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Carlos Beason looked forward to visiting his friend’s aunt’s apartment growing up in Harlem, because she subscribed to Jet, a weekly news magazine for black America that began in 1951. In the pages of Jet, Beason saw everyday black people portrayed accurately and fairly. He couldn’t find similar images anywhere else, and looking at the magazine changed how Beason saw himself and his place in the world, as well as his aspirations.

“That publication was the equivalent to my New York Times or Daily News,” said Beason, a 22-year-old senior at Colby College in Waterville. “Those publications didn’t have stories about people who looked like me. Had I not read Jet, I probably would not have believed it was possible for a black person to become president or win Oscars or Grammys or become Miss America or be successful in any career. Or go to Colby College.”