What is Black Ballad?
Black Ballad was launched by Tobi and her co-founder Bola Awoniyi in 2014 as a free access blog to elevate the voices of black British women. The idea for Black Ballad came to Tobi after spending several years in various mainstream journalism offices and noticing the lack of black writers and stories that discussed the issues black women were facing. Rather than waiting for change, Tobi launched the publication to fill the gap in the market. After launching in 2014, Black Ballad fast became a respected publication in the British media industry and beloved by black women in and outside the UK. In 2016, Black Ballad ran a successful crowdfund campaign that raised over £10,500 to transition into a membership platform. Members pay a monthly or annual fee to obtain full access to the content produced, discount to events and discounts to black owned brands that Black Ballad has partnered with.
The Black Ballad Crowdfund
Both Tobi and her co-founder Bola Awoniyi spent the first few years of Black Ballad dealing with the financial challenges that have hit the media industry, especially when running an online publication. While Tobi and her co-founder continue to work with brands, they both understood solely relying on advertising to keep up with the financial demands of running an online publication were impractical. Both agreed that to ensure Black Ballad remained sustainable, multiple streams of income would be needed and creating a membership model was the best route to go down in order to ensure the longevity of the site.
Media That Puts Black Women First
With statistics showing that the media is 94% white and 55% male and that black journalist only make up 0.2% of British journalists, while making up 3% population, Tobi has used her role as editor of Black Ballad, to give many black female journalists their first opportunity to be paid for their work. On top of her freelance writing and her regular Editor's Letters for Black Ballad, Tobi has commissioned pieces that include: The Intricacies Of Being Black, Female And Disabled, Black Women On Eating Disorders, Body Image And Thinness, Meet The Black British Women Who Identify As Transracial and Investigating The Strained Relationship Between Higher Education and Blackness and many other articles.