A press where Black labors are not in vain

“The Black press matters, and it, along with the media and press of all the marginalized, will be our saving grace going forward.”

I’m just a short drive or bus ride away from not just one but both Washington, D.C. area locations of the phenomenal Mahogany Books, an upscale bookstore dedicated to Black-authored and -centered books from all around the African diaspora.

The second and most recent location is in a prime tourist and convention village on the Potomac River. This area, National Harbor, Maryland, pops up in datelines during the annual Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) gathering (though CPAC abandoned National Harbor this past year for a less Covid-restrictive location in Florida). It is not known nationally as the safe, open footbridge, bike, and pedestrian trail and community center connecting our region’s state-level and state-like municipalities, teeming with people of all walks of life.

But that footbridge was a refuge for me at the height of the pandemic, and going to my Planet Fitness across the street felt dangerous. I wrote about how much I loved the Virginia shores of this Potomac River connector earlier this year in another publication, but in this prediction, the Maryland shores are getting some much-needed attention, along with its beloved bookstore.

Mahogany is one of many Black bookstores, including Harambee just off that Virginia shore, that were highlighted in this list from Oprah Daily of all the Black bookstores in the United States.

Mahogany is also the same bookstore that hosted the book club former president Barack Obama visited. Most recently — with a sibling Black and queer-owned bookstore, Loyalty, and the D.C. Public Library — it hosted a sold-out The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story book talk with Nicole Hannah-Jones.

Stores like these prove that Black lives can be centered, prosperous, and free, while providing a key service — information — to all.

The spread of information — accurate information — is vital. And just like we have an army of Black bookstores, and feminist bookstores, and LGBTQIA+ bookstores, 2022 will mark the year that my publications, The Black Urbanist and Kristpattern, will join so many others — Essence, a rebooted Ebony, Sesli, Black Enterprise, The Undefeated, Radicle Threads, Capital B, The 19th, and so many more — in their own cavalry of informative, accurate, timely, solution-filled and service-powered press.

A press where our labors are not in vain. A press on the shoulders of our ancestors Frederick Douglass and Ida B. Wells-Barnett and John H. Johnson. A press that — rather than disrespecting and marginalizing not just its communities but its laborers and journalists — calls back our collective power, breaking down all the doors and walls. A press that will lead our economy and be a daily source of information, not just in crisis or pain.

Black information matters. The Black press matters, and it, along with the media and press of all the marginalized, will be our saving grace going forward.

Kristen Jeffers is founder and editor-in-chief of Kristen Jeffers Media.

I’m just a short drive or bus ride away from not just one but both Washington, D.C. area locations of the phenomenal Mahogany Books, an upscale bookstore dedicated to Black-authored and -centered books from all around the African diaspora.

The second and most recent location is in a prime tourist and convention village on the Potomac River. This area, National Harbor, Maryland, pops up in datelines during the annual Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) gathering (though CPAC abandoned National Harbor this past year for a less Covid-restrictive location in Florida). It is not known nationally as the safe, open footbridge, bike, and pedestrian trail and community center connecting our region’s state-level and state-like municipalities, teeming with people of all walks of life.

But that footbridge was a refuge for me at the height of the pandemic, and going to my Planet Fitness across the street felt dangerous. I wrote about how much I loved the Virginia shores of this Potomac River connector earlier this year in another publication, but in this prediction, the Maryland shores are getting some much-needed attention, along with its beloved bookstore.

Mahogany is one of many Black bookstores, including Harambee just off that Virginia shore, that were highlighted in this list from Oprah Daily of all the Black bookstores in the United States.

Mahogany is also the same bookstore that hosted the book club former president Barack Obama visited. Most recently — with a sibling Black and queer-owned bookstore, Loyalty, and the D.C. Public Library — it hosted a sold-out The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story book talk with Nicole Hannah-Jones.

Stores like these prove that Black lives can be centered, prosperous, and free, while providing a key service — information — to all.

The spread of information — accurate information — is vital. And just like we have an army of Black bookstores, and feminist bookstores, and LGBTQIA+ bookstores, 2022 will mark the year that my publications, The Black Urbanist and Kristpattern, will join so many others — Essence, a rebooted Ebony, Sesli, Black Enterprise, The Undefeated, Radicle Threads, Capital B, The 19th, and so many more — in their own cavalry of informative, accurate, timely, solution-filled and service-powered press.

A press where our labors are not in vain. A press on the shoulders of our ancestors Frederick Douglass and Ida B. Wells-Barnett and John H. Johnson. A press that — rather than disrespecting and marginalizing not just its communities but its laborers and journalists — calls back our collective power, breaking down all the doors and walls. A press that will lead our economy and be a daily source of information, not just in crisis or pain.

Black information matters. The Black press matters, and it, along with the media and press of all the marginalized, will be our saving grace going forward.

Kristen Jeffers is founder and editor-in-chief of Kristen Jeffers Media.

Sam Guzik

Don Day

Larry Ryckman

Doris Truong

Melody Kramer

Simon Galperin

Victor Pickard

Jessica Clark

Joe Amditis

Cristina Tardáguila

David Cohn

Matt Karolian

Sarah Stonbely

Jesse Holcomb

Mary Walter-Brown

Jody Brannon

Shannon McGregor & Carolyn Schmitt

Sarah Marshall

Ariel Zirulnick

Catalina Albeanu

Stephen Fowler

Jennifer Coogan

Candace Amos

James Green

Michael W. Wagner

Mike Rispoli

Gordon Crovitz

Alice Antheaume

Julia Munslow

Chase Davis

j. Siguru Wahutu

Mandy Jenkins

Moreno Cruz Osório

Jim Friedlich

Daniel Eilemberg

Jennifer Brandel

Errin Haines

Gabe Schneider

Richard Tofel

Amy Schmitz Weiss

Nikki Usher

Rachel Glickhouse

Eric Nuzum

Meena Thiruvengadam

Jonas Kaiser

Zizi Papacharissi

Cindy Royal

Izabella Kaminska

Paul Cheung

Gonzalo del Peon

Laxmi Parthasarathy

A.J. Bauer

Cherian George

Parker Molloy

Francesco Zaffarano

Amara Aguilar

Christoph Mergerson

Megan McCarthy

Wilson Liévano

Shalabh Upadhyay

S. Mitra Kalita

AX Mina

Joshua P. Darr

Ståle Grut

Burt Herman

Joanne McNeil

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen

Kendra Pierre-Louis

Joni Deutsch

Anika Anand

Tom Trewinnard

Kristen Jeffers

Anthony Nadler

Juleyka Lantigua

Natalia Viana

Matt DeRienzo

Kathleen Searles & Rebekah Trumble

Janelle Salanga

Chicas Poderosas

Whitney Phillips

John Davidow

Simon Allison

Jesenia De Moya Correa

Kerri Hoffman

Kristen Muller

Stefanie Murray

Julia Angwin

Anita Varma

Matthew Pressman

Andrew Freedman

Christina Shih

Robert Hernandez

Tony Baranowski

Brian Moritz

Tamar Charney

Joy Mayer

Millie Tran

Mario García

Raney Aronson-Rath

David Skok