In 2017, digital news publication The Triibe launched with the goal of reshaping the media narrative of black Chicago. Since then, they’ve produced videos and articles that highlight stories by and for Chicago’s black communities.
Now, the outlet is venturing into print media with the release of the 2019 Triibe Guide. The magazine-style booklet features event listings, business recommendations and articles geared to “enhance the social and cultural experiences of black folks in Chicago.”
Co-founder Morgan Elise Johnson says the Triibe was founded “out of resistance to the dominant narrative of black Chicago as a violence-ridden community. That narrative seemed to really dominate news cycles, the whole ‘if it bleeds it leads’ philosophy.”
With the Triibe Guide, Johnson and co-founder Tiffany Walden hope to flip that concept on its head. The publication features listings for festivals and restaurants, but also includes spots like black-owned nail salons and barbershops.
“You’ll find an assortment of Triibe articles that we have put out over the past year,” Johnson says, “as well as some pages that that highlight black businesses and people who are curators, who are enriching and enhancing the black Chicago experience.”
Part of the reasoning behind their venture into print media, Morgan says, is the hope that it will extend the Triibe’s reach beyond their typical millenial audience.
“Some people are just never going to go to TheTriibe.com or they’re not going to find us on Twitter. Facebook and Twitter drive most of our engagement, so [the goal is] to reach people who don’t really connect with social media on that level,” she says. “And to also just have something for people to hold on to for posterity, you know, to say we were here.”
The Guide can be found at various coffee shops and businesses around the South and West Sides, as well as online. And Morgan says this inaugural edition is just the beginning. She hopes next year’s will double the amount of pages and include more community involvement.
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