Zora&Alice is an online community that provides a fresh, smart voice for young black women. So much of what is written about young black women is homogeneous and stereotype-driven. Zora&Alice exists so that we can take control of our stories and tell it the way we see fit. The site covers a range of topics, with special focus on career, culture, sexuality, lifestyles, and women’s issues. We empower young women to be thought-leaders, critical thinkers, and entrepreneurs, in business, non-profit, writing, film, fashion – wherever our passions take us.
Next time you’re at your local bookstore, try this: walk to the women’s magazine rack. Find a cover that features a young black woman (sorry Oprah). Now, eliminate any magazines about hair and try again. Getting harder? Now take out any covers with people named Beyonce, Rihanna, Keisha, or anyone else who sings for a living. How many magazines do you have left? What – no black girls on the cover of your favorite fashion magazines? Home decor? Film? Art? Well – “black girls don’t do any of those things.” Get over it.
Let’s face it – most of what the newsstands provide for young women is crap. What they offer young black women, when they offer anything at all, is especially stinky. And, for better or worse, in our media-centric world, you are who the media says you are. As a pretty smart guy once said, you’ve got to be the change media you wish to see
So that’s what Zora&Alice is here to do. Through our blog and monthly magazine,we’re starting a new conversation about black women. The kinds of conversations we have each day with our friends and our sisters. Yes, we talk about our hair sometimes but, to borrow from a gal who’ll never be a media darling but will always be ours, I’m not my hair.
From work to health to relationships to politics, when you’re with your sisters, it all gets talked about. It’s a conversation that doesn’t force you to get in a box and stay there. You’ll sound confident and fragile, hopeful and cynical, silly and serious. Your mood will shift. You’ll contradict yourself. Others may see a girl at odds with herself. We see a girl figuring out herself.
We don’t claim to represent all young black women and our readers won’t always agree with what we write. In fact, we expect to respectfully and intelligently disagree – that’s the only way to move forward. If you’re looking for evidence to corroborate everything you already ‘know’ about young black women, please move on. If you want to join a conversation in good faith, then, whoever you are, stay and let’s talk.
Ope Bukola is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Zora&Alice. She edits the Career and Womanism sections. When she grow up, Ope hopes to be an entrepreneur, journalist, screenwriter, college professor, and coffee shop owner, among other things. She enjoys reading fiction, reading magazines, watching documentaries, and finding new sites to add to her RSS feed. Ope is a graduate of New York University and lives in New York City.
Arielle Loren is Z&A’s Sexuality Editor musing daily on topics such as polyamory, sex toys, relationships and LGBT issues-challenging the traditional conversations on sexuality between young black women. Recently, she directed and produced “The Bi-deology Project,” an online documentary series about straight women dating bisexual men. Featured in The Root, Black Gay Gossip, and UK Bi Media, The Bi-deology Project has earned her acclaim for creating a unique discourse addressing sexual fluidity within heterosexual relationships. Read her daily blog to get more juicy rantings on love, sexuality, travel, and feminism at http://arielleloren.com
Jessica Lynne is the Culture Editor for Zora&Alice. Jess is a student, writer, traveler, and self-described over indulger in all things Hip-Hop. She attends New York University from which she will graduate in December 2010 with a degree in Africana Studies. She is a creative writing kid dedicated to fostering the power of literacy and language through fiction and creative journalism. On her off days, you can usually find her sippin’ on the Southern classic: lemonade and sweet tea.
Patrice Peck is the Lifestyle Editor for Zora@Alice. In addition to Zora&Alice, Patrice serves as Assistant Editor at www.societyhae.com. She is currently working on develping a personal new media project, revising her short novel manuscript, and applying for grad school. Follow her on Twitter @XhibitP.
Crystal Brown, Website: Emotional Tightrope
Kelly Franklin, Website: Get Fit Chick
Kaneisha Grayson, Website:CrazyGirl Nation
Kristen MccCaw, Website:
Nikita Mitchell, Website: Mademoiselle Mitchell
Jo Nubian, Website: JoNubian.Com
Becca O’Neal, Website: B.Vikki Vintage
Leslie Pitterson, Twitter:
Jamila Reddy, Website: College Curlies
Del Sandeen, Website: About.Com Black Hair
Niecy Taylor, Website: Niecy Taylor of Service
Whitney Teal, Website: Uptown Literatti
Kanika Wright, Website:
Our name is inspired by the collection I Love Myself When I Am Laughing… And Then Again When I’m Looking Mean and Impressive, an anthology of works by Zora Neale Hurston and edited by Alice Walker. Zora Neale Hurston was an iconoclast, underappreciated and condemned for her independence, whose many contributions to American literary canon would have been ignored were it not for the persistence of those she inspired, including Walker.
We’re always looking for writers, photographers, and artists to contribute. To learn more, click here