A space where we could express without being reduced to 'the struggle'.
Don't get us wrong, vocalising our struggle remains extremely important. However, we grew tired of industry trends where Black creatives were only platformed when speaking about diversity or racism; as if our artistry could be confined to these two themes.
We wanted to platform the wonderfully varied spectrum we know exists within Black creatives.
We are more than stories about slavery, brutality and pain...
THE STORY SO FAR...
nyx Magazine began as a dream in Theophina Gabriel's student bedroom at Oxford in 2017. Her vision was to launch a creative publication that would be filled with poetry, short stories, artwork, and fresh think pieces. It would be a publication that would unapologetically platform creative Black writers and artists whose work continues to barely scratch the surface of the publishing world.
Our founder was then joined by Deputy Editor and previous Birmingham Young Poet Laureate Serena Arthur, and together they reached out to expand and build the very first Team Onyx; a dedicated team of eight young Black women all studying at the University of Oxford.
Over the course of two years, Team '18-'19 rallied to raise over £4,000, accumulate 88 pages of content, and publish 1,000 professionally printed copies of our first edition, I: DAWN. Wanting to remain as accessible as possible, the first edition was distributed free of charge. I: DAWN was met with immense support at our debut launch event at the Oxford Foundry in October 2018, and was attended by over 200 supporters. Since then, our first edition has been distributed internationally to over 5 different countries, and across multiple universities across the UK. We have been stocked in Blackwell's and copies of our first edition reside in all 44 colleges of the University of Oxford, where Onyx was founded.
Team '19-'20 picked up right where our founding Team left off, winning the magazine's very first award at the beginning of 2019, as well as securing over £5,000 worth of funding for the second edition. II:STIR built on the thematic arc of I:DAWN; the first movements made after waking. A smaller team in formation but just as mighty, Team '19-'20's movements propelled Onyx across the UK and into places such as Parliament, and 10 Downing Street; where our Editor-In-Chief was called to give a consultation on diversity within the creative industry. We launched our second edition in November 2019 to a sold-out event which included live steel pan and performances from our published Black creatives.
We chose the name Onyx for the magazine because as early as the Second Dynasty Ancient Egyptians used Onyx to form sculptures and create beautiful pieces of artwork.
Today Onyx exists as the creative medium that Black artists and writers can use to form and platform their voices. Our vision of uplifting talented Black creatives in academic institutions and the publishing industry has become a reality.
Team Onyx '18-'19
Official launch of Onyx Magazine's first edition, I:DAWN
Feature in The Cherwell
Team Onyx '19-'20
Onyx is invited to 10 Downing Street
Onyx is invited to the Houses of Parliament
Launch of our second edition, II: STIR
#MerkyBooks pop-up, Shoreditch