Truth be told, thirty-seven-year-old Yoga Journal is no stranger to having African-Americans grace the cover of their highly esteemed documents, and in doing so have made a handful of pale face yoginis just that much more comfortable riding the subway. I mean really, when you’ve produced upwards of two-hundred-forty different covers and presented African-Americans on a whopping ten (if our numbers are correct), you start to know a thing or two about this new-fangled “diversity” stuff all the kids are talking about.
There was a time, however, when Yoga Journal would at least prep the nervous white public about the contents of an issue that featured real live African-Americans hidden inside. ‘Cause, let’s face it, when white people wanna read a magazine, it’s not like you can just put a black person on the cover without giving it some context, right?!
Think about it….
First, there was the January 1987 “Out of Africa” issue, which let everyone know that this wasn’t going to be just another white-boy vanilla experience. No, this Yoga Journal featured real live Africans in it who apparently are all about something called “roots”….
Then, there was the August 1994 “Radical Ritual” cover, which reminded us that black people were supposed to be really connected to indigenous rites and wisdom….
Then, in April 1998 came the cutting edge “Yoga in the Inner City” issue that…well…you know…had a black person on the cover along with the words “inner city.” It also utilized a cool “graffiti” font. Classy….
Then came the aughts, a time when Yoga Journal had ditched its “angles and ideas” cover copy, and settled into its “check-out counter” sell lines approach where anything potentially interesting and radical was taken out back and beaten with a stick.
It was also a unique time for another reason….
During the years 2001–2009 the very conservative, if ultimately confused, George W. Bush took office as the president of the United States. During his entire eight-year tenure only one African-American appeared on the cover of Yoga Journal, consequently right after the US invaded, and subsequently occupied, Iraq. This period of time marked an African-American dry spell not seen in Yoga Journal since its first—very non-black—twelve years.
Then Obama took office, and well, you know how liberals are….
Anyway, it’s nice to see Yoga Journal diversifying the
playing selling field a little more often these days. And not so shabby to see India.Arie busting out a pretty decent back bend. Although, you have to hand it to ol’ Yoga Journal. They take the whole “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.” trope to an entirely new level. Two covers. Two years apart. Two for the price of one.
Go frickin’ green!