The establishment of Drum Magazine in the 1950s, notwithstanding the newly-elected Nationalist Party’s policy of Apartheid, reflected the dynamic changes that were taking place among the new urban Black South African – African, Indian and Coloured – communities.
The magazine became an important platform for a new generation of writers and photographers who changed the way Black people were represented in society. This year marks the magazine’s 60th anniversary, which we are celebrating by publishing new material and key profiles over the next month.
The magazine, initially established as ‘The African Drum’ by journalist and broadcaster Robert Crisp, was not at first financially successful. It was taken over by Jim Bailey who, with the assistance of a team of writers and photographers, re-designed and rebranded the magazine, thereby making it more dynamic. Drum was so successful that Bailey used its urban, racy style to produce a number of East and West African editions of the magazine.