ABOUT UMOJA MAGAZINE
UMOJA Magazine is the oldest African-American owned magazine in Wisconsin. For nearly 30-years, UMOJA Magazine has provided Dane County and the state, positive news about the Black community with beautifully illustrated covers, commissioned by local and national African-American artists. In 2018 UMOJA Magazine was acquired from its long-term owner, Milele Chikasa Anana, by UMOJA Magazine-Madison, Inc., a non-profit organization created by the Urban League of Dane County.
UMOJA Magazine has thousands of African-American readers from all walks of life. In addition to its loyal readership in the Black community, UMOJA is also read by thousands of other diverse readers. UMOJA is distributed to schools, colleges and universities, businesses, community-based organizations, churches, and offices throughout Dane County and beyond.
The UMOJA office is housed in the Urban League’s facilities and is fully staffed. The magazine is published monthly, except for August. Articles, photos, and short-stories are always welcome and may be published at the publisher’s discretion. If you like to get involved with UMOJA, there are volunteer opportunities available to take photos, write stories and help out with office projects.
UMOJA Magazine is published both in print and online. If you’re interested in reaching the African-American community there is no better way to do it than through UMOJA.
Why the use of art on the UMOJA magazine cover?
Artists help to tell the story of the Black experience. They are profuse in their use of images of things that matter to Black people (family, children, education, beauty of self, music, religion, values). UMOJA has helped to raise the awareness of the existence of Black artists who tell our stories of struggle and victory, of poverty and aspirations, of sacrifice and education, always with a sense of dignity and self-respect, which is often missing in art not done by Black artists. By having a piece of original art on its cover each month, UMOJA has introduced art and Black artists to a whole community and to two/three generations.
Why does UMOJA magazine focus on positive news?
We focus on positive news purposefully, for a reason. Mainstream media has a history of focusing on Black struggles without a balance of achievements and victories; negative statistics; athletes without a corresponding balance of achievement in other fields; criminality, without a corresponding balance of other news. Athletes, riots and thugs. That’s how mainstream media has positioned Black people.
Black people must unlearn this tendency to see themselves only in negative and adverse terms. We don’t know how to recognize who we are and what we have done. We don’t know how to recognize and compliment one another. UMOJA is part of a growing movement to change the image of how we see ourselves and how we talk about each other. In this movement, we are a leader.