We are the founders of Black. – a multiplatform creative vertical that is the product of Black resilience. Inspired by the creativity of our community, this is a space where Black ideas and Black experiences are liberated, validated and uplifted – a space where the B is always capitalized.
It hasn’t been an easy road getting to this point. Our existence as a platform in and of itself contradicts an institution that has historically upheld, and in many ways continues to uphold white supremacy. As journalists, we operate within an industry that oftentimes perpetuates damaging stigmas about the Black community. Hell, the fact that we are the first of our kind at USC speaks to the fact that there is still a great deal of work left to be done. However, our presence is a step – one that affords us the opportunity to continue to innovate, challenge and progress in the pursuit of our liberation.
As editors, our job isn’t simply to make sure that Black.’s articles are in AP style. Our top priority is to honor, defend and advocate our mission, ensuring that our platform elevates the beauty, power, and creativity that is Blackness – something that the journalism industry has historically failed to accomplish. In this way, we consider Black. to be somewhat of an incubator, a setting of experimentation that challenges the traditional boundaries of storytelling. We are not here to be cookie-cutter or palatable – our existence alone is likely to make some uncomfortable, a fact that we embrace as a divergence from conventions. Black. will be a platform that is different and dynamic, unflinching in our Blackness and adhering to an ethos of boundlessness and unapologetic authenticity.
In the near future we anticipate a wide range of content, including reported pieces and columns, as well as social media projects such as A Black A** Summer. As the fall semester rolls around, be on the lookout for podcasts, studio shows, photography galleries, mini-docs and a plethora of other ventures. Asserting our place as storytelling vanguards, part of our role as editors is to build a strong foundation upon which ideas that may have never occurred to us are able to blossom and flourish. We seek to set no restrictions on the direction that this vertical will go – rather, we aim to allow the creativity and imagination of our contributors to lead the way.
We invite you to come along with us on this journey of truth-seeking, bridge-building and culture-empowering. In some respects, this vertical signals a new beginning – in others, it is simply another step in a long march towards freedom. Ultimately, however, we are an opportunity. To tell our stories. To create our reality. To be our own emancipators. Welcome to a venture rooted in Black voices, Black joy, Black love and Black liberation. Welcome to Black.
Endiya Griffin and Reagan Griffin Jr.