Hi there! Are you black? Cool, me too. This is going great so far.
I’d like to tell you about a cool new project I’m working on, and maybe one that you can be a part of.
I am @dexdigi, Cofounder/EIC of an online magazine (to be released July 1st) called Those People. I’m teaming up with Publisher @SHICNYC to do something new. First off, all writers and contributors are black. Second, there’s no strict requirement to write about ‘black issues’ (whatever that means).
I’m open to a piece about video games, an essay on women’s soccer, a video interview with an Indian rock band, a photo essay with shots from a police brutality protest, an 8-panel comic strip about construction workers in Alaska.
In short, we’re trying to remedy the weird Catch-22 that black writers find themselves in when writing for mainstream (read: white) publications:
- they want you to be the angry black (wo)man
- but they don’t want to talk too much about ‘black stuff’.
This gets really frustrating, because sometimes, you just want to write about racecars. But then if you focus on black experiences, they’ll get nervous if you go too deep. They’ll tell you: ‘look at the big picture!’
But Those People know that sometimes the ‘big picture’ is a close-up.
So, don’t be afraid to write about black stuff, but also don’t be afraid to write about the whitest thing that ever whited. Or, about tacos. Whatever. Your perspective is what matters.
If it’s good, and you made it, we want it.
How Those People Works
Each month, we’ll have a theme. The first issue (released July 1st) theme is Origins and Originators. This is a pretty loose guideline though, so anything that even remotely fits is fine (see above examples).
In general, pieces are due by the 18th of the previous month, so we have time for layout/planning/editing. But, this is the first month, so I’d like a pitch by Monday June 22nd, and a draft by the 26th.
Also, throughout the month, we’ll also take other pieces — ‘think pieces’ written in response to current events, other things that are timely, or just anything smart, original, and interesting. These can be submitted any time. If we like it, we’ll run it.
We also want illustrations, photography, video, audio (podcast, etc).
Getting out what you put in
We’re building a community here. We want to publish great work, but we also want to help people develop as content producers.
Your job is to make great stuff. Mine as an editor is to help you make it even better, and to get it noticed.
Each month, we’ll be working with a designer to make sure that your pieces not only read good, but look good. We’ll push your work. We’ll help you market yourself as part of Those People and as your own brand.
We want you to get hit up for radio interviews, for contract work, for jobs.
This is the home base, but we’ll always encourage you to get out and infiltrate the mainstream. Washington Post might only want your hot-take on whatever the cops did last week, but when you want to write about something that you’re passionate about, you’ll always have a home here.
So, I encourage you to work outside of your comfort zone! Try interviews, original reporting, video. I’ll support it in any way I can — introductions, feedback, etc. (I’m personally working on getting good at photography so that I can include images in my future pieces.)
Who owns my content?
For things you write, they’ll be attached to your account on Medium (I can help you set that up if you need). Or, if you’d rather not have an account, or if you need to be anonymous, I got you covered. If you’d like to repost on your site, or another outlet contacts you wanting to repost, awesome! Just let us know and we’ll make it happen.
We prefer original content, but if you’ve got something already produced that might fit, just let me know upfront and we’ll see what we can do with it.
What if I don’t have any ideas right now?
Feel free to hit me up and we’ll brainstorm.
I’m down! Also I have questions!
cool. Get at us at stopthosepeople [at] gmail [dot] com. Let’s talk.