McMaster alumnus’ Pitch Magazine celebrates Black expression and artistry
Pitch Magazine redesigns spaces for Black artists to explore the full breadth of their creativity
Expression is important to all of us. We use different forms of expressions to allow others to understand ourselves better. Pitch Magazine is challenging the limits of expression. The magazine takes works from Black artists, Black poets and writers and Black photographers to curate a print magazine.
“Pitch Magazine . . . looks to provide a platform for Black creative expression . . . What we like to do is showcase the breadth of Black creativity,” said Angelo Grant, the founder and editor-in-chief of Pitch Magazine.
The idea for this magazine came from Grant’s very own experiences as a former student at McMaster University and as a creative who wanted to share his work. When he was in his first year, studying Health Sciences, he often submitted his work to spaces in hopes to share his creative voice.
However, he found that many of his submission rejections were prefaced by the fact his work didn’t fit the vision intended for the magazine. Moreover, Grant noticed the lack of representation for Black creatives on campus.
“When I was in first year, there were a few publications on campus that were maybe doing things in the realm of arts. And I think I just felt like our voices weren't being represented — the Black Student Body voice wasn't being represented in the publications,” said Grant.
Grant does not set any themes or restrictions on the types of submissions for the magazine to highlight the diversity of Black creativity.
By not centralizing each issue of the magazine to a specific theme, Grant felt the submissions he received were more expressive of the person creating the work. Each submission was vastly different; he didn’t find any overlap in the submissions. As someone who had felt limited by these kinds of restriction of specific theme from spaces on campus, he felt good to be able to change that.
“It's really trying to accommodate people and how they express themselves. I think that's the biggest thing for me — I don't want to be limiting of people,” said Grant.
Moreover, Grant stated Black creatives are given more freedom to branch out outside of creating works solely based on their Blackness by not setting specific expectations for magazine submissions. Submission guidelines and set restrictions can often make Black creatives feel as though their voices will only be heard if they center it only on their race and related experiences.
“I really don't want people to think is that they have to have to revolve their submission around their Blackness . . . I think we want to encapsulate the full breadth of Black creative expression that doesn't just involve themes that are directly tied to Blackness that involves everything that we experience on a day-to-day basis,” said Grant.
Grant gave credit for how far the magazine has been able to come to his team behind Pitch. He is grateful to have a supportive team. Koko Sanginga, Malaika Manda, Alexandria Amadasun, Adeola Egbeyemi, Pamela Edmonds and Stylo Starr are some of the many people that have ensured that PITCH Magazine continues to grow smoothly.
“I think a big thing for me when it comes to creating something like this is realizing the importance of collaboration and having people that can support you along the way,” said Grant.
Pitch Magazine currently is working on its fourth issue. As the Pitch team continues to expand the magazine, they hope people appreciate the work and get a glimpse into the vast creativity of Black artists.