New People Interracial Magazine relaunches on Facebook (for now)

Twenty four years ago, journalist Yvette Walker became one half of an interracial marriage. Her everyday experiences, like finding a cake topper that reflected the bride and groom, eventually led to the launch of New People Interracial Magazine, which ran from 1989 to 1995 in print and online until 2003. Now, it’s back on Facebook with nearly as many likes — 384, as this post was published — as the printed magazine’s former circulation.

New People returned before a Cheerios ad featuring an interracial family got swamped by racist comments, but the whole kerfuffle, as well as issues surrounding the country’s first black president, convinced Walker there is still a place for a publication about interracial relationships.

Reached by phone, Walker said she is mostly using curation and aggregation on the New People Facebook page. She’s also digging into the magazine’s archives and sharing old stories and covers.

“I just felt like it needed to live somewhere,” she said.

Walker, who is now divorced, previously worked as news editor at the Kansas City Star. She’s now a scholar in residence for media ethics at the University of Central Oklahoma and the night news director at The Oklahoman. And she’s considering bringing New People back in print, with its own site and original content.

New People never had huge distribution, she said, which is why it’s had several lives and deaths over the years. In the past, just getting the mailing lists for groups interested in interracial issues was challenging. Now, she can see exactly who her audience is and what they’re responding to, as well as interact with them.

Walker would like to tap into past subjects for future stories, including the actor Giancarlo Esposito, whom she featured in 1993. She’ll also focus some of her new content on media criticism, issues facing families and interracial adoptions.

While the way Walker reaches readers continues to evolve with the industry, she thinks what she’s covering hasn’t come quite so far. “Has it changed? Is it better? Absolutely,” she said. “But once you get together and you have children, some of the same old issues will crop up.”

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