Last year, a friend of mine asked me for a recommendation for a magazine targeted specifically towards black teen girls and teens for his daughter. I paused – Essence didn’t feel like the right thing – it serves a broader, older demographic. And none of the so-called mainstream teen magazines felt like the right thing either. I needed unapologetically black and decidedly teen and started my search for that thinking surely this magazine exists by now. In my search for media that met that criteria, I found Andréa Butler’s brain child: Sesi Magazine.
As Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Andréa describes Sesi as “Covering the Black Girl’s Mainstream.” The magazine launched in 2008 and re-launched with consistent quarterly print publication in 2012. She’s faced challenges but stood by her vision for almost a decade now. And in checking out the team page on the Sesi Magazine website, you will see that she has assembled a whole team of black women who are also dedicated to making sure black girls can enjoy media that addresses them directly and not as a side dish. She has cover features from the young black celebs that black teens recognize and covers a range of topics, thus avoiding the typical teen mag tendency to over-index on articles on looks and sex.
Andrea is a former teacher and is an alumna of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and and Kent State University. She has some good advice for to-be-entrepreneurs in this profile on her a few years ago on aftercollege.com.
Featured Image by Jessica Gressa