Essence magazine close to hiring editor

If this feels like deja vu, you aren’t wrong. Essence readers are once again wondering who will be the new leader of the venerable women’s magazine for the fifth time in the last 13 years.

Back in 2011, Essence tapped former editor Constance C. R. White to shepherd the glossy into a new era, but let her go in February when Time, Inc.–Essence’s parent company–cut back its staff. White says her bosses wouldn’t let her cover the issues that she felt were most important to Black women.

She explained her departure to Richard Prince:

“I had a certain point of view about black women being central to this magazine. The boss didn’t agree with me, and the president didn’t agree with me,” she said, referring to Michelle Ebanks, president of Essence Communications Inc. “It became an untenable situation.”

Since White’s departure last February, Vanessa Bush has served as interim Managing Editor. Under her leadership, Essence has seemed to return to its roots, covering issues central to Black women like its multi-part series on gun violence in our communities, and highlighting the next generation of Black women civil rights leaders.

According to Tanzina Vega of the New York TimesEssence is close to hiring a new editor, but no decision has been made just yet. Many are wondering who the publication’s new leader will be and if she’ll be able to restore the 42-year-old magazine to its former glory while continuing to speak to the issues and concerns of Black women.

Who do you think Essence should hire to be its new editor?

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  • Angelique212

    BTW – Go to the Essence homepage… the first thing you will see is a shucking and jiving mammy in a video still advertising “Orange is the New Black”… a disgrace…

    • Mademoiselle

      I saw a video of prison life, with all of 3 seconds where a black woman seemed to do a quick celebratory dance (reminds me of what I do when I accomplish something in my day to day). I don’t know what Orange is the New Black’s storyline is, but I don’t agree with calling every black woman a mammy or claiming black people are shucking and jiving every time they’re depicted in comedic roles or roles that don’t imply exemplary education and social status.

    • Angelique212

      Why don’t you check it out for yourself. You can find the answers if you do just a little more digging.

      “but I don’t agree with calling every black woman a mammy or claiming black people are shucking and jiving every time they’re depicted in comedic roles or roles that don’t imply exemplary education and social status.”

      … please examine that.

    • Angelique212

      At the very least… you could look at the trailer and see how wrong I am not… (Question: are we supposed to covet everything about white womanhood? Even their pre-breast implant breasts? The lies continue) The entire season is on Netflix. I know what the show is and Essence does too. That is where they are wrong… and whorish.

      … again, why argue without the least bit information about the issue you are defending? That is problematic on many levels, especially given what you are defending.

    • Mademoiselle

      What are you talking about? You referenced the video clip on the Essence site. I viewed the same clip and made my comment, which was far from coveting anything about white people. What information do you feel like I’m missing?

  • I am just so disappointed with Essence this year and I have a subscription to their magazine.I flip through the pages and literally cringe because it is hardly covering the issues that are affecting the black community. At least Constance was fighting to bring Essence to its old glory.

    I remember in my Granny’s trunk box she had the first issues of Essence magazine. It had fresh faces and the articles were motivating. The new Essence is too caught up in chasing celebrities and pushes the issues affecting African Americans to the back of the magazine or not covering them at all.

    I am concerned about Black media as a whole right now. With all of the things that are happening with the black community we need Black media to be more focused now more than ever to be our voice for our community. What I am seeing now is voices being silenced, black journalists being removed from covering the news, or the dumbing down of Black Magazines when Mega Corporations take them over. It is sad and it will wind up hurting us in the long run..

    I am optimistic and hopeful that this will change and the only way it will change is when we start creating our own media that is black owned, black operated, and not sell out to corporations.