Mother criticised as 'divisive' for launching magazine for black girls

Mother who launched the UK’s first magazine for black girls is criticised by GMB viewers who claim the name Cocoa is ‘derogatory’ and brand the concept ‘divisive’

  • Serlina Boyd, from South London, struggled to find magazine for daughter Faith 
  • Mother-of-one launched Cocoa Girl, first UK magazine for black girls, this year 
  • Said its ‘important for black children to have a publication that speaks to them’ 
  • She divided viewers with the idea, with some branding the publication ‘divisive’
  • One tweeted: ‘The Cocoa Girl magazine is just another example of division’

Good Morning Britain viewers criticised a mother who launched the UK’s first ever magazine for black girls today as they said the name is ‘derogatory’ and the concept is ‘divisive’.

Serlina Boyd, from South London, appeared on the programme this morning and told presenters Charlotte Hawkins and Kate Garraway she had founded Cocoa Girl after struggling to find ‘appropriate’ magazines for her daughter Faith, six. 

Serlina, who works as an art editor, explained: ‘When you grow up, a lot of black children grow up and they don’t see themselves in media and books…It is important for us for black children to have a publication that spoke to them.’

But viewers were left unimpressed by the idea, with many taking to Twitter to question whether the publication was ‘divisive.’

Good Morning Britain viewers criticised Serlina Boyd, from London, who launched the UK’s first ever magazine for black girls today as they called the publication ‘divisive’ and ‘derogatory’

One commented: ‘What a hypocrite. How can you call the magazine Cocoa? Surely if we’re going to start saying what’s right and wrong, then that is derogative.’

Another wrote: ‘The cocoa girl magazine is just another example of division. I don’t understand why these things are being praised so highly.

‘Surely it would be better to have more black kids in existing magazines? That’s proper inclusion.’  

After struggling to find any magazine that represent her 6-year-old daughter, Serlina decided to create her own.   

The mother launched the magazine during lockdown after struggling to find a publication appropriate for her six-year-old daughter Faith 

She said she struggled to find anything ‘appropriate’ for her daughter to read during lockdown, saying: ‘I was surprised. 

‘For me, it was thinking, “There would be something out there”. Then looking in the supermarket and seeing there was nothing out there.’

She continued: ‘My dad has this saying, “If you have a problem, sell the solution”.’

Serlina went on to explain she began the magazine as a lockdown activity, but quickly realised there was demand in the market for the publication.

Viewers of the breakfast programme questioned if the project was ‘divisive’ and called the name Cocoa ‘derogatory’ 

She said: ‘It started out as a fun project, something I thought I could show family and friends. 

‘People started saying, “This is great, you’ve got to show this to the world”.

‘Once I did, it just started to go crazy. Everybody wanted a copy. It’s just been an amazing journey.’

And after Charlotte questioned if the magazine would be good for ‘all children to be able to see’, Serlina replied: ‘It’s so hard for black authors, they will tell you, to get their books out there. 

‘That’s why we decided to do not just Cocoa Girl but Cocoa Boy. It’s all about culture and inspiring them.’

Serlina argued she felt it is important for black children to have a publication that speaks to them

She continued: ‘I want to use this platform to make these amazing black role models that are not seen a lot, seen. So that children can actually look at what they can achieve in life.’

Meanwhile Serlina said her daughter ‘absolutely loves’ the magazine and has gotten involved with the editorial process.

She explained: ‘Faith is really quite instrumental in what goes into the magazine. 

‘She started a new page called ‘My best friend and me’ and this is for children to speak about their best friends and their cultural backgrounds. 

After being challenged by Charlotte Hawkins over the project, the art editor said she wanted to use the magazine as a platform for black role models 

‘It’s about knowing about everybody’s culture as well.’

She added: ‘It’s exciting to see her skills going into the editorial side of things and see how confidence grow as well.’

But viewers were less than impressed with the publication, with some saying the magazine was ‘divisive’. 

One wrote: ‘Isn’t bringing a magazine out for black people making a bigger divide between black and white people, which is what is happening a lot the past few months?

‘Thought the whole point was equality.’

Meanwhile others questioned if the name was appropriate, with one adding: ‘How can you call a magazine Cocoa? Pretty sure there isn’t one called milky.’

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