Should Essence Magazine Have a White Male Managing Editor?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

Essence Magazine has made the interesting and controversial decision to hire a white male as its managing editor.  I cocked my head to the side when I heard about the move by Editor-in-Chief Constance White to let Michael Bullerdick, a white male, run the day-to-day operations of a magazine which prides itself on being a voice for African American women.  Constance went out of her way to do damage control on the decision by stating that Bullerdick would have no say on the editorial content of Essence.

“He has no involvement in editorial content of the black women’s publication,” the new Essence editor-in-chief, Constance White, told Journal-isms on Tuesday.

Do I buy White’s statement completely?  No.  It’s hard to imagine that a Managing Editor would not have an impact on which voices are reflected and how they are presented.  That’s like Clarence Thomas saying that his wife’s conservative activism has no impact on his decisions as a Supreme Court justice.  There’s a big difference between true separation of powers and the separation that simply looks good on an organizational chart.

This is not the first time Essence has gotten attention for putting a non-black person in a powerful position.  There was some degree of public concern when Ellianna Placas was selected as the Fashion Director for the magazine, overlooking scores of seasoned and talented black women who can’t get jobs at other magazines.  While one has to applaud those who simply believe that the best people are being chosen for these opportunities, we must also wonder if a black man could be named Managing Editor of a magazine for Jewish women.

I thought long and hard on this one, to ensure that I didn’t say anything that would be unfair to Bullerdick, a man who surely worked hard to earn his opportunities.  At the same time, there must be consideration for the long list of talented black women who may have wanted this job, but find nearly every door to be shut in an industry that is owned by white folks.  I’d love to see what lies in Bullerdick’s background that makes him a stronger voice for black women than black women themselves.   Perhaps a group of black women should be used to make serious editorial decisions at Essence, rather than allowing the Editor-in-Chief to simply hire her professional friends.  There is too much at stake for Essence leadership structure to be defined by cronyism.

You can hear more of my thoughts in the video below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

  • http://twitter.com/mer1maid Nancy Ellis

    I stopped reading Essence a long time ago.  I know I won’t buy it now.

    • Gwood917

       
      So sad you’ve felt a need to make that decision. It really IS a new DAY & those of us who are of the 1950’s “Civil Rights” Generation would do well to understand that PROGRESS comes in TINY baby steps, but they’ve COME nonetheless! Either we flow with the FORWARD current or we begrudgingly do the BACKSTROKE into Yesterday, Yester-Year! Personally, I prefer to move forward with a keen sense of our collective HISTORY of oppression that should NOT be repeated ~ to FINALLY understand the value of this concept is ONE really nice advantage of being of ADVANCED age! jus’ sayin’ # :o) g.

    • Ronniesaunders

      You have been liberated now teach to your fellow  brothers and sisters who appear to be death, dumb and blind. We all must be the captains of our own ship.

  • SapphiresMomma

    Dr. Watkins,

    Essence is owned by a WHITE company, so what is wrong or surprising that a white male should be given a position. I might add, a very qualified white male at that.

    Is Essence racist? Do all of their positions have to be filled by black women or men? How about Asians, Hispancis and other qualified people?

    Here is the history of Essence:
    The magazine was founded in 1968 by Edward Lewis, Clarence O. Smith, Cecil Hollingsworth, Jonathan Blount, and Denise M. Clark. Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) began publishing in May 1970. Its circulation began at approximately 50,000 copies per month, subsequently growing to roughly 1.1 million. Gordon Parks served as its editorial director during the first three years of its circulation.
    In 2000, Time Inc. purchased 49 percent of the magazine, buying the remaining 51 percent in a deal reported to be worth $170 million in US dollars. In 2008, Essence won 12 New York Association of Black Journalists awards in the Investigative, General Feature, International, Business/Technology, Science/Health, Arts and Entertainment, Personal Commentary, Public Affairs and Online categories.

    All of the above previous owners of Essence are all multi millionairs!

    We need to get past this issue of having anything black being managed solely by blacks, this is 2011, and times have/are changing.

    In case you do not know there are BLACK males who are CEO’s, VP’s, Directors, Managers of WHITE owned companies!  Should they not be employed?. Should they not hold those positions because they are black????

    This is a new day folks! If we want to compete we need to keep up. We are not going backwards. Our children will not come up as we and our grandparents did. They will come together, and this is where it is heading!  Like it or not!

    • Dr. William E{Gene }robertson

      I thank Essence should have the most qualified employee for every position as long as it enables the magazine to positively address its mission.  I see no problem.

      • Ronniesaunders

        There ‘s no fool like an educated fool! Since you are so highly educated have you my good brother ever read Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Mask?
         Brother Adam Clayton Powell Jr. said “Harvard University has ruin more Negroes than bad whiskey.”
        “I thank Essence should have the most qualifed employee for every position as long as it enables the magazine to positively address its mission.”
        I think you meant to say THINK instead of thank.
         I see you are another one of those most qualified Negroes. What world Dr. Robertson do you live in with that most qualified non-sense?
        When George W. Bush got hired as the top CEO of Texas Rangers was he the most qualified?  Where you the most qualified person for the position that you hold presently? What does most qualified mean to you? 

    • Uniquely Black

      You can’t possibly be serious… How many white readers does Essence have? I would venture to say that 99% are African-American. So what you want us to do is feel good about yet another purely black voice being watered down? I am really sure about one thing… We just don’t get it. We have no idea how powerful the media us. Yet another voice going mainstream and telling us what to think is a major concern. Assimilation is the name of the game right. No longer is a uniquely black expression politically correct. That is now called reverse racism. Give me a break! Stand up black people and be strong!!

      • SapphiresMomma

        I am very serious about everything I wrote!

        Let me state again; ESSENCE is WHITE OWNED!!!! You have missed my point!

        So why should anyone be surprised at a white male being given the position of managing editor???

        Some of you folks are allup in the air at this news, when you have been reading/buying Essence all these years that it has been WHITE OWNED!

        Apparently the original founder/owners of Essence did not feel that the mag was beneficial to them any longer, and or they simply wanted out!

