Hundreds of magazines grace the shelves of grocery markets and corner stores across the country everyday. The content of these books range from cars to politics. The magazines that reflect the black voice are about to add to its rank, make room for Natural Women.
Natural Woman is a monthly publication of the celebration of Black women says Shaka Jasper, the 25 year-old CEO and owner of Natural Women.
“Our magazine will focus on the issues facing African-American women. Hopefully we can help someone in the process” Jasper said.
Jasper is a Florida State University graduate from Belle Glade. His father died when he was 3 years old, so his mother and aunt were the backbone of his existence. “I promised my aunt I would go to college,” Jasper said. “When she died I told myself I would keep my word and finish school. I am currently working with my magazine and trying to help kids in the community.
Jasper considers himself a “free-thinker” and offers opportunity to writers who are also open minded through Free Thinker Publishing Inc.. ” I look at Free Thinker as a way to give up and coming writers a chance to publish their work with out having it subjected to pre-shaped option and ideas about how their thoughts should be written,” Jasper said.
The open-minded side of Jasper started once he reached college. He says after he got to Florida State his train of thought changed.
“I came to college on a promise and realized why my aunt wanted me to come “, Jasper said. “The system trains you to think one way, to work for someone else. I am not that type of person.”
This is one reason he has been working on the magazine for several years and is ready to give readers a different outlook on topics. Natural Woman will bring together the viewpoints of black men and women who care about the position of black women today.
“Natural woman is not going to be like every other black publication, we want to push the boundaries and breakdown stereotypes about African-American women” Jasper said. “A lot of people around the world don’t know how diverse our black women are, I plan to show them.”
This love and dedication for black women is one reason Jasper decided to pursue making the magazine. “I have a great respect for positive black women,” said Jasper, who is also a member of the Chi Theta chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
“My mother is a big influence in my life. She is the main reason that I love the idea of this magazine so much.”
Understanding that many magazines fold after a year of production, the president of Free Thinker Publishing Inc., plans to use provocative stories and tough issues to push the magazine through it’s early stages.
“There is no gimmick in our approach to reporting the facts. If there is a problem that plagues black women we will investigate it thoroughly to make sure we get to the bottom of it. Our readers won’t be disappointed”
Jasper gives advice to different young black men every day, but drives home one saying in particular to all of them.
“You must have the manhood to do what you want, the scholarship to make it happen, the perseverance to see it through and uplift to help your people to achieve,” he said. “If you use these things you are a step closer to winning and a long way from losing.”