The Introduction Issue I

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From the Editor

Selamawit Worku

As a child growing up right here in Northern Virginia, I was, admittedly, the different one in the neighborhood. A very bizarre mix of the foreigner, the awkward tomboy, the secretly aspiring fashionista, a free-stylin’ guitarist and a militant in the making. Back in those days, I plotted and plotted, what my cause, my love, my passion would be and it occurred to me that perhaps I would have to, at some point, make that tough decision between my love for art and my love for change. So in the years that followed, between moving neighborhoods, experiencing the harshness of adolescence and applying for college, I became determined that I would never force myself to make that decision. I would combine both worlds. I was going to have my cake and eat it too.

So I absorbed everything, I spoke to everyone, and I grew up. All the plotting and scheming I did since I was very young was falling into place and life was happening. And I was excited. So fast-forward to the last year of college, after finally regaining consciousness from the lack of sleep, over-studying (yes, that exists), and recreational activities, I began to build my doors, waiting and listening for opportunity’s footsteps at my doorsteps.

After much thought and planning I decided, it was time. So I began researching, reading, and journeying into the art world around here. And I was kind of lost, sometimes on purpose, but I felt that I was being directed to too many different places, and I wanted it all, at once, in one place. Now this journey into the magazine world, was nothing new for me, as I was always reading, sucked into the words and images of various publications such as Rolling Stone, Reader’s Digest, National Geographic, Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, W, The Economist, Harvard Business Journal, Time, etc. I could go on and on, listing and naming all the magazines that have drawn my interest whether for their designs or witty arguments. But, I decided there needed to be a magazine that had it all, in one place, all at once. And I decided that I needed to do this. And I needed to do this now.

When I began my journey, planning how I wanted Shade to be and what I envisioned, I referred back to my childhood memories, the lessons I learned in school and outside of it, and I became certain that Shade needed to be that medium between art and change.

My perception and vision of the world around me has always been quite different than most. Sure, I had a pair of rose-colored glasses, but, I also had a pair in lavender, black, grey, sienna, royal purple, teal and every other color in between. I see the world in color. I see endless possibilities in everything. Call it idealism, Call it naiveté, call it whatever you want, but there is truth and honesty in this vision. Having a polarized perception of issues, people, places, and times is counter-productive and even paralyzing. There are shades of differences among us all. Our skin colors, ethnicities/backgrounds, upbringings, locations, occupations, genders and classes but regardless we manage to find some common ground, interest; a desire for movement. A desire for change and growth. It is the very desire for enlightenment that makes us move away from the coolness, comfort, secrecy, and mysteriousness of the shade; towards the light to have our eyes opened, to learn, to grow, to be a part of a movement, more importantly to be our own movement. With Shade Magazine, the user/reader is suppose to be exposed to everything and anything that will expand their human experience and make them a part of this movement toward change and growth.

As Shade begins its journey on the world-wide web, clearly not the conventional method of starting a magazine, as most start in print and transition to the web, it allows us to question, test, and create new ideas, discussions, methods, and initiatives before we transition into print. I welcome and invite you to read all the articles. Subscribe and create your own profile, make comments, ask questions, and engage yourself.

Till next time,

Wit.

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