        Nothing wrong with that. It was a business move.

        More importantly, we must understand that the “media” as we know it has changed big time!! There will be many more changes coming down the pipe-line! Some of these publications did not know where to go with it or they had enough, and invested their monies in other ventures!

        If we are so enraged over this man as being managing editor, or of other “black” owned successful companies selling at some point,  we can start our own magazines/publications! We can put in the hard work and years that went into building the brand and marketing it to success!

        I will bet that not one person on the blog owns one share of TIME,INC. stock!

        • Uniquely Black

          Owning and running are completely different. You Damn right it bothers me. Sadly you have your pom poms out. Saying “give me a w.. give me an h.. give me an i.. give me a t.. give me an e…!! I’ll save my money for Microsoft!!

          • SapphiresMomma

            Apparently what I wrote went right over your head!

            You just don’t get it!

            Typical!

          • Uniquely Black

            It right over their head because they didn’t agree with you? Get off your bully pulpit! I clearly understand what you said I just have a different world view. My wife is a principal in a predominantly black district. She could easily leave and get a higher visibility position, but she is committed to changing our situation at the foundation. Me U’m a lowly engineer. She is my hero! We both get it!! And selling everything we have to the highest white bidder is not “it”.

          • Brook

            Yes, loving white people is a contagious disease in the African American community. 

        • Phinesse Demps

          What you are saying is very true BUT the issue is how does a WHITE MALE relate to Black Women. Also, note why ESSENCE magazine was  sold: WHITE CORPORATE AMERICA will not advertise with anything black owned media unless they sell out to them. I have heard Susan Taylor talk about that very point! They (WHITE CORPORATIONS) did the same with radio see the documentary DISAPPEARING VOICES, and even NAACP. The problem when WHITE CORPORATE AMERICAN tell us what is Black, what is Black/Soul Music, and it goes on. YES a Black or White can have and should be hired for positions, but they also should be able to relate.

          • Sweet Ga. Brown

            can’t relate to something you simply are not.

          • Phinesse Demps

            That is the point I am making.

        • Brook

          If it’s white owned, then f-it.  Let’s just say that Essence is now a white magazine and black people should stop buying it. 

          • adele

            That mountain top is still out of reach………..

          • Ronniesaunders

            Right ON!

          • Sweet ga brown

            Exactly… money is the power and that’s it. But when we stop buying it we have got to stick to our convictions and unify.

        • Ronniesaunders

          Your comment to Uniquely Black is bordering on the absurd. I do own stock in Time Warner, Inc but that really my good sister is none of your damn business what any person owns or doesn’t own.
          What is your point about “I will bet that not one person on the blog owns one share of Time, INC stock?” Do you own any stock in TIME, INC.? That’s how silly you sound.
           Much of what you say is a bunch of misguided rhetoric
          Who are you? Give us your real name and where you live and maybe we can have a constructive conversation about said subject.
          Remember SapphiresMomma “don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today.”

          • SapphiresMomma

            Great!

            I wish more black folks owned valuable shares of stock in various, productive companies, or at least understood how monies/business work.

            My point is that here we have black folks all up in the air about a white owned publication, responding with all the “emotion” that is typical of many black folks, and they can’t and won’t do one thing about it!

            It is the same with our young black males slaughtering each other over one being in anothers block/street/hood!
            Not one owns even a blade of grass in those “hoods”, and most folks jumping up and down about a business venture that they can do nothing about, do not own anything!  All they can contribute is talk, stemming from”emotion”.

            Why would I have to tell you my real name and where I live in order to have aconstructive conversation?

            I think it is you who may be sounding a little silly!

          • Ronniesaunders

            SapphiresMomma: For you to make an accusation about Black people owning stock is indeed silly but let’s go on from here and have that real constructive conversation that you are so desirous of having.

          • SapphiresMomma

            What “accusation” did  I make? When did I write that I was “desirous” of having a conversation with you? You need to brush up on your comprehension skills.  I can see from some of your other post that you are foolish. Perhaps you need to stay away from those store-front revolutionary meetings.

          • Ronniesaunders

            My good sister yes I have been involved in the Movement for the past 50 years. And yes I did attend many store front revolutionary meetings in the heart of the Black community as a fellow traveler of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense.
            I do see you have a sense of humor.
            Power To The People!

          • Ronniesaunders

            I will assume that you are not part of the FBI’s Conter Intelligence Program. How did you know that I attended those store front meetings in Jump Back, Mississippi?

          • Kunta

            Sapps Mommma,

            You have lost all sense of direction and have now become part of the problem as it relates to the continued dismissal of the facts and in turn creating a false sense of reality. The point is that a white man can’t relate to the needs of black women. If the business focus was geared toward a wide spectrum of people then he along with anyone else should be considered, however Essence is specifically targeting black women and therefore it needs a leadership voice thats in tune with this demographic. What don’t you understand about that Sapp. Eveyone on the blog has disagreed with you and considering your past post pledging allegiance to amerikkka, I would think you would understand that the blog majority rules. Get off the damn blog and let those who have a real clue continue the discussion.  

        • Sweet Ga brown

          I do………. But to be fair stock market education is not something taught in african american homes. you have to be exposed to that sweetie… so calm down and focus on the topic.  Some things have changed but not all things.  I think that it is more shocking to people as opposed to being enraged. what white people struggle with everyday black people do not. and what black people struggle with everyday white people do not. So just understand that it is shocking because most black people work harder for what they have and don’t necessarily have the time to read about what company bought out what company. (I’m sure a lot of people did not have a clue that a black woman wrote the matrix trilogy and the “TIME WARNER” STOLE THE TRILOGY AND FILMED THE MOVIE BACKWARDS THINKING THAT THEY WOULD NEVER GET CAUGHT. WELL THEY LADY SUED AND WON A BILLION DOLLAR SETTLEMENT. BUT MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT THIS BECAUSE TIME WARNER OWNS A LOT OF THE NEWS COMPANIES THAT WE SEE ON TV. THEY DIDN’T EVEN MAKE THIS PUBLIC ON ANY NEWS STATION.. SO AGAIN UNDERSTAND THE SHOCK OR MAYBE EVEN THE ENRAGEMENT….

