Do you notice anything interesting about this picture? Well let me put it in context and maybe you’ll see it too, if you haven’t already.
So yesterday I went to my favorite public library hoping to catch Ellie to discuss our next special-needs community event when I saw the usual display of local lifestyle magazines in the outside bins.
I immediately grabbed a few, thinking I’d peruse them and later share anything noteworthy with my ReallyLeah readers.
And just like that, it happened.
I noticed the photo above. Boy did it bring back memories. Memories of the too-often times when Ocala’s magazines have little to no diversity within its pages. And I think I get to say this because one, I am a native Ocalaean and two, I used to work for “OCALA’s #1 most award-winning city magazine.”
My employment was quite some time ago and at that time I was the only black working at any of the magazines, perhaps even the first. At the same time, there had never been a “noticeably“ black woman on the cover of said magazine. All this changed once I worked there and my cousin became the first to hold the title.
So when ten or so years later I look inside of a local magazine and see what I saw above, I won’t lie, it sorta irks me. Isn’t this supposed to be about the “good life” for retirees living in my beloved Ocala? To which I ask, how good can it be without any perspectives from senior citizens who look like me?
And I don’t want to nick pick at “this” magazine alone, they’ve all been guilty of having “exclusive” points of view. Even the one I used to work at – not as a writer, mind you, which was what I wanted to do along with helping them in the area of diversity and online social media even back then. Uhm. Novel ideas, right? But who was I to enlighten or bring a different outlook? At least a black female graced the cover and an award-winning editorial on black history in Ocala via personal connections as a result of my short stint there. Just saying. Still, even that was several years ago.
Who really knows the true benefits of a lifestyle magazine here in Ocala or throughout the nation, or for a local business or any organization, if they’d implement a little diversity and inclusivity among the races in leadership positions. Good idea, right? Or am I seeing things too black and white?
Check out your local lifestyle magazines this month and tell me what you think. #ocalagoodlife #ocalamagazine #ocalastyle
“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” Maya Angelou
“Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.” Stephen R. Covey
“Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty (snobbish, high-minded, exclusive), but readily adjust yourself to [people, things] and give yourselves to humble tasks. Never overestimate yourself or be wise in your own conceits. [Prov. 3:7.]” Romans 12:10, 16 AMPC