Into the 21st Century
Puckrein, Gary, American Visions
By the time you finish reading this letter, you will have traveled with me into the 21st century.
Fasten up for a brief history: American Visions magazine was born out of the common belief -- yours and ours -- that as we contemplate the 21st century, the predicate must be our culture, our collective experiences, as we define them. And to define them, we need a venue -- whether a cafe, a school, a forum, a publication -- where we can explore and discuss our singular, historic experiences and the creative responses that they have engendered. American Visions has sought to be that venue.
Over the years, the staff of American Visions has been called upon to undertake countless programs that, strictly speaking, have had little to do with publishing a magazine, such as book-signing events, educational supplements and a CompuServe forum. These projects, diverse as they are, have encompassed our core goal -- to promote an understanding of African-American culture. What's needed now is a place where we can centralize and expand upon all of these activities by establishing a much larger national institution, the American Visions Society.
The Society is a membership-based organization that we hope you will join in due course. We will offer members internships, support black cultural institutions, and host an extensive array of events and programs -- and that's the short list. Society members will receive a wide range of benefits, including a free African-American World Wide Web browser and a free Afrocentric screen saver for your computer, a subscription to American Visions magazine, invitations to special events (such as book signings, art shows and conferences), discounts on African-American merchandise, a credit card, and a membership card that offers discounts at museums, clubs and events around the country.
The first major project of the Society is the launching of AVS Online, a virtual city founded with African Americans in mind. …