      • Sweet Ga Brown

        Not only do we not get it but we also don’t get how powerful and creative we as a people are… If you ever seen that movie Cadillac Records you will understand how “we ” didn’t get how powerful we were. Chuck Berry was the single influence on rock and roll guitarists! THE SINGLE INFLUENCE!!!!. But the King Mr. Elvis Presley stole the man’s whole style as well as the artist Little Walter>  Understand your power then you understand yourself! Essence magazine RIP

    • MXL

      I understand what you’re saying and agree with you on the social level of which you speak, but I don’t think the issue here is that deep. This is a journalistic issue. 

      Owning a publication and being the Managing Editor are two entirely different things. Owners sit back and collect checks; Managing Editors are wholly involved in the day-to-day operations and content selection/creation, which is why it is important for the person holding that position to be a part of (or at least in sync with) the publication’s target demographic. Now I don’t know anything about this Bullerdick guy, but on the surface he seems to be the polar opposite of the audience Essence is supposed to be reaching out to. The magazine business is not a homogeneous one, it is very much exclusive and niche-centric. Rock & roll magazines are managed by those immersed in rock & roll; finance magazines are managed by financial experts; gun mags by gun experts; basketball mags by basketball experts; etc. The people creating the content have to be able to relate to the people expected to read it.

      Can Bullerdick, a White man, relate to the Black women to whom he is now charged with reaching? Can he determine what’s newsworthy to an audience of which he is not and has never been a member? I think these are the questions at the core of this issue.

      It’s really not about his being White, it’s about his never having been a part of Essence’s target audience. It’s like hiring a homeless, shoeless bum to run Forbes, or a baseball player to run the editorial aspects of a basketball magazine — it just doesn’t seem to fit. But, as I said before, I don’t know anything about Michael Bullerdick and am not judging him. Perhaps he has something that qualifies him for the position he holds. Maybe he was a Black woman in his former life. (Kidding, of course.)

      But I’m not among those who thinks that EVERY position in a Black-centric business should be held by a Black person. That is simply unnecessary. I am in full agreement with you on that.

      • Brook

        Sorry, but owners don’t just sit back and collect checks.  Owners can veto any decision that the managing editors make.  You need to study business a little bit more. 

    • Elaine

      I think the point is that we are not being allowed to compete…

      • Sweet Ga. Brown

         Well Said my friend….. And the next question is Why are we not allowed to compete? Why is there such a fear?  hmmmmmm

    • Ronniesaunders

      Go the hell back to the plantation with your slave mentality. You need to quit thinking like a “house servant.”  The present owners of Essence Magazine Time, Inc. are the same group of people that have a pattern & practice of discriminating against Negroes in all the systems of hiring, promotion and the contracting of goods and services. Now is that surprising to you? Have you conducted an in-depth review of Time, Inc and Time Warner’s hiring and promotional practices at it relates to people  of color ( Afro-Americans) ? Your whole line of thinking in your comment shows you are a backward not forward thinking person.
      Tell me my good sister how do you know that our youth” will come together and that they will not come up as we and our grandparents did.”  I thought only God knows and can predict the future. What crystal ball did you look into?
      How do you know that the Caucasian that Essence hired to be its top CEO is very well qualified. Did you sent in on the interview process? Do you work for Time, Inc?
      What makes you qualified to say that the Caucasian that Essence hired “is very well qualified? Did you recruit the CEO that Essence hired?

    • sweet ga brown

      one of your key points in this long comment is that the companies are owned by white people… that is the difference sweetie.. Black people owned essence and then sold it. Essence is going to soon turn into a magazine that is catering more towards white women and you won’t even see it coming. Unfortunately you don’t get that. Yeah its 2011 true but i also remember when president Obama announced his candidacy for president in 2008 and a white female anchor asked the question “Is america ready for a black president?” 
      THAT WAS 3 YEARS AGO SWEETIE.. Times are not a changin!!! truth is truth..African Americans have a trust issue amongst themselves so instead of helping each other they only help themselves at that moment….wealth is a continuous situation yeah they may all be multi millionaires but 5 generations from now. that money will be gone no inheritance….Vanity Fair will never sell their company ever, Harpar Bazaar will never sell their magazine, Vogue will never sell their magazine. you get my point?

      • SapphiresMomma

        SWEETIE!

        “wealth is a continuous situation yeah they may all be multi millionaires but 5 generations from now. that money will be gone no inheritance….Vanity Fair will never sell their company ever, Harpar Bazaar will never sell their magazine, Vogue will never sell their magazine. you get my point? ”

        I do get your point, however you apparently did not get my point, sweetie!

        Your statement lacks substance and thought.

        How in the world would you know what anyone’s monies will be in 5 generations? You are thinking with “emotion”, and not with a business focus. How would you know that Vogue, Harpars Bazaar, or Vanity Fair will never sell their magazine?

        Look, this is the bottom line~ The owners of Essence sold the company! Essence is white owned. There is nothing you or anyone else on this blog can do about that. If you do not like that it is owned by whites, or that they have hired some whites for certain positions, then do not buy or read Essence!

        Ok, sweetie?

        • sphynx345

          your comments scare me.that aside,i think you’re refusing to see the bigger picture:simply put,without ownership,WHO do we depend on to control the images children see OUTSIDE of their parents influence? Teen Summit has been replaced by violent minstrels and souless sex objects.Video Vibrations connected US black folks with the international black experience through music.ever notice how back in the mid 80’s young,”black” films were about going to college?now they’re about being cool.see the change?

  • Anonymous

    A white managing editor and fashion director.  Essence is becoming Vogue like and I cannot relate. Are they claiming that African American’s do not have the talent and education for these positions? Perhaps they are claiming that they know our needs better than we do. We fought a long and hard struggle to get access to these positions.  There are very few of us in “white” magazines and now we are losing ground in the few black magazines that we have. I’m ending my subscription. 

    • SapphiresMomma

      If you have been enjoying the magazine (and frankly it is not a bad publication for the female demographic they reach), why would you end your subscription?

