These are "Reports from the Newsstand," my comments on the publications in our catalogue at We offer sample copies of our publications, not subscriptions. Each sample copy costs $2.59, well below newsstand cover prices (if the publication is available on your newsstand at all). A $2.00 shipping charge is added to each order. Publishers use to get their publications into the hands of potential subscribers.


Ed Rust, proprietor of, has worked in publishing in a variety of capacities for decades. He started as U.S. circulation director of the Financial Times "way back when they flew the papers into Kennedy Airport from London a day late." He most recently was managing editor of publications at the General Society, Sons of the Revolution.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

BLACK WOMAN AND CHILD: Advice on Pregnancy and Parenting

We start February with an interesting addition to the newsstand. Black Woman and Child is a new quarterly magazine about pregnancy and parenting in the black community. Publisher Nicole Osbourne James begins a recent issue with an editorial decrying media depiction of black mothers as either victimized or irresponsible, and makes it clear that her magazine has the purpose of promoting "the capable and positive parenting from which African families benefit." The first few articles in the issue are about pregnancy and giving birth, and the emphasis is strongly on natural birth, at home if possible. One is a vivid but very matter-of-fact account by a mother of four of her most recent experience of giving birth at home, assisted only sporadically by her husband―he kept leaving the room to get the kids ready for school, etc.―while she found herself unexpectedly having her second set of twins. This section is followed by practical advice on purchasing maternity clothes that make a pregnant woman feel both comfortable and proud of how she looks. You'll also find an interesting article about youth sports, which stresses that the reasons kids should play are because they want to and because in a team environment "your children see themselves as important to someone other than family," not because you expect them to become a Shaq, Venus or Michael. This is followed by two pages of readers' comments about the decisions they came to on circumcision of their male children. I liked an article titled "When Discipline Becomes Destructive." Author Akilah Haneef-Jabari, a mother of four, admits that she and her husband were both "raised with the strap," and adds, "Historically I do know that it is a definite part of our culture. It is not solely familiar to Africans in the Diaspora. Unfortunately, because of our heritage of whippings and slavery, we have the idea that we have to beat our children and discipline them into being the best that they can be for them to thrive in a society that sees them as less." She perceptively notes that physical discipline is the result of "the parents' lack of resources on how to deal with misbehavior," and suggests solutions like letting a child make his or her own decisions based on good or bad consequences, e.g., "you can invite your friend over to play once your room is clean." Black Woman and Child is published by NuBeing International in Toronto, Canada. An annual subscription (four issues) is $25.00 from the publisher, but I encountered a blow-in card that ups the offer to six issues for that price. We'll send you a sample copy for $2.59.


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