Written by Cesca Janece Waterfield. Charlene photographed by Thomas Roberts.
Popcorn is a bi-monthly magazine for ages 7 to 15 that debuted in Richmond in 1978. For ten years, children cheered its vibrant entertainment, while parents enjoyed its educational content. Earl Graves, the publisher of Black Enterprise Magazine personally wrote about the innovative children’s publication and it was featured in Essence. Locally, Popcorn became the favorite of a generation. Mention it to Richmonders in their 30s and 40s, and you will likely receive a nostalgic remembrance.
For Publisher Charlene Warner Coleman, those reminiscences were becoming a daily experience: “I kept running into grown Popcorn Kids who wanted Popcorn Magazine for their kids,” she says. “Some people I ran into said those were some of the best times of their lives.”
So in 2007, Charlene re-launched Popcorn. Response was immediate, and today she is committed to bringing its lively learning to another generation. Readers download the magazine from the website, which itself is updated almost daily. The internet has allowed Charlene to deliver Popcorn across the globe. In the coming months, a TV program will be available on the website and a major network has expressed interest in future rights.
“I want to know that when I go to sleep at night, people in China are downloading it, and people in Australia,” Charlene says. “And they are!”