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Essence Editor-In-Chief Angela Burt-Murray addresses the criticism of the publication’s new White fashion director.

Burt-Murray tells Black Voices in a written statement that she personally hired Ellianna Placas because she respects the brand’s audience.

“I understand that this issue has struck an emotional chord with our audience,” says Burt-Murray. “However, I selected Ellianna, who has been contributing to the magazine on a freelance basis for the last six months, because of her creativity, vision, the positive reader response to her work and her enthusiasm and respect for the audience and our brand. We remain committed to celebrating the unique beauty and style of African-American women in Essence magazine and online at Essence.com.”

On Friday evening, Michaela angela Davis’ tweet broke the news to several Essence readers and fashion insiders. CLUTCH’s exclusive coverage of Davis’ thoughts on the issue, in addition to other media professionals can be read here.

Burt-Murray is obviously impressed with Placas work. But can Placas’ “creativity and vision” communicate Black women’s style? Sound off!

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