Uptown Bourgeois is an arts, news, and culture blog created by New York-based freelance writer Jefferey Spivey. UB explores universal themes through a black, queer lens. 

The Magazine That Wants More Voices For Black Women

It’s no secret that the magazine industry has been slow to embrace ethnic diversity, with few print publications targeting a diverse group of readers.  But thanks to Hannah, that’s all set to change.

Hannah is a biannual book that specifically features and targets black women at a time where Ebony and Essence are their only options.

“It’s about honoring black women in a way that isn’t done often,” said creative director and editor-in-chief Qimmah Saafir.  Saafir was inspired to push forward with Hannah after a “higher up in the industry basically told me no one gives a shit about black women.” This conversation combined with the current racial climate in America made it clear that now was the perfect time for a publication like Hannah.

Founder/editor-in-chief Qimmah Saafir

“There needs to be some love.  Revolutionary love.  I have to do this now.”

After a successfully funded Kickstarter campaign that generated both a dedicated fanbase and notable press coverage by the likes of Huffington Post, Saafir and her team are now focused on bringing Hannah to life.  Aiming for a Spring 2016 launch, the road ahead is one that will include follow up with collaborators, outreach from investors, an influx of communication, and everything that goes into establishing a new business.

“I didn’t foresee the groundswell of support,” Saafir said.  For her, Hannah was a personal project.  “It was a selfish project.  I wanted to have a magazine I would enjoy.  It’s really fulfilling to see that people connect with it.”

Despite the growing fanbase, Saafir wants to keep the magazine’s voice and mission pure.  If a major publishing house comes knocking, they might be surprised at the answer.

“I’ve seen what happens when magazines get bought out by huge corporations.  Big money gets a say in content and how things are done.  The connection with the reader gets lost.”

Saafir’s main concern is staying true to what Hannah is about.  “Hannah is for the people.  For the love of the people we’re featuring in the magazine.  There’s a genuine love and reverence for the subject.”  She also hopes that Hannah can serve as a “catalyst for other diverse publications”.

Once the first issue launches, the magazine will be available for purchase online.  And there’s even the possibility of picking up a copy in local boutiques throughout the country.  In the meantime, stay tuned at hannahmag.com for content previews and updates. 

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