Mailbox -Black Girl in the Ring: That’s what’s up!

Have you checked out the BGR mag, as yet? You’re a couple of years late since the 2013 re-launch of the site. But never too late. BGR stands for Brown Girl in the Ring, a poem with long legs (because, yes, it has travelled far and continues to make tracks). Out of writer, past Wadadli Pen judge, and BGR mag founder BGR2Linisa George’s struggle with image and identity, the poem, Brown Girl in the Ring, became popular on the Antiguan and Barbudan stage. It was part of When a Woman Moans (a Vagina Monologues styled production by Women of Antigua, the very group that brought the Eve Ensler play to the local stage). It has since been referenced in my book Musical Youth, which deals with some of the very themes of colour and self-acceptance explored in the poem; it was also Antigua and Barbuda’s contribution to the Poetry Parnassus which coincided with the Olympics, and The World Record publication that followed. When I edited the Antigua and Barbuda edition of Tongues of the Ocean, it was one of the local pieces I specifically requested for inclusion; and from that posting, the poem caught the eye of the folks behind the Bahamas’ Shakespeare in Paradise festival, who included it in their 2015 production.

Talk about a ripple effect; this poem certainly has that. And none knows that better than George. Here’s what she shared in  a release at the time of the self-described “online lifestyle website”‘s re-launch in 2013 (like I said better late than never).


“BGRmag…was conceptualized from the autobiographical poem ‘Brown Girl In The Ring’ written by Caribbean poet Linisa George. The poem, which is featured in the London 2012 Olympic poetry anthology ‘The World Record’, chronicles a young woman’s journey to self-acceptance as she battled the desire to be of a lighter complexion, brown girl, to the joy she ultimately discovers in just being herself; The Black Girl In The Ring.

Through lifestyle articles on career, sex, love, art and fashion, just to name a few, BGRmag hopes to challenge [challenges] BGRs to recognise their beauty and uniqueness both inside and out. From the stay-at-home mother to the farmer, from the lawyer to the doctor, from the philanthropists to the teacher, from the DJ to the artist, attention will be focused [focuses] on the diverse and complex experiences and lifestyles of black women globally, and the life lessons to be learned from their journey.

Linisa George was born in Guyana, but has been living in Antigua since the age of 4, and is very forthcoming about her experiences as a young girl struggling to maneuvre through a maze of self-doubt and low self-esteem. Now in her early 30s, she created BGRmag to spotlight the many facets and accomplishments of black women, mindful not to rank one achievement over the other. By highlighting the diverse stories of black women, BGRmag will provide [provides] another outlet and opportunity for young girls to be inspired and motivated to carve their own future through self- discovery and acceptance.

The prototype for BGRmag was developed through Linisa’s personal blog, previously known as Motives ‘n Thoughts, which was re-vamped in January 2012 under the new name; The rebrand in 2012 propelled the idea of BGRmag into action, birthing the …comprehensive and informative website, as an alternative to the stereo-typical and many times dangerous media projection of black women. The website isn’t about promoting division; rather it will focus its attention on celebrating that which gets lost in the midst of noise. BGRmag will reveal itself to be a creative vision to share extraordinary stories.
Readers can expect to be [are] the fly on the wall as BGRs share their unique experiences that have shaped their lives for the better. Informative articles will dispute thoughts and insight debates. Contributors will interview and articulate stories that will compel BGRmag readers to re-examine their views on what it means to be a black girl or woman. The online magazine will [does] not reinvent the wheel, but rather will pay[s] close attention to refining what is already in existence. You can expect BGRmag to add[s] their distinctive voice to the market of magazines and publications that continually uplift black women. Black Girls In The Ring are fierce, fabulous and ready for their close-ups.


Editorial Notes:

BGRmag’s vision: To celebrate the accomplishments of black women at all levels of society, and foster the unique voices of black girls in the ring.

BGRmag’s motto: ‘Define Yourself’

BGRmag’s Pledge: Strong. Powerful. Loving. Beautiful. Active. Innovative. Humble. Vibrant. Comedic. Serious. Daring. Loud. Ambitious. Indifferent. Aggressive. Trendsetter. Sister. Mother. Wife. Friend. Lover. Stylish. BGRs are genius individuals.

For General Questions, Editorial-Related Comments and Questions, Feedback and Suggestions, Event & Press Release Submissions, email us at


I’m about two years too late posting this so don’t wait another minute. Check out BGR mag and define yourself.

As with all content on, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Fish Outta Water, and Musical Youth). All Rights Reserved. Seriously, a lot of time, energy, love and frustration goes in to researching and creating content for this site; please don’t just take it up just so without even a please, thank you or an ah-fu-she-subben (credit). If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.




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