Saturday, February 27, 2010

CORA Diversity Roll Call

Ali asked us:

1) Take a look at the magazines or literary journals you read. If you don't read them, pick one up from the library just for the heck of it. Look at the ads, the photo spreads, the authors and subjects of the articles. Do people of color exist in the world this publication presents to its readers? How about gays, lesbians, or people with physical differences?

2) Do you know of a magazine or journal that does embrace diversity? Be it high brow or low brow, tell us about it. If you don't know of any, do a little digging. They've got to be out there.

Outside of committing the awful offense of reading the magazines off the racks in the grocery story, I don’t regularly read print magazines anymore. The grocery market magazines are usually flanked with celebrities or models and they’re usually white. I should add these people look nothing like average folk I know of any race. When I purposely look for a magazine, I am looking for publications that reflect my values and perspective. I read a few journals online like Huffington Post and the writers are a diverse group and articles cover different ethnicity, race and socioeconomic groups.

I also recently picked up a print copy of Latina. When you go to the site, it looks like a typical glam mag and it might be but the older issues I read at work had more than clothes and makeup. One issue had a very good article on Justice Sotoymayor and another ran a feature on racism among people of color. Being Latina encompasses many countries and cultures so I was impressed with the variety of experiences and the multi-hued models.

While I want to see more inclusion, I don’t expect any publication to try to be everything for everybody. I’m not justifying exclusion but I wouldn’t expect a magazine that focuses on a particular culture or religion for example to cover areas outside of their focus. I do want publications that are written for a broad audience to reflect differing perspectives and images that reflect all of their readership.

I don't remember when but I know it's been several years since I purchased or read mainstream publications. Over time the covers became a barely noticeable blip on the radar. All the models pretty looked alike and I stopped expecting to see anything different or find topics that interested me. I should add I'm not to fond of Essence or Ebony either. Just because their target audience is black doesn't mean they reflect my views and experiences.

What I realized is that outside of my reading while I shop, I don’t read publications that differ from my point of view, something, which I said, I was going to start doing. I need to be aware of what other people’s views are.

There are few literary journals I would read if I took the time but since I've been immersed in the book blogging world, I'm always reading a book and thinking about the next five.

Find more responses at Worducopia.


Wayne Pitchko said...

i miss your poetry susan

susan said...

Thank you, Wayne. I'll find my way back.

Jessie Carty said...

the lit mag i mostly recently finished was an issue of WEAVE which I enjoyed a great deal for the variety of writing it included across the genres including an interview with an Asian writer. There were also several other Asian surnames and at least one writer whose name I recognized whom I knew to be African American but I don't know that it is always easy to tell race, ethnicity since photographs are not included. hmm

One of my favorite online journals that seems to provide a nice mix of diversity (I know I have read poems by a variety of races as well as at least one story by a gay writer) is Splinter Generation.

Carleen Brice said...

One reason I'm fond of O Magazine is because they ALWAYS have POC models in their spreads, and they often have "real people" not professional models, and women over age 12 and size 12. Though I don't recall seeing anyone in a wheel chair in a fashion spread, but their articles are pretty diverse too.

Color Online said...

Thanks Carleen and Jessie.

I said this year I was going to read beyond YA. I love it, but I am grown woman who likes grownup company. I like poetry, politics and other arts. I need to broaden my reading this year.