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Mosaic Literary Magazine the Last of a Dying Breed


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10 Years Ago Today: Mosaic Literary Magazine Issue #5 was published.  The publisher @Ron Kavanaugh started the magazine over 21 years ago -- before I launched AALBC.  Ron graduated with (@Mel Hopkins and I from the same High School).  I did not know Ron back then, it was a really big school, but we met about 21 years ago in a local Black owned bookstore (back when those existed). 


About 5 years ago Ron shut down his book website mosaicbooks.com.  In October of last year he announced that he was no longer printing his magazine and was just going to produce an electronic version.


With almost 400 million Black folks in this country it is hard to image a magazine dedicated to Black writers, from the diaspora, and there books can't survive in print.


The people inclined to produced these types of publications will all be dead soon.  It seems to me the people who would read them already are -- if not physically then mentally.


I know that sounds harsh, but sheesh, what kind of country do we have if we can not support bookstores, magazines, or websites that focus specifically on Black writers -- you know the people who tell our stories? 


Don't tell me that social media has picked up the slack -- it has not.  It can not and it will not.  


Recently I've put some effort into promoting Magazines like Mosaic.  I'm also working with the Center for Black Literature to sell their Killens Review of Arts and Letters.  I previously promoted Black Issues Book Review that efforts was not nearly as efficient because AALBC was not database driven back then, but I did my best. 


None of this effort generates and revenue, but i do it because the information is important. Unfortunately things that are important to Black folks, like an accurate portrayal our history, are not supported by the marketplace, so the work must be done by volunteers -- and done in an environment that is hostile to the effort. 


There may come a time when indie sites like AALBC are no longer allowed to exist -- seriously. At that point, the people in charge of relating our stories will be the likes of a Mark Zuckerberg.  The reality is that we are close to that point today, and the result is the emergence of the "least woke generation."


You can down load a free copy of issue #5 of Mosaic Literary Magazine here.  Do it while you still can....


Spring 1999 Version of Mosaic Literary Magazine


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43 minutes ago, Troy said:

With almost 400 million Black folks in this country it is hard to image a magazine dedicated to Black writers, from the diaspora, and there books can't survive in print.


@Troy O/T  according to the last census there are only 325 million people in the U.S.  and 13.7 % means there's about 44 million black people in the U.S. -  

Anyway, I agree  - EBONY has 1.6 million circulation  and  11 million readers Black Enterprise  circulation  is  500K with 4 million readers each month - so yes, even if only black people patronized ; we'd have enough people to keep these magazines and newspapers in print.   Social media,  yes including AALBC forums, tell some of the story but its mostly commentary.  


Still it is important to have original works and media ownership.   


The million-dollar question is why we don't.    

By the way, Technite L. Londell McMillan is the current owner and group publisher of The NorthStar Group, which publishes Jones Magazine and The Source.

Update: Just checked The Source and Jones Magazine online and doesn't look like there's much activity there either. 

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 @Mel Hopkins yes I know you are right that was a typo 🙂


Londell is large.  I've seen him speak a few times -- I recall hearing that he is a Technite 🙂


I was completely unaware of the existence of Jones Magazine.  It is not really too surprising given the way the WWW works today.  Below is a screen shot of Jones Magazine homepage. Ignoring all of the behind the scenes technical issues -- just look at it!


Fully 2/3 of the above the fold content is dedicated to Google Ads!  The homepages's logo is broken -- so you can't even tell what site you are on?  The menu reads like a cliche of all the most popular stuff on the web, entertainment, fashion, beauty, shopping. The site's content is stale, it is not a property that is being actively managed.  I was going to add it to my list of sites to track but I'm not gonna bother...


Jones Magazine's homepage


The SourceThe Source, on the other hand is kicking ass.  It is the #5 on my list of Top Black owned websites.   This makes it the top Black owned Hip-Hop related website.  This is a pretty big deal given the competitiveness of the subject. 


It is interesting to discover that he brand was created by a Jewish kid from Harvard,... Then again it is not that surprising at all. They create all the popular Black stuff Black Panther, The Beastie Boys, 😉 


I never brought into those pass along readership numbers magazines use to inflate their readership.  Taking the 1.6M subscribers for Ebony that would mean almost  7 people read each issue. That seems kinda high to me given the average household size is less than three people.  It seems unlikely that beauty salons, libraries, and the like can make up the difference.


Considering that there are roughly 44 Million Black people at least 1/2 should prospective readers (literate, not too old or too young to read, no handicaps preventing them from reading).  That is roughly 22 million. I would imagine at least half of these have the disposable income, 11 million.  I figure half of these folks and the energy and leisure time to read, now we are down to 5.5M.


Of the 5.5M left maybe 10% would have an interest in reading a magazine dedicated to Black books. Now we are down to 500,000 people...  Maybe 10% of those 50,000 would subscrbe.  You know what maybe there really are not enough Black folks to support a magazine dedicated to Black books....





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