Today, we give EBONY magazine a MyBrownBaby salute for tapping Spike Lee, Boris Kodjoe, Dwyane Wade and their sons, all dressed in hoodies, to illustrate the September 2013 issue, devoted to Trayvon Martin and the watershed moment we shared as a community after the “non-guilty” verdict in the George Zimmerman trial.
Every bit as beautiful and poignant as the covers is the coverage: Trayvon Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, who cover the subscriber’s issue with Trayvon’s brother, Jahvaris Fulton, give an exclusive interview; Columbia University Professor Marc Lamont Hill writes about racial profiling; Spike, Boris and Dwyane give personal reflections on how they talk to their sons about racism in America; 17-year-old students discuss how they feel about being young Black men in America; Bishop T.D. Jakes offers a prayer of healing; Jill Scott pens a poem for Trayvon, and; the Rev. Al Sharpton lays out how we can turn anger into action.
Amy Barnett, EBONY’s editor-in-chief, said the issue is meant to keep the issues surrounding Trayvon’s death—Stand Your Ground laws, racial profiling, government-sanctioned stop-and-frisk programs and the like—on the forefront of our minds.
“As a mother of a young Black boy, the tragedy of Travyon Martin affected me deeply,” said Barnett. “We simply cannot allow the conversations on this issue to come to a standstill. As the leading source for an authoritative perspective on the African-American community, at EBONY we are committed to serving as a hub for Black America to explore solutions, and to giving readers the information and tools they need to help ensure a bright future for all of our children.”
The issue promises to explore how to find solutions for dealing with racial bias and ways to heal and move forward—together.
What’s more: in conjunction with the release of its groundbreaking Trayvon Martin coverage, EBONY also announced that it is partnering with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans to host a series of town hall meetings across the country to discuss the state of Black boys. Beginning November 2013 through December 2014, the community-focused conversations will address issues raised in the EBONY five-part “Saving Our Sons” series, conceived and penned by MyBrownBaby’s own Nick Chiles beginning in the May 2013 issue.
The program will highlight individuals and organizations that support the development of young Black men and will seek to provide ways to ensure that they reach their full potential. The first town hall will kick off at Morehouse College.
THIS. This is the kind of thoughtful coverage and advocacy I’ve long loved from our publications of record. Sure, getting all up in a starlet’s love life is fun and I like beauty tips and hot shoes like the next girl, but when magazines like EBONY, Jet and Essence take up the mantle—our mantle—and lend their powerful pages to inform, educate and advocate on our behalves, they show why our subscriptions are worth every penny. And then some.
Congratulations EBONY. Keep on keepin’ on.
1. Saving Our Sons: The Cliffnotes Version of My Ebony Series on Black Boys
2. A MyBrownBaby Salute to Ebony Magazine for the Cover Story, ‘Saving Our Sons’
3. This Is My Beautiful, Smart Nephew Miles. He Will Change the World. And #HeIsNotASuspect
4. In Trayvon Martin’s Name: Words, Art and Music Inspired By the Death of the Son We All Call Our Own
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.
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Thanks for this information Denene. I have been following Nick’s series in Ebony can’t wait to get the September issue. Last night here in my home town of Rochester, New York we had a community discussion on Trayvon Martin and did a March last Spring in our community in which 1,000 people showed up in hoodies to show there support. I can not thank Ebony and Essence enough for being supportive and sharing the wonderful information in resource for our black boys and men. I agree with your sentiment totally.
Now some new poverty pimps are hosting a series of Town Hall meetings about the state of African-American boys. Didn’t we have 10 years of State of Black America, (Thanks Tavis!) CNN’s The State of Black America and 1 Million Black Men March on Washington, another million Black Women in Philadelphia and 0 Measurable Results. Let the thousands of people with time to come to these events go into the adoption and foster care systems that continue to host our black boys until they are old enough for adult prisons. That’s how you move the bar on this issue.