      Essence is WHITE OWNED, and have been for years!

      Again, I ask should the BLACK CEO’s, Presidents, VP’s, directors, managers of WHITE owned companies not be employed or head these companies because they are BLACK?

      WAKE UP FOLKS!

      • Uniquely Black

        You wake up!!!

        • PurpleZoe

          Seriously. We need to do for self and shut out the platforms that interfere with preserving cultural voice/power. Period.

      • Anonymous

        The White people who own/CEO, etc. these mega successful corporations were not kidnapped from their homelands and made into slaves.The White people who own/head these corporations practice favoritism, nepotism. You are able to best know that their children/family members know the ins & outs, the tops & bottoms, the nook & crannies of the programming energies. These energies are their platforms; so  much so that we forget about the disrespect to our ancestors and us now. We have been programmed to believe in programming energies of fairness and folks stand on these programming energies to be the truth, truth and nothing but the truth. White people’s continuous dominance, sense of superiority, control over us brings one to “do as they say and do as they do and their tactics of greed are tolerated because they put a few of us in high places.

        I said all of that to say comparing Afrikans/Blacks to Europeans/Whites is not going to be equal. We are not going to be given the same concessions or standards anytime soon … look how the Republicans talk to and about President Obama — no respect at all … always trying to undermine his greatness! We should stop thinking they see us as equal … we must step out of that illusion! And do we really like White folks speaking for us and luring our children into their advertisments of greed? You’re gonna go broke if you are not already! Just food for thought!

    • Anonymous

      Ya know! It isn’t ours anymore! They changed the essence of the Essence … more ads, more trendy expensive things to buy – appealing to the monies of the reader … no more poetry by Afrikan/Black poets. I know I will not renew. It is not ours anymore.

  • Jacque Foster

    Andre Leon Talley was the editor at large @ Vogue for years, and it wasn’t an issue.  Why is this an issue?

    • Elaine

      Can you name others?

  • Scholar

    This article sure seems like reverse racism to me. Just saying.

    • Uniquely Black

      There thousands of publications that target caucasian people, deliberately run by caucasian people. One article advocating for a publication by black people for black people and it’s reverse racism. I refuse to accept that. I refuse to accept the “reverse race” card.

    • Elaine

      And the fact that you don’t get it, is exactly the point and the problem. If the playing field was level, it wouldn’t be an issue.

      • PurpleZoe

        Exactly. The rigging of systems to discourage black advancement is the issue. It’s crafty, at times very subtle, but all too real. The results take their psychological toll overtime.

    • adele

      To me also, and how many of those abandon buildings in black neighborhoods are they trying to purchase?  I guest that is another race of blacks which are the wealthy.

    • Ronniesaunders

      DEFINE REVERSE RACISM Mr. Einstein or Mr. George Washington Carver?
      Show me mr. Scholar in the whole body of Title Seven or U.S. Code 1981 that they mentioned the term or word Reverse Racism?

  • Gwen Wood

    As an African-American, advanced aged woman, I’m interested in all matters that impact our community specifically, as well as matters that influence thoughts, attitudes, & actions of the general population at large, among whom we live, work, and attempt to survive ~as everyone else does in this critical & troubling social & economic environment in which ALL of us are struggling to survive. Jus’ Sayin’ <3 g.

    • Uniquely Black

      Gwen, there are way too many publications on the market that are more that willing to give the world view, attitudes and thoughts of the “general population at large.”  What magazines like Essence where created to do was give you the viewpoint of African Americans-particularly African American women and women of color.  If what you want is the mainstream views American like and the world at large read Time magazine, People magazine or Newsweek.  Jus’ Sayin’…

  • Anonymous

    Yes, it has been white owned for at least six years.  I stayed with it when ownership changed.  I even hung in there when the fashion editor changed.  I have seen a decline in stories about ordinary folks that I can relate too.  I used to love the annual feature of women 50-90+ who looked extraordinarly wonderful for their age.  They would give tips and motivate the younger generation.  They also used to feature women with dark complexions and they focused less on celebrities than they do now.  Everyone has a final straw and since I’ve been reading it less and …. I’m sorry if you can’t understand the difference between a few of us working in “white” magazines and us losing positions in the few magazines that are targeted to black women, I’m done.

    • SapphiresMomma

      While I can respect your position, and while I understand about the “few” of us working in “white” magazines, I still do not understand why you and others are so surprised that a WHITE owned company would hire a white managing editor???

      Surprised? I certainly am not!

    • SapphiresMomma

      While I can respect your position, and while I understand about the “few” of us working in “white” magazines, I still do not understand why you and others are so surprised that a WHITE owned company would hire a white managing editor???

      Surprised? I certainly am not!

      • Uniquely Black

        What I am surprised about is that it does not disturb you if you are black. Why just quietlyaccept it like a group did in Germany back in the 1940s?

        • SapphiresMomma

          Why should I be disturbed?

          Frankly, I am happy that a group of African Americans started a publication years ago, built it to a top publication, and when they had enough (or for whatever reason), sold it for millions!  They are ALL multi millionairs!!!

          What is the problem?

          Quietly accept?  There is nothing for me NOT to accept!  They did their business as they wanted to do it. What do you or I have to do with it?

          • Souldesign

            Question for your ms SapphireMomma, does it disturb you that with all of these so-called successful single black women that not one is running a black magazine or even let alone owning one.  Yes I am aware of white company owning Essence, BET, Johnson and Johnson products etc etc.  The issue is that we as black people seem to be accepting to one-sided diversity.  Nonblacks buy are businesses quickly because we sellout quickly.  You would rarely see a black person be given a chance to buy asian companies, jewish companies.   Its embarrassing with all of these so-called influential black millionaires (men&women) that all we can do is flash cars, jewelery, dresses, gucci etc yet not really own any businesses that affect peoples lives

          • Lisa

            It’s called speaking out, writing letters voting with your dollars, that’s how all decisions are corrected, changed, challenged and the like.

