Playing With Fire
Don't deny yourself pleasure today because of what you don't yet know about the future. Play with fire.

Controversial Fire: Essence Hires a White Fashion Editor

Here is a contributed piece by Mila Morgasm!

Since 1968,  Essence Magazine has been one of the top magazine’s for African American women. It is a go-to guide for everything from fashion and beauty, to African-American lifestyle in general. Essence was started by African-Americans for African Americans. It is not a secret that the other popular lifestyle magazines for women in the United States did not cater to African-Americans. Vogue, Haper’s Bazaar, Elle, Cosmopolitan and Glamour (just to name a few) were not started with the intentions of having an African-American female audience and that is still evident today with the content inside (a lack of advertisements for African-American products, a lack of African-American models in the spread, etc).

So when Angela Burt-Murray, Essence’s current editor-in-chief, announced that Essence had a new white fashion director on board, controversy erupted. A lot of African-Americans felt that Ellianna Placas, the woman stirring up the controversy, did not belong, afterall, how can someone who is not African-American know anything about African American fashion? There are already only few spots in the fashion industry made for African Americans and here she is taking one of them. Murray has been receiving a lot of flack over her decision so she decided to post an op-ed to address this heated subject. An excerpt from it below :

“ … sincerely respect everyone’s thoughts and sentiments. I also share their concerns and frustrations about the lack of visibility of African-American women throughout the ranks of the fashion industry, which is overwhelmingly white. I, too, want to see more of us on the mastheads of all the magazines, seated in the front rows of the shows, designing our own fashion lines, and contributing our special flavor and flyness to the world of style. 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.

…Forty years ago Essence was founded to empower, celebrate, and inspire black women to climb higher, go further and break down barriers. Our commitment to black women remains unchanged as we continue to stay laser-focused on those principles–no matter who works with us.”

What are YOUR thoughts? Please share. I will re-post the most thought-provoking responses.

Be sure to check out Mila’s blog for fashion and styling for men and women of all races. 🙂


One Response to “Controversial Fire: Essence Hires a White Fashion Editor”

  1. who cares!!! we are all the same!! black white yellow pink talent is what talent does sheesh…she may portray “blacks” in a more appealing light then “blacks” can do themselves. Everyone including “blacks” are mixed these days so might as well shed the title

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