z. said...

I'll have to dig around, but I probably still have a few issues. I know I bought the one you used w/ Lauryn on it.

As thin as these magazines are now, online is almost inevitable. I really wish it wouldn't go that way but it is what it is.

Toni Campbell said...

As a straight magazinephile, I remember loving Honey. It was the first mag that I felt spoke to me directly in a language that I understood. Its arrival made me understand the previous criticism of Essence mag. When I heard that it was no more I had that same feeling in my stomach that you have when your lover leaves. I loved it that much. Although it is nice, I'm not as impressed with its new incarnation.

UP said...

i remember hunting for honey and finding it only at a magazing store (and only a couple copies). in your post yesterday you talked about not feeling lauryn when she first came out. it was interesting for me because i remember really feeling her, being inspired by her and wanting to be JUST like her. honey to me was about that in a way - about this amazing woman of color that we wanted to be: stylish, interesting, thoughtful, sexy, baaaaaaaad, black... in some ways it was a 90's thing? like how light-skinned guys was an 80's thing (*laugh) maybe? seems like in the 21st century we've moved to multi-cultural icons or people of color without distinctly people-of-color-culture icons and maybe that's what the 'new' honey is responding to... i do miss the fly, young, natural, creative black woman image as a cultural touchstone a lot.......

M.Dot. said...


I swear you are the go to dude on the research. B/w you and your brother...Yall need to work at the Smithsonian or some shit.

Although it is nice, I'm not as impressed with its new incarnation.
Yeah..Its missing that UMMMPH.
You read/review any books lately?

Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

i remember hunting for honey and finding it only at a magazing store (and only a couple copies).
Honey had to limited quantity, only for select
jawns element too. Made you feel special when you got your hands on a copy.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

I miss the original Honey. After the change in editorial tone the magazine lost something. I still liked it in its final print incarnation but to me it had already been sanitized of the original edginess that made it so unique. Still it was better than say...Essence. Now we can all start our own magazines thanks to the internet. I think we may have 3 years left before the corporate takeover is complete so everyone reading that has something they'd like to see represented should start something NOW. Get a partner or two if need be but don't let this "golden age" go by......

M.Dot. said...

Hey Ms. Acts of Faith of Blog.

so everyone reading that has something they'd like to see represented should start something NOW.
Feel me. That's why I am on building my brooklynmagic infrastructure mayne.

Anonymous said...

Great post. I actually just found out Kierna is the Editor-At-Large over at Clutch Mag. Kierna is a mentor of the founder of Clutch's and have passed the baton over to her and the online mag. She will be blogging on their blog Golden and contribute articles over there. Possibly Jociyln will be too in the coming months. They will both have a presence on the site.

I went over to the "new" Honey and it's a cute site but the content is VERY vulgar and raunchy and not Honey like. Sahara has messed up the legacy in my opinion and happy to see the legacy live on with Clutch.

M.Dot. said...

I didn't know Kierna was @ Clutch! Deanna over handling it! Awesome!

Thank you for letting us know.


###### said...

I am a HONEY JUNKIE okay..I am glad I am not the only one.

michael a. gonzales said...

that was amazing...thank you

theHotness Grrrl said...

I just discovered this post through Google. I am blogging about honey and the connection it has to urban grrrls-- Badu, Sweet Honey in the Rock, etc... and of course I have to mention the mag. Kierna is a friend of mine and so I will certainly tell her to check this out if she hasn't already. Big up to you and all that you do here in this space. I will be relaunching my site next week too. It is laborious, but in the end it is love.

Model Minority said...


I remember when you had the newsletter e-mail jawn back in the day.

We need to have a conference of Black Girl Magazines and the ladies who love/produce them.

Fierce Mag Publisher


Send me a link when you re launch
and check out my other baby, Brooklyn Magic,
you may like her. Wink.

KGirl Jessie said...

Check out, its like an open market for writers and has articles everyone can relate to.

Shenique Magazine said...

I found this while google searching Honey, may fav mag back in the day. It inspired me to start, a magazine for young, black girls. Check it out!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I have just visited their site and it looks quite solid.

Geneza Pharmaceuticals

Anonymous said...

Well, you may not have understood then, but the important thing is that you understand now! Life is a growing process

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