        • Ronniesaunders

          WOW! Damn you are comparing what happended to the Jews in Germany with the hiring of a Anglo at Essence Magazine? Negroes have always been silent about everything except for that period  from 1945 to 1985 and we gave them hell.

          • Uniquely Black

            My point is that passivity has been the enemy of society since society began.  People passively accepting each act as “It’s fine…  I have not problem with it.”  That is where we are.  I refuse to accept what the news outlets tell me I should be concerned about.  In example, yesterday a young white kid goes missing and 5 minutes of the news hour is dedicated to his situation,  Right behind that 30 seconds is given to two little black girls who had gone missing too!  Does this not tell us that the agenda in the U.S. is?  If that agenda does not REALLY have people who look like me as it’s primary concern I certainly get bothered as I see BET and Essence finally bite the dust!  For me it is not just about money or corporate takeovers and “stock options.”  It is also about seeing that my daughters and sons know who they really are.  Fewer and fewer voices are equally concerned about that same thing.  We are passively being lulled to sleep.

          • Ronniesaunders

            I agree with you what you have said my brother

        • SapphiresMomma

          WOW!

          That is quite a leap!

          LOL!  is all I can say.

      • Lisa

        I think there is something to be said for keeping a publication that is owned and run by black folks.  There is a certain power that comes from that that actually helps the entire community.  But the bottom line is print media is losing money so it was probably a matter of bring in white investors or go under.  They chose to stay afloat.  But as you say, once you bring in investors–management generally changes because the idea is–you couldn’t make this work that’s why you needed an investor so we are not letting you make the decisions.  On a personal note, Essence became unreadable for me just about around the time it’s nonblack investors entered the picture.  I recently got another subscription using expiring miles and all I can say is when that subscription ends–I’m done.  It simply is not the magazine it use to be and that’s a product of it’s new investors input.  

  • Ttisbac

    SUUUUUURRRRRRRRRRRE. Why not maybe we can learn a little more about ourselves, like how we became such SELLOUTS !  CAUSE I BET WE DON’T KNOW THAT EITHER !

  • Ttisbac

    SUUUUUURRRRRRRRRRRE. Why not maybe we can learn a little more about ourselves, like how we became such SELLOUTS !  CAUSE I BET WE DON’T KNOW THAT EITHER !

  • The Ugly Truth

    Don’t be silly.  They just did a study showing that your average white persons net worth is $97,000.  The average net worth for an African American is $2,000.  Go to a black community and Asians, Whites, Arabs, etc… Owned the nail shops, convient stores, beauty supply, fast food chains, etc… And most of them DO NOT hire blacks from the community.  They hire their own kind.  I STUDY ECONOMICS and OWN BUSINESSES so I know what I’m talking about.

    Blacks need to wake up and realize that EVERY RACE PRACTICES GROUP ECONOMICS BUT BLACKS.  So any fool who tries to tell you “Things have changed” is a complete mis-educated, mis-guided, blind old fool. 

    I challenge ANYONE to refute what I am saying.   The problem is we don’t know ANYTHING about how economics works so we can’t see how every other race is getting wealthier while blacks continue to remain at the bottom and get poorer.  What I am saying is FACTS that can be backed by research, data, and stats.

    • SapphiresMomma

      Your are correct about SOME black, however not all, and I do not see anyone challenging you about your comment.

      I wonder in your studies did they give a clue as to why some Black folks allowed empty, inexpensive/rundown store fronts to sit empty in their communities for years/decades and not try to  ban together to lease/purchase those store fronts, and start some of the same businesses that the whites, Asians, Arabs, etc have come into the communnity and are apparently successful?
       
      You have to give it to some of those “people”. They work hard! Most were not rich! The come together as a unit/family. They all live over the business until each and every one is educated and can move on. The same thing Mexicans are doing right now. They are working hard at any job they can get. They live 2-3 families under one roof, they work and become educated and then move on when they can afford to purchase their own properties. Black folks could have done the same things but some of us do not have that type mentality. Some just sit year after year and do absolutely nothing to change their plight!

      This is also the truth!

      I wish you could reach these type black folks with your knowledge of economics and other business knowledge/ education.

      We can’t complain about these “others” coming into our communities buying/leaesing properties, then starting businesses, when we have not made one move to do the exact same thing!

      • The Ugly Truth

        I AGREE 100% with your soloutions.  But let me give you  FACTS from actual DATA.  There is so much racism against blacks at a level most of you cannot understand because it’s hidden. 

        1. The REAL reason asian’s, arabs, jews, etc were able to move into our neighborhoods is not because they just “Work Hard”… The have centralized banks that ONLY lend to their own people.   Many blacks were denied loans therefore unable to receive capital from racist banks as well as government.

        2. Blacks are the only people who believe in “integration”.   Blacks thinks it’s wrong for a black owned business, to hire all blacks, and for black people to ONLY shop at black stores.  This caused many blacks to leave their community to go shop in “White” stores because thought it would boost their “Self esteem”.

        This caused many blacked owned businesses to shut down.  Why? Because whites, asians, etc were not driving into black neighborhoods to spend their money.  They are not that foolish.  They know circulating money IN their community is the ONLY way to build it.

        3.  The crack epidemic.  Thanks to the goverment for targeting distribution of our communities with this new highly addictive scientific creation they were able to wipe out an entire generation.  Professionals, business owners, atheletes, teachers, etc in our community lives were destroyed by crack.

        This is actually when the asians and arabs took advantage of our pain.

        4. I don’t have a problem with Asains, Arabs, Whites, etc opening businesses in our communities.  THAT’S CAPITALISM.  Which I believe in.

        What I do have a problem with is they do not HIRE blacks from the community in which they open the business.  THAT’S NOT CAPITALISM that’s WICKEDNESS.

        Anyone who understand economics will tell you that if you don’t hire ppl from the community you are sucking it dry until eventually there is nothing left.  Which is directly linked to the increase in crime in our communities.

        5. Go to CHINATOWN, JEWISH TOWN, etc… and try to get a job.  They won’t even  think about hiring you.

        6. EDUCATION – Because blacks wanted integration so much we have 0 control over what is being taught in our schools.  So we are not taught about finance, building net worth, opening businesses, etc.. We are taught to go to school and go find a job.  Which is TERRIBLE advice.

