There has never been a better time in history, for black people of the African diaspora to not only tell our stories, but to take back control of those narratives, then now. We live in a world saturated with media publications who profit from false narratives including, those that publish sensationalized headlines used as “click bait of black men, women and children.
We’re often times, negatively portrayed in the media as ingrates, non-educated, criminals, with low self-esteem. These images are used to reinforce racial biases, untruths and myths that only depicts a small percentage of our race, as the “norm”. Our “greatest accomplishments” as a people, are only highlighted when it comes to both athletes and entertainers.
We are more than that!
Black people of the diaspora are uniquely made, multi-faceted, talented, skillful, innovative beings who have contributed greatly to the world for centuries. We call this “black excellence”, which should be embraced and celebrated, none the less.
Our culture, religious beliefs and traditions spans globally. While we are different, we do share more commonalities than we think. Sharing our stories helps bridge the gap across the diaspora, giving us a sense of belonging, pride, and inspiration. Here are 21 black owned media platforms that are leading the way in creating content surrounding the African diaspora.
The Grapevine T.V.
Brothas and Sistas, if you like a good, intellectual, debate program that talks about relevant, current, issues within the African Diaspora, then The Grapevine T.V. is your cup of tea. This web talk show on YouTube was created by Ashley Akunna. Ashley is a University of Arts filmed graduate who originally wanted to become an actress. After watching media publications over the years and wondering “why is there no millennial perspective on the news”? She decided to launch her own program. The premise of the show is a round table of panelists who discuss a variety of topics. I love this aspect of the show because you hear various perspectives from different guests, from all over the globe which brings a new, fresh outlook on certain subjects.
The Black Detour
What I love about The Black Detour is that I’m able to learn about various important black influential, historical leaders, and events that I haven’t learned in an educational setting, nor anywhere else. The media publication covers lifestyle, sports, and community. The Black Detour does an excellent job at “keeping their fingers to the pulse” on current news and events, while hosting open discussions, creating much needed and sometimes difficult dialogue, surrounding our community.
Founded by Morgan DeBaum, in July 2014, Debaum set out to bridge the gap between content and tech. She accomplished her goal in a short span, as Blavity has quickly become one of the largest digital media brands for black millennials. The idea came to Morgan while attending college at Washington University in St. Louis, a predominately white institution. Black students from all over the diaspora would gather on campus, known as “Black Gravity”, hence the name of the media company “Blavity”. Blavity serves as both a media company and content company, covering music, entertainment, politics, finance, and all things related to the tech industry.
The Fly Wire
The Fly Wire made its debut in 2004. Hailed as “Baltimore’s Urban Entertainment and Lifestyle Company”, the Fly Wire provides you with all things in entertainment, while also curating community related events that empowers entrepreneurs, creatives and organizations.
Afrotech is both a conference and content platform that connects founders, tech gurus and professionals with industry related news, and articles. The conference is a one of the largest, black tech events in the world. I truly believe that everyone should attend Afro Tech at least once in their lifetime, regardless if you work in startup or not. It’s a chance to see some of the brightest, innovative, minds under several roofs, sharing insights, and laughs, all the while being surrounded by your peers.
I’m a total “history geek”. I love learning about ancient civilizations, buildings, structures, cultures and traditions, so Carter Magazine was just the online publication I was looking for. Carter Magazine is an online publication for millennials that explores the historical connection between “old” and “new”. Covering untold stories, to urban news, and the evolving hip hop industry.
Black and Well Magazine
Black + Well is a wellness and lifestyle publication created to serve as a space for black representation in the wellness community. The platform covers areas of health, nutrition, mental wellness, fitness lifestyle and spirituality. The magazine aspires to encourage black people to intentionally strive towards living healthy emotional, spiritual and physical lives.
“Across the pond”, Black Ballad was founded by Bola Awoniyi and Tobi Oredein in 2014. Tobi Oredein grew increasingly frustrated with the lack of representation of black women in media so she created her own media company, Black Ballad with co-founder Bola Awoniyi. Black Ballad covers a wide range of topics from mental health, academia, beauty, career, politics, and dating. The company hasn’t stopped there, they’ve also incorporated a membership platform with the goal of creating conversations, content and events that empowers black women to live their best lives.
