Between the racial justice reckoning of last summer and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests, news outlets and social media platforms alike were flooded with what seemed like endless graphic videos and images of Black trauma.
Julian Crosby, a sophomore motion pictures major from Jacksonville, FL, saw this and recaptured it as an opportunity to provide Black students an outlet.
“I wanted to create a space for Black students to express themselves amidst a very chaotic time in our mental and physical well-being,” said Crosby.
Crosby’s idea eventually led to the inception of “Gravity Magazine,” the first student publication dedicated to uplifting Black voices at UM.
Although Crosby initiated the idea, Gravity wouldn’t exist without aid from the National Association of Black Journalists. In particular, President Morgan Threatt and Vice President Jayda Graham were integral in the magazine’s creation. Over the last two semesters, the “Force” has grown from three to over forty members.
“The Gravity team is composed of the most genius photographers, writers and filmmakers,” Crosby asserted.
This group of Black creatives make up the magazine’s four sections — the Art, the Voice, the City and the Culture.
The Art, headed by junior Olbrine Thelusma, showcases the beauty in Black Art through photoshoots, videos and other creative forms.
The Voice, led by junior Esther Animalu, provides a platform for writers to express themselves on issues important to them through opinion pieces, spoken word and more.
Senior Jayda Graham runs the City, a section that focuses on people, places and events related to campus and the surrounding Miami community.
The fourth section spotlights “The Culture,” the first UMTV show dedicated to the Black experience at UM.
Since its conception last August, Gravity has released a monthly edition on their website and Instagram page. Each drop features photography, articles and more innovative content created by the Gravity team.
Crosby’s favorite drop, the December edition, featured a “Blast to the Past” photoshoot that drew inspiration from signature Black magazine shoots within the last few decades.
“It became our biggest drop to date,” he said.
Gravity’s upcoming edition drops this Sunday, Feb. 28.
In the future, “Gravity Magazine” anticipates more collaborations with Black Miami-based brands, corporations and organizations. Additionally, the Art team looks to expand beyond photography and include more podcasts, extended films and more.
When asked if anyone could be involved with Gravity, Crosby said absolutely.
“All of us as humans consume Black culture and benefit in some way from it,” he stated. “In fact, I think it is important that the celebration of Black pride does not exclusively derive from Black communities alone.”
Students interested in joining the Gravity Magazine team can submit an application, which goes live at the end of each semester. Additionally, those not on the team can still send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, follow them on Instagram @thegravitymagazine.