It is a slippery slope and a sticky conversation to circulating the internet about Essence Editor-in-Chief Angela Burt-Murray to hire a white editor. Folks preach diversity and when Essence decided to go with a white women folks are not feeling the decision? Unlike Vogue who will not publish an African issue and made their decision very clear. Essence is clearly thinking outside of the box and moving forward to bring in a white editor that have folks sounding off on the internet. It appears the publication is changing the direction of the publication to become mainstream and will not allow the color of an individual skin dictate their ability to perform the job for the black publication….perhaps it is about time for Essence to become a global magazine that caters to all women from different nationalities…not just black women. I don’t see what the problem is but hey I am just one voice out of the small group of folks sounding the alarm.
Editor-in-Chief Angela Burt-Murray told Media Ink she’s aware of the controversy now playing out on Facebook after the magazine named Ellianna Placas, who has worked at O: The Oprah Magazine and US Weekly, as its fashion director but said she’s not changing course.
Michaela Angela Davis, who was also founding fashion director for Vibe magazine and a onetime editor-in-chief of the print-version of black fashion magazine Honey, started the cyber controversy yesterday with a Facebook posting that has attracted dozens of comments.
But interestingly enough, the things I think should most upset people and inspire boycotts and Facebook protests, often seem to go relatively unnoticed. Like when Essence conducted a three-part education series this year on the plight of black children falling through the cracks in under-performing schools. Crickets. When we reported on the increase in sex trafficking of young black girls in urban communities? Silence. When our writers investigated the inequities in the health care services black women receive? Deadly silence. When our editors highlighted data from the Closing the Gap Initiative report “Lifting as We Climb: Women of Color, Wealth and America’s Future” that showed that the median net worth of single black women was $5? There went those darn crickets again. When we run pieces on how unemployment is devastating black men? Nada. When we run story after story on how HIV is the leading cause of death for black women age 18-34? Zilch. The things that really are the end of our world apparently aren’t.