The Voice Newspaper
The Voice Newspaper is one of Britain’s largest black newspapers, bringing you the latest entertainment news, current events, and sports. The Voice was founded in 1982 by Val McCalla who previously worked at a local London paper called East End News in 1981. McCalla along with other journalists created The Voice Newspaper to cater to the British African-Caribbean community. Prior to the launch of the publication, black British immigrants relied on family and other news outlets for information related to their home country.
The British Blacklist
The British Blacklist is an award winning media publication producing content related to the latest British African and Caribbean entertainment, including highlighting creatives, executives and producers in the industry. This is a great media outlet for those who are interested in learning more about British creatives, actors and actresses, including upcoming talent.
The Common Sense Network
The Common Sense Network is a 100% “people funded network” for millennials in the UK created by Mike Omoniyi. Fed up with the fact that 6 companies currently control an estimated 81% of the news media market, filled with propaganda, untrustworthy journalism, and corporative driven initiatives, Mike Omoniyi decided to launch his own network. The goal: take back the power of those in control and become the change he wanted to see. The network aims to produce fair, unbiased, truthful stories, giving viewers the ability to form their own opinions on current events.
Black Girls with Gardens
Do you have a “green thumb”? Or maybe you’d like to. Black Girls with Gardens is a digital resource for women of color to find support, inspiration and education including representation, in gardening. Think Home & Garden Magazine meets Essence Magazine. From learning how to repot indoor plants, to helpful tips for growing a vegetable garden. I’m hoping to start my own garden one day and have found this site extremely helpful!
Okay, I’m just going to come out and say it but, I freakin LOVE all things Dine Diaspora!!! Dine Diaspora is an agency that amplifies African influence in food culture around the diaspora. They’ve turned the culinary world upside down curating unforgettable dining experiences as well as highlighting cultural food and traditions through film. Check out their docuseries Foodie Venture.
Black Arrow FC
Black Arrow FC is one of my favorite cultural based media publications. The brand is dedicated to the intersection of soccer and black culture. Black Arrow FC creates both content and curated experiences for black soccer enthusiasts. Even if you aren’t familiar with the sport of soccer but want to learn more about the sport, Black Arrow FC will most definitely help you gain both knowledge and a great appreciation for soccer.
National Black Guide
The National Black Guide is a digital media network and content platform. Founded by Leonard J. Young, a Wilmington, Delaware native, who graduated from Florida A &M University. The digital media network promotes black entrepreneurship as well as current news and events, including a black business directory as a way to increase the visibility of black owned businesses.
Blk Creatives is a media and production company founded by Melissa Kimble. The platform produces content and curated experiences for creative industries, from curators, writers and innovators. Blk Creatives also serves a supportive community, sharing resources, networking opportunities and partnerships.
Typically when you think of the word “hipster” it’s not really associated with anything black. The term is used to describe a demographic of young, white, “hip”, Americans under the age of 30 whom we see pop up in our gentrified neighborhoods. Hipsternomics, definitely added a new spin to the term “hipster”. The platform is the “black millennial version” of Bloomberg financial news, with a focus on providing investment, technology and finance news. The content is a cool mix of humor, digestible and relatable facts.
A friend of mine recently introduced me to “CultureBanx”. Culturebanx is redefining what we know about business, finance, and tech news, delivering high quality, engaging news. Learn about market driven stories, innovation in products and services that are transforming our culture. Skip the “mainstream news” and check out CultureBanx.
Rantt Media is definitely “about that independent life”. Free from government influence and corporate interests, giving us real, raw, news, without the propaganda, racial biased media reporting and “yellow journalism”. Rantt Media offers a wide range of consistent, reliable, informative news.
Shadow and Act
Shadow and Act is quickly becoming one of the largest Black entertainment and news platforms representing the global African diaspora. The platform’s content includes new undiscovered talent, the latest in cinema, television, and web content.
The Black Wellness Community
The Black Wellness Community is a lifestyle platform promoting diversity in wellness for people of color. From discovering new ways to feed your mind to offering online Yoga classes. I personally love their “intellectual wellness” tips. Finding new ways to stimulate your mind is a great way to improve your intellectual wellness.
Representation is an essential key to creating positive images that reflects who we are as a people, more importantly, taking back control of the narrative to help shape, mold and create those images. We’re similar in some ways, yet different in others. We are not monolithic and shouldn’t be portrayed as such. Our uniqueness should be both celebrated and embraced. What I love about many of the platforms listed in the blog is that many of them serve as a multi-purpose initiative, with the goal of empowering not just our voices, but the people of the African diaspora as a whole.