Meet Kelly Glass, Editorial Director of Kindred—Your Guide for Examining and Celebrating All Things Black Family

"We're building a community for the entire village of people involved in the lives of Black children. I hope Kindred inspires that intergenerational conversation."

Kelly Glass
Photo: Kelly Glass

When Kindred by Parents was first announced, I joined in celebrating not only the publication's birth but also Kelly Glass's outstanding talent as Editorial Director. "We 'family' different & to have it rep'd authentically on a LRG scale is HUGE!" I tweeted. I meant every word. Glass has tapped into a long-standing phenomenon that hasn't garnered much notice in and from mainstream media: the breadth, intricacy, and artistry that is the Black family.

"My passion for journalism came from needing to fill the gaps…to be this voice I knew wasn't there," says Glass.

In Kindred, Glass's focus will be on expanding representation of the Black family and broadening the conversations readers have about it. During a recent Zoom call, Glass discussed the inspiration for Kindred, how she became a journalist, and why she's willing to fight for media coverage of Black families. We began by talking about how we grew up with our grandmothers, cousins, siblings, and parents, and how that paradigm became the norm for us throughout our childhoods.

"We're building a community for the entire village of people involved in the lives of Black children. I hope Kindred inspires that intergenerational conversation," she says. "Parenting is not just what one mom wakes up and decides one day or what one dad didn't do and wasn't there for. There's an entire historical social context at play."

Glass was raised by a single mother in a multigenerational home on Chicago's south side. "I saw firsthand how upbringings affected the Black people in my community and was being passed down through generations." Her mother was also a driving force in her and her sister's decision to attend college, providing them with both the motivation and the expectation to succeed. "She, beyond all odds, was a first-generation college graduate. Me and my sister both knew we were going to finish college because of that."

Glass studied journalism at Southern Illinois University and discovered her path shortly after the birth of her first child. "There was no time in my journalism career that I was not a parent. That's why, at the root of it, parenting journalism is so important to me because I saw the gaps."

Being a parent influenced Glass's journalistic efforts to focus more on capturing stories that would otherwise go untold. "After [my son's] birth, I decided I needed to really assess what I cared about. That was sharing people's stories. I remember saying I wanted to be a voice for the voiceless. Now I recognize these communities weren't voiceless, they were silenced."

The representation of our familial experiences is nuanced, which is lacking in mainstream platforms. Kindred aims to fill that void by focusing on who and how the story is told. "I would love to normalize centering Black and brown families across the parenting journalism space. Some publications consider themselves for a general audience, meaning predominately white-centered content. My goal is that Kindred normalizes centering Black voices."

Glass's mission is to recast Black parenting through a more informed and multifaceted lens. "With all that we've been through the past several years, we're starting to connect the dots that parenting affects us more than we think," she says. "We now see that parenting intersects with race and racism, with mental health, with policy or the lack thereof." She also recognizes the importance of discussing joy in this context as well. "To celebrate, we must first frame the oppressive systems that make our celebrations so radical and significant."

Kindred, under Glass's leadership, aims to curate and promote Black family narratives as a counter-voice. "Culturally, socially, emotionally, we operate differently. We have different considerations in our parenting," she says. "While parenting overall is publicly addressed more than ever, that gap for Black parents and journalism is still very wide."

Readers can expect several things from Kindred. It takes a "slow news" approach to coverage, taking an investigative approach and deeper dive into an event or experience rather than reporting. As Glass explains, "We'll frame the news in a way that shows Black families its importance for us and not miss vital context that other publications do when they report the news as-is."

Kindred is a home for recognition and reckoning. "Despite the ways [that] Black families have been presented in various forms of media, Black families have been the backbone of the U.S. We have made real progressive change here and we need to celebrate that."

Kindred features monthly themes that highlight Glass' passion for sharing Black stories. February's was "Lift Every Voice," (a nod to the Black National Anthem), celebrating the Black family throughout history. May featured "Missing While Black," examining the disparity of missing Black women and children at higher rates than white counterparts. "We Outside," Kindred's June theme, spotlights play through a cultural lens.

Kindred's existence is powerful for me as someone committed to the truth-telling of Black and Brown stories. It means Black communities won't simply be a planning note during Black History Month or Black Breastfeeding Week. It's all we ever wanted—and what we deserve.

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