        7. NO HOME LAND – Their are PLENTY of reasons of how SLAVERY is still deeply affecting us today. But from a community standpoint we have no LAND that BINDS us as a community. 

        Many blacks don’t consider themselves “African” anymore.  So we don’t have any homeland that causes us to MOVE and LIVE as a GROUP.   So we are tricked into living as “Individuals”, trying to “Get OURS” in this so called “American Dream”.

        So when one BLACK makes it, that’s one SUCCESSFUL black family.  When one ASIAN makes it, he pulls up another 100. 

        These are just a FEW things we as blacks should be aware of economically.  But it’s TIME we take RESPONSIBILITY. 

        INTEGRATION FAILED… Now we must rebuild our communities  and our wealth.

        • SapphiresMomma

          Thank you for your comments/post!

          I AGREE 100% with your soloutions.  But let me give you  FACTS from actual DATA.  There is so much racism against blacks at a level most of you cannot understand because it’s hidden. 
          I agree! However, it has always been there! It is not new!
          1. The REAL reason asian’s, arabs, jews, etc were able to move into our neighborhoods is not because they just “Work Hard”… The have centralized banks that ONLY lend to their own people.   Many blacks were denied loans therefore unable to receive capital from racist banks as well as government.1. The REAL reason asian’s, arabs, jews, etc were able to move into our neighborhoods is not because they just “Work Hard”… The have centralized banks that ONLY lend to their own people.   Many blacks were denied loans therefore unable to receive capital from racist banks as well as government. 
          This is true, but not in all cases. Some of these folks had nothing, and could not get any bank to give them any loan. Some started with collected monies from family, and this is what black folks could have done. Many did not purchase their store fronts, so they leased them until they could buy (some Asians did just that with my grandmothers property), and they would go downtown with their old trucks and buy wholesale fruits, veggies, and other good to stock these stores until they could do better. I understand what you are saying but there are many ways that black people could have been in those same store fronts opening up businesses.
          2. Blacks are the only people who believe in “integration”.   Blacks thinks it’s wrong for a black owned business, to hire all blacks, and for black people to ONLY shop at black stores.  This caused many blacks to leave their community to go shop in “White” stores because thought it would boost their “Self esteem”.
           
          Well, I agree somewhat. We are NOT the only people who agree with integration, but I do know what you mean. However, many of our stores do not offer the quality and or customer service we can get with others. We need to have quality/value and something to offer folks if you want them to shop with you. 
          This caused many blacked owned businesses to shut down.  Why? Because whites, asians, etc were not driving into black neighborhoods to spend their money.  They are not that foolish.  They know circulating money IN their community is the ONLY way to build it.
           
          And they also know that they, too, will not get quality or products they want! But again, I do understand what you mean!3.  The crack epidemic.  Thanks to the goverment for targeting distribution of our communities with this new highly addictive scientific creation they were able to wipe out an entire generation.  Professionals, business owners, atheletes, teachers, etc in our community lives were destroyed by crack.
          But what kind of people are we to ALLOW whites or anyone else to do this to us?  Because they supplied it does that mean we have to use it and sell it?  Are we that stupid of a people?This is actually when the asians and arabs took advantage of our pain.4. I don’t have a problem with Asains, Arabs, Whites, etc opening businesses in our communities.  THAT’S CAPITALISM.  Which I believe in.
           
          True!”What I do have a problem with is they do not HIRE blacks from the community in which they open the business.  THAT’S NOT CAPITALISM that’s WICKEDNESS.”
           
          I agree, however some of that is because they are small, family owned, and most of the people working in those small stores are family!
          “Anyone who understand economics will tell you that if you don’t hire ppl from the community you are sucking it dry until eventually there is nothing left.  Which is directly linked to the increase in crime in our communities.”
           
          Can’t agree with that! HIP-HOP (some of it), careless, rappers, drugs, and poor parenting has lead to increased crime in our communities.
          5. Go to CHINATOWN, JEWISH TOWN, etc… and try to get a job.  They won’t even  think about hiring you.I agree!
          6. EDUCATION – Because blacks wanted integration so much we have 0 control over what is being taught in our schools.  So we are not taught about finance, building net worth, opening businesses, etc.. We are taught to go to school and go find a job.  Which is TERRIBLE advice.6. EDUCATION – Because blacks wanted integration so much we have 0 control over what is being taught in our schools.  So we are not taught about finance, building net worth, opening businesses, etc.. We are taught to go to school and go find a job.  Which is TERRIBLE advice. 
          Hummm, not always! And like I stated, education is out here for free IF you want it. In fact, If you are poor/low income not only education, but other advantages as well! Tax payers like me foot the bill for all of that!
          7. NO HOME LAND – Their are PLENTY of reasons of how SLAVERY is still deeply affecting us today. But from a community standpoint we have no LAND that BINDS us as a community.  7. NO HOME LAND – Their are PLENTY of reasons of how SLAVERY is still deeply affecting us today. But from a community standpoint we have no LAND that BINDS us as a community.   
          The land that binds us is the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!  We are Americans. No one is trying to go back to Africa. This is simply the truth! This is where our forefathers are buried. This is where they slaved/worked.
          Many blacks don’t consider themselves “African” anymore.  So we don’t have any homeland that causes us to MOVE and LIVE as a GROUP.   So we are tricked into living as “Individuals”, trying to “Get OURS” in this so called “American Dream”.
           
          See above commentSo when one BLACK makes it, that’s one SUCCESSFUL black family.  When one ASIAN makes it, he pulls up another 100.
           
          Well, that is not true for the most part. Many black folk have helped other blacks to become successful.  These are just a FEW things we as blacks should be aware of economically.  But it’s TIME we take RESPONSIBILITY. 
           
          Responsibility!!!  Now that I agree on 100%INTEGRATION FAILED… Now we must rebuild our communities  and our wealth.

          • SapphiresMomma

            Sorry, The Ugly Truth!

            If someone knows how to DELETE the previous post, please do so or give me instruction.

