Successful Black Parenting magazine, originally founded in 1993 and launched in 1995 with 35,000 issues, debuted as the first national print magazine for African American parents. The founders closed the magazine in 1997. Twenty-one years later, they are bringing it back.
“The time is right to connect with issues being addressed by Black Lives Matter, like the way racism has resurfaced in our society, and to respond to the concerns and aspirations Black parents have about their children’s future. There’s also a vibrant spirit in our community that continues to work for a better world, so it’s the perfect time to relaunch,” said Janice Celeste, formerly Janice Robinson-Lopez, one of the founders and editor-in-chief of the magazine.
“We started when my children were babies. Now, my three daughters are adults and successful in their career and family lives. I’m even a grandmother now.” Success is key to everything Celeste does, right down to her own children. Her oldest daughter has her master’s degree, another is a fashion designer and modeling agent, and her youngest daughter is supermodel, Sessilee Lopez, seen on Victoria’s Secret runways and on the cover of Vogue. “All families need support. Black families are no different. Children also have to see positive images of themselves in the media,” said Celeste, adding, “You cannot be what you cannot see.”
“Recently, Janice and I have been saying, ‘If we had had the resources we have today, the magazine would still be on newsstands,'” said Marta Sánchez, the magazine’s co-founder and managing editor. Celeste agreed, “Today we have more connections, contacts and access to social media that can get the word out.” Sánchez recalled, “This publication was our baby, we saw it walk, then run. At that time, we had just enough money to fail. We financed the venture with our money and donations from family and friends, but what we really needed was a million-dollar budget. We were like two fleas holding on to a bucking bull!”
Celeste and Sánchez have a big plan. The digital launch comes first with a crowdfunding campaign for research and development for print issues, which will launch in 2018. “Print is evolving,” said Celeste. “It’s definitely not dead. We have to cater to the needs of different readers, those who prefer digital and those who want to feel the quality of paper in their hands.”
On the website, there is something for everyone. There are columns for single moms to grandparents. “We are the voice of Black families,” said Celeste, “Our magazine advocates for parents—all caregivers—and children. The magazine is just the start of much more to come.”
For updates, sign-up on Successful Black Parenting’s website at SuccessfulBlackParenting.com. The crowdfunding campaign is set to raise $20k for research and development. A second phase to raise $2m in venture capital is for the print publication. To contribute, visit Indiegogo.com or (http://bit.ly/SBPIndiegogo)