New York, NY — “[Black women] are not this monolithic group of people that just think the same, dress the same, eat the same, shit the same, wanna be the same,” says actress Joy Bryant, one of the many supporters of upcoming biannual magazine, HANNAH. Over the last few decades, the spaces for black women have slowly become less limited due to us carving out new spaces ourselves. Writer and editor Qimmah Saafir carves a new space celebrating the complexities of black women with her latest editorial project.
Endearingly named after Saafir’s late father’s nickname for the sun, HANNAH aims to shed some light on the diversity among black women. “I created what I wanted to exist. I grew tired of asking other people to do it, for other people to celebrate us,” Saafir explained to me. The Bronx native has worked for numerous magazines like Essence, Maxim, and Complex — to name a few. Her focus is to now create the book so many women have been waiting for. “I just finally moved on the idea,” Saafir said. “I’ve had it for years. It was just a matter of finally sharing it with the world.”
Prior to her launch, the seasoned creative interviewed several women, including Bryant, to find out what was truly missing in the publications targeted to us. The answer: Simply, our narrative. For far too long, the media’s image of black women has been either modified, exaggerated, limited, or just widely misrepresented. “A lot of black women are pressured into being […] Europeanized, and if you don’t have those features then you’re not beautiful,” says one of the interviewed women.
Saafir’s creation of HANNAH is not meant to replace the spaces already established for black women, but rather to add to it. “There is one major magazine that is geared toward Black women right now. Maybe two. How is that enough?” The founder also hopes that the magazine can help inspire more publications to welcome diversity within marginalized groups. “I would love for it to provoke thought around why the space has been so exclusive. I hope for it to inspire a wider variety of publications dedicated to underrepresented groups.”
What I’m most excited about is the plethora of topics to be discussed within the magazine. Personally, I find so many “made-for-black-women” publications to be laced with stereotypes. It would be refreshing to read something that acknowledges the very human experiences of women who just happen to be black.
Let’s help bring HANNAH to life by supporting its Kickstarter! See links and details below.
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Get a FIRST LOOK at HANNAH: www.hannahmag.com
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