            Thx!

          • Uniquely Black

            The UNCF said, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”

            I say “A mind is a terrible thing…”

        • Kunta

          The Ugly Truth,

          I really applaud you for taking the time to explain several of the root causes that are linked to the current state of black america. Some choose to ignore these facts and pretend that we are soley to blame and that we should be responsible for correcting  the actions of others against our people. Some choose not to acknowledge the institutionalized racism that we face everyday. Some choose to turn a blind eye in hopes for seeing prosperity through a dream, but while their dreaming many of us are living a nightmare.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_X5Y5CDC2MEBI7VQ4DBWYXEGHSA Eric

        There is really only two ways to look at it.  Either Blacks are inferior, and genetically unable to make the positive decisions that other races make.  Or, there is something hindering Blacks from making the those positive decisions.  There is no grey area in this matter.  Most tend to believe that Blacks or incapable of making such decision, thus are a product of their own innate inabilities.  This is called White Supremacy, and the majority of Americans have drank the Koo-laid for centuries.  However, to ask the question “why haven’t blacks banned together and bought the abandon buildings?” is veiling one’s one subscription to the White Supremacist dogma.

        The truth of the matter is that if you are unable to discuss the term “redlining”, you really don’t have a clue about the African American urban situation.  Redlining was the systematic denial of African Americans to Fair Housing, Banks, and other pertinent resources that the groups you mentioned had access to.  This is basic knowledge about the structural issues that were thrust on to the Black Community to ensure that they remain part of the permanent under-class.   And this is only scratching the surface…

        Now you may be black, but your mind is indoctrinated with ideals that are very foreign to people who are socially conscious.  We have never controlled the schools, media, government, and corporations that manufacture “the mentality” you are speaking about.  Its actually quite the contrary being that the people who despise us the most have also been the people who control the social institutions that create our “mentality.”

        Now on the topic of Essence, I don’t know anything about this person that they appointed as managing editor.  It just seems extremely suspicious given the fact that White America has persisted in CONTROLLING the media outlets that help shape the black communities value system.  This whole discussion about whether or not Blacks have the ability to govern our own communities is ludicrous. But its also evident how deeply influenced we have been to where we are even confused about are own collective abilities.

    • Phinesse Demps

      ABSOLUTELY CORRECT!

    • Anonymous

      And could be the Afrikan American owners of Essence knew about economics and thereby knew when to sell thereby not sellouts.

    • LIsa

      There really is only about two or three economic rules that African Americans in those very communities need to learn; they are:
      1. don’t just rely on a job for your income-figure out how to make you money work for you, i.e., generate more money
      2. don’t get caught up in being a consumer–think about how much you bring home and live below that
      3. teach your children these lessons about the value of money, credit, saving, consumerism.

      The easy way to learn these things- pick up some books in a public library and venture outside your own neighborhood and see how other people are living and take your kids so that they have a desire for more!

  • Anonymous

    Doesn’t matter what we think. Anything, anywhere, anyone Afrikan American/Black that is, who is prosperous in money, White folks will have their hands in it to get the biggest piece of the pie!

    • Gwen Wood

      Well said! BUT, not THEIR problem but OUR’S!  jus’ sayin’ ~ g.

      • Anonymous

        That’s why we need to wake up and stop giving them our stuff, ya know!

  • Gwood917

    Why NOT a WHITE person in that position? Most all media is managed &/or controlled by NON African-Americans, including Essence Magazine!  The IMPORTANT issue here is whether or NOT the publication addresses the concerns, issues & important challenges faced by the African-American segment (readership)  of the USA population & SPECIFICALLY, concerns of  the African-American FEMALE demographic.  If the magazine addresses & succeeds in delivering a product that accomplishes these goals ~ it really IS  irrelevant who is at the “HELM!”  ~   Don’t ‘cha think” jus’ sayin’ ~  g.

    • Uniquely Black

      Have we become so blinded that we believe a white run magazine can better address our concerns than we can? Sell to the highest bidder, right? “I got to get mines”… Is that it?

      We are losing ourselves.. some to poverty and crime others to greed and money. JUST SAYING!!!!

  • Tula Keti-Kota

    Should a Black person be a senior executive at a predominantly white corporation?  Why not?  Same applies to Essence.

    “…those who set out to slay dragons, can not turn around and become the dragon” – I think Nietzche said something like that….It applies herein…

  • Meccanaje

    I grew up on Essence, and loved the Uniqueness of it, and have stopped, my subscription, my mother’s subscription, including the majority of the women in my family (some left along time ago)!! Why, because when Susan Taylor left it changed a bit!!! and now we must give up two positions because Time, has the last say!!! 

    SMomma are you caucasian because you lost me!!!

    You sound like a straight sellout and would give everything up including your own soul for the riches!!!

    • PurpleZoe

      Agreed.

  • Ifatyowa

    And he reached the top with a B.A. degree in English!

  • Keemba

    HELL NAW! That would be like Farakhan editing the Mein Kampf!

  • Keemba

    It doesn’t matter who owns Essence.  The mag is suppose to be about black people, thought, etc.  White people cannot give a black point of view bc they ain’t black and they don’t know black experiences.  So, no!  Secondly, I am so sick of black people wanting to Kumbaya with whites while they are firing blacks and giving their jobs to their white friends.  And while whites are systematically eliminating black businesses.  Essence is a prime example.  If whites have taken over a “Black” mag and perpetrating it as a “Black” mag  then at least give it a “Black” mind and let a “Black” man/woman a job!!!!

    Dr. Neeley Fuller said, “if you don’t understand white supremacy (racism), what it is and how it functions, then everything else you think you understand will only confuse you!

    Afirmative Action started out to be a law to provide equality for generations of discrimination for blacks and now it has been coopted by white women, gays and young white males.  Black people need to wake up!

    Before segregation laws we had our own businesses and hired our own people.  There was even more employment for blacks then than today!  If you don’t keep your eyes on the prize you will be hypnotized into blaming yourself for your own oppression!

    • Ronniesaunders

      Teach brother Teach!

