Sons Help American Legacy Founder Appeal to Millennials

Brand Celebrates African-American History & Culture Beyond February
R.Joshua, Rodney & JP Reynolds (Photo: Barry Mason)
R.Joshua, Rodney & JP Reynolds (Photo: Barry Mason)
MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. - July 21, 2016 - PRLog -- When the recession combined with the transition to digital media hit the print industry extremely hard and forced many magazines to close their doors, American Legacy magazine founder and publisher Rodney J. Reynolds had an important decision to make and question to answer. How would he transition his then 15-year old print brand to digital and keep it relevant, especially with millennials? How would he build upon the brand equity the magazine had established in the community as a resource for African-American history in America?

As the American Legacy brand celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2015, and Reynolds prepared to launch his black history streaming video platform American LegacyXL (, R. Joshua and Rodney (JP) at 27 and 28 know intimately the market and audience Reynolds is now trying to attract. "I feel extremely fortunate to have sons who have a vast knowledge of the digital universe," said Reynolds.

Looking to launch an original program on ALXL that would appeal to millennials, Reynolds collaborated with JP who serves as the host and producer of Conversations With Greatness, a program that features intergenerational exchanges with living legends, pioneers, trailblazers, and icons of black history and culture. JP Reynolds is a hip-hop artist, minister, producer, and Dream Director at The Future Project, and the founder of Peace and Power Media, the company that produces Conversations With Greatness for his father.

"American Legacy has been a dynamic part of black culture for over 20 years. Because I've had a front row seat - to witness how the magazine and all adjoining brands have played such a critical role in sacred storytelling and narrative preservation - I feel rooted in ways that sustain my own path," said JP. "This is why I'm so excited that American Legacy continues its journey through ALXL. We must continue to preserve the culture while we create the culture. We've gotta tell our own stories."

Recognizing the importance of marketing, especially through social media, Reynolds says he's been brought up to speed by his son Joshua, a classical singer, composer and communications specialist who lives in Silver Spring, MD.

"I knew what traditional buttons to push to reach my core audience," says Reynolds, "but when it came to reaching the millennials, my son Joshua provided me with invaluable input on what kinds of social media options existed that would enable me to reach this important audience." Joshua will also compose music for several of the original programs being planned for ALXL.

"I grew up in black history. I also grew up in business watching my father lead a small team to do great things. I have always been proud of his ability to take a thought and bring it to fruition. I have also been amazed at his ability to adapt to new technologies and use them to grow his brand and business. While he indeed does call me to ask questions about certain platforms, he somehow finds a way to teach me in the process of seeking information from me," says Joshua Reynolds. JP adds, "My father has always been the type to figure things out and make them work, and his learning curve for technology and social media has been pretty impressive."

In addition to ALXL, the American Legacy brand includes a black history curriculum guide, board game, and its "Know Your History" mobile truck exhibit that travels around the country to school districts, colleges, churches and community events. Subscribers to ALXL have access to historical/classic African-American films, documentaries and original programming based on American Legacy's editorial content as well as to American Legacy's digital archives and its monthly e-newsletter Two Sides.

On the horizon for the brand is a VOD channel, American LegacyXL on Demand, and American LegacySPORTS, a 10-part video series airing on Both products launch in February 2017.

"The fact that our brand continues to be relevant after the closing of our flagship magazine is a testament to the strength and appeal of the publication. We continue to receive subscription requests almost daily. There's a huge appetite for African-American history and culture, an appetite that we feel will never diminish. We just needed to find alternative ways to deliver this important information to a new audience."

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