The 1990s. African Americans achieved more influence–and faced more explosive issues–than ever before. One word captured those times. One magazine expressed them. Emerge.
In those ten years, with an impressive circulation of 170,000 and more than forty national awards to its credit, Emerge became a serious part of the American mainstream. Time hailed its “uncompromising voice.” The Washington Post declared that Emerge “gets better with each issue.” Then, after nearly a decade, Emerge magazine closed its doors. Now, for the first time, here’s a collection of the finest articles from a publication that changed the face of African American news.
From the Clarence Thomas nomination to the Bill Clinton impeachment . . . from the life of Louis Farrakhan to the death of Betty Shabazz . . . from reparations for slavery to the rise of blacks on Wall Street . . . the most important people, topics, and turning points of this remarkable period are featured in incisive articles by first-rate writers.
Emerge may have ended with the millennium, but–as this incomparable volume proves–the quality of its coverage is still unequaled, the extent of its impact still emerging. Stirring tribute, uncanny time capsule, riveting read–The Best of Emerge Magazine is also the best of American journalism.
This whopper of an anthology perfectly captures black life and culture as offered through Emerge. Launched in 1989, the award-winning magazine provided an animated, informative alternative to mass media until its demise in June 2000. This retrospective volume is journalism at its best: probing, controversial and serious. In loose juxtaposition, American Society of Magazine Editors president Curry presents (with more than 100 columns) a mosaic of issues that resonate in the black community. A popular magazine written in a popular style, Emerge was radical in its treatment of the black condition as the human condition. Naturally, famous writers appear, including Dick Gregory, Walter Mosley, Clarence Thomas and Maxine Waters. So, too, do newsworthy major events, lest readers forget the loss of Emmet Till (lynching) or Ron Brown (airplane crash). Besides terrific writing and coverage of important news, though, Emerge had unusual breadth. It dipped into biblical scholarship, environmental issues, for-profit prisons, the Internet, the brokering of businesses and medical research. It taunted double standards: the targeting of black congressmen, genocide in Rwanda. Its coverage stretched around the world, to Kosovo, Brazil, Cuba and Japan. It kept an eye close to home, too, taking in radio talk-show hosts, Miss Apollo and churchwomen. Emerge knew how to laugh at strategies for getting away from long awards dinners. Although Emerge was devoted unequivocally to African-Americans, Curry's vision and editorship of this book will instruct, provoke and sometimes entertain or inspire any reader.