Black power in a Chinese men's magazine

Maňgazine, January 2009

Inspired by the "color revolution" that installed Barack Obama as president of the United States, the January issue of the men's lifestyle magazine Mangazine is all about "Black Power."

Forty pages are devoted presidential power: a history of the White House, the Obamas' first visit in November, a snapshot of the new president's cabinet, and an imagined narrative of his first day in office (complete with soft-ball questions at a press conference).

Power in other realms is addressed through features on black celebrities, sports figures, models, business leaders, authors, and musicians.

It's an ambitious concept, but one that ends up being fairly uneven, as "power" fits some subjects more comfortably than others. Some of the results are bizarre: the intro to a series of articles on the paucity of black CEOs in Fortune 500 companies is illustrated with an promotional photo of from the ABC drama Dirty Sexy Money, in which Blair Underwood was the sole black member of the principal cast. Is this a subtle commentary on racial politics in Hollywood? Mangazine doesn't say.

The articles are largely US-centric without being exclusively a picture of the African-American experience. People from other parts of the world make occasional appearances, and there's a brief photo essay using photos taken by Pascal Maitre in Africa. Africans in China, most recently covered by Evan Osnos in the New Yorker, aren't mentioned at all.

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There are currently 2 Comments for Black power in a Chinese men's magazine.

Comments on Black power in a Chinese men's magazine

If they're African-American, of course it's US-centric!

Was there any coverage of China's historical relationship with the African American world?
I doubt it

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