In his blog post, Prince noted that in Time’s 64-page ode to the victims and heroes of that day, “no identifiable African Americans are pictured.”
Surely Time couldn’t have possibly excluded African-Americans and other Blacks from the Diaspora from issue on purpose, right? They couldn’t be THAT ignorant or malicious in sharing stories from that historic day, could they?
Plenty of Black folks worked in the Towers, were passengers on the fated airplanes, served as first responders and lived in the area, so why were they excluded from those profiled?
Prince adeptly points out that this issue of Time comes at the moment when the magazine has no Black editors. Although the venerable mag released a statement saying “diversity has been, and remains, an important priority at Time,” this gaffe calls their commitment to diversity into question.
Time magazine says they tapped a variety of sources for the commemorative issue: “To create this special edition, award-winning photographer Marco Grob worked with the editors of TIME to produce an astonishing set of forty portraits coupled with dramatic oral histories from survivors and leaders including George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, General David [Petraeus], George Pataki, Rudolph Giuliani, Valerie Plame Wilson, Tom Brokaw, Daisy Khan, Howard Lutnick,James Yee, and many more. Additionally, for the very first time, the only four survivors of the attack on Tower Two of the World Trade Center who were above the point of impact tell their stories.”
Conspicuously absent? Colin Powell, who was the Secretary of State at the time, and Condoleezza Rice, who was President Bush’s National Security Advisor.
Time’s whitewashed version of 9/11 is just another stark reminder for media outlets catering to people of color to continue to be adamant about telling our own stories. Because if race is still a barrier to honoring individuals on one of America’s most hallowed of days, then it’s clear that if we don’t step up to share our stories, then they won’t get told.