Manga, like all comics, are filled with wonders for any age group. Josei are mangas aimed for the young women demographic. What do you get when a Black woman helms her own Josei publication? Something epic named Black Josei Press.
Coming to The Stage
Created by Jamila Rowser, Black Josei Press was created in May 2018 with the goal of producing comics and merchandise by Black women creatives. Due to a lack of open spaces that allow exposure for Black & Brown stories, Rowser founded BJP in order to publish her award-winning comic with Robyn Smith, Wash Day.
BJP has since grown into a premiere establishment that remains dedicated to its mission of providing the same opportunities that Rowser created for herself.
In an interview with CBR, Rowser spoke about the inspiration behind Black Josei Press as well as the goals going forward.
“My love for Josei manga and Black women is what created Black Josei Press. I really love josei manga, especially slice-of-life, drama, and romance, and wanted to read more comics like that, but that had characters that looked like me and my friends. That showed our lives, everything from the mundane to the extraordinary. But most importantly, I wanted those comics to be made by Black women, too. I really just wanted something for us. I know it’s hella FUBU but it’s true! That desire lead me to create Black Josei Press.”
Hustle Never Dies
Rowser is no slouch when it comes to fully embracing her inner nerd. She’s got quite the impressive background. Jamila first ran her own blog, Girl Gone Geek . Afterwards, she co-created Straight Out of Gotham, a geek & hip-hop infused media project. She’s also a co-founder of Geek Girl Brunch, a meetup group for women that grew internationally.
Needless to say, Jamila is quite the visionary. Black Josei Press is a culmination for her best efforts to date.
With all recent events, Black people need all the support that can be mustered. Especially in terms of Black women, there needs to be a place to call home. Homes that foster the imaginative magic no one else can replicate (like FabulizeMag). BJP can sincerely be called such a home.
FYI, Jamila also shares a sentiment we all currently believe in:
“Fuck the police.”