    • TWG

      My apologies, Keemba, but you speak as though Essence was ‘taken over’ and not SOLD by its owners? White supremacy is not the same thing as racism. Racism is a choice and White Supremacy is simply a ‘social dynamic’ based on the historic culture of the United States. And your comment that white people just ‘took over’ Essence as though they, themselves felt it is within their ‘rights’ as white people to do so also suggests that there is a conspiracy against black people. However, I seemed to have been left out of the gigantic meeting of white people behind closed doors discussing plans to ‘systematically’ take over black business. 
      I believe that we have social issues that are based on group and individual choices and those go deeper than you and I can reach. I think the entire country should wake up and stop giving into a consumeristic society that doesn’t care about either one of us.

      • Ronniesaunders

        You don’t know what the hell you are talking about on the subject of White supremacy and racism so quit trying to lecture brother Keemba on said subject.
        Racism is inherit in the systems of white supremacy whether it be systemic racism/ institutional racism or individual racism.

  • Denise Kindred

    Once Essence ownerhip came under white control appointing a white male to manage  Essence Magazine is to be expected.  This is no surprise to me because ownership ditates power to hire whomever they want.   I expect more and more white people and less and less black people to be hired from now on at Essence.  Whenever a business venture is successful and makes loads of money a large corporation with far reaching resources seizes the opportunity to “make an offer” the original owners can’t refuse.  Follow the money.  This is sad to me because I remember the time Essence first arrived on the scene it was so exciting because finally black women had a magazine that catered to exclusively to them. Black women really needed that and Essence showed the world that black women do not fit into a stereotypical box. I just don’t believe that out of the many college educated black women who are looking for a job they could not fine a viable candidate to manage Essence.  What can a white male tell me about the trials and tribulations of being a black woman in America.  I am not renewing my subscription because lately the magazine is without substance and relevance.  When is the last time the magzine covered any of these issues that directly effect Black women who deal with these issues everyday.  High black infant mortality rate, the high drop rate out of our sons and daughters from middle and high school, how to survive in this economy when you are unemployed long term, why it is easier to get guns and drugs in our community than a library card, navagating through the judicial system when you  or a family member are innocent, and the political anexoria of black women, etc.  I already know how to dress, put on makeup, decorate my house, plan meals with little or no budget. Get real and really address  the issues black women have to deal with on a daily basis. This will never happen now that we really are not in control.

    • Ronniesaunders

      Didn’t white men run the plantations in the Antebellum South? Weren’t white men also the overseers of said plantations along with some house Negroes?
      I agree with everything you have said about control.
      I bet you this Anglo that they hired was probably educated at Dartmouth or some other elite school who also probably tells jokes about Black women.
      Now that you know that Essence is owned by whites and whites are basically running things just don’t buy it. Yes they still employed a few Negroes but they aren’t going to speak out about damn thing in near of loosing their jigs. Negroes are afraid of their own shadow.

    • Anonymous

      Folks wake up and smell the roses! Time Inc purchased outright Essence Magazine in 2008, after purchasing 49% in 2000. Up to 2000 Essence might have been considered a cultural icon for African American women, but not after the purchase by Time Inc. After the purchase in 2008 Essence became just another asset in the Time Inc. corporation’s conglomerate empire. Time Inc’s exclusive interest in Essence is how many magazines can it sell, and Time Inc. does not care who or what group comprises the market.

      Now let’s get to Mr. Bullderdick, the new managing editor of Essence. The executive powers that be in Time Inc. have decided that Essence is not generating the capital it expected when they completed the purchase in 2008. So they have handed Mr. Bullderdick (a name most fitting for this situation) the task of “turning the magazine” around. It is my prediction that he most likely will begin to move the magazine initiallly towards a younger audience of African american females by featuring young black performers with whom the target generations can identify. The content will quickly become  more dumbed down and glitzy. The bridge from young black female readers to a general youth audience will be fairly easy to make if Mr, Bullderdick’s corporate daddy is willing to wait for the transition.

      Time will tell on this prediction, but one thing for sure Essence will never go back to being a support platform for the interests of mature African American women. You can take that to the bank. Put a fork in it, it’s done!

  • Meanchick

    I grew up on Ebony/Essence/Jet magaines. It was on the coffee tables of every black person we knew, in churches, doctor’s offices, etc. The point I want to make is that this is  not about whether or not the man is qualified, the point is that it relegates the very purpose of why these magazines were created in the first place. We needed a magazine that gave us a voice. I’m a journalism student and I know how bad the job market is for journalists, especially African-American journalists and I’m completely offended that this decision was made. Can we ever have and keep something that is ours and just for us? Why do we always have to go ‘mainstream?’ My mother cancelled her subscriptions when the fashion editor was hired, not because she was white, but because as talented as she may be, there are just as many talented black women who could have had the position. My feelings exactly about this newest hiring. Favoritism, Nepotism and looking out for each other is something white people do without guilt or shame about it. We allow great jobs that should go to qualified black women, go to a white person to prove that we don’t do what they do? Why do we have to prove anything? Where was the advertisement for these positions before the two caucasian people were hired? I don’t remember seeing or hearing about it, do you? We don’t have a solid foundation. We never will have one until we decide that some things are just not for sale, some things have no price tag, some things are not worth selling our souls, culture and community. I knew aboiut the owner change and tried to stick with it, although the content changed drastically and the everyday black woman was no longer celebrated as much as the black female celebrity, in my opinion. I noticed, for example, that REAL plus size women were non-existent and we were fed the image of what a plus size woman SHOULD look like-no bigger than a size 16. Our black woman, the backbone of the black community is being diluted, phased out slowly. I see black men on the cover who don’t date or aren’t married to black women. When is the last time a non-celebrity was on the cover of Essence? It’s happening and some of us are too ‘wannabe’ to see that.

  • Theressa-twesley

    Thanks, Dr. Watkins, for telling the truth!

  • Mrs. S. Payne

    Essence has become an advertising rag for largely white owned companies. It’s not surprising that it would hire a white male. But, it was a ludicrous decision and shows that black people have not learned anything about power in this country. Black people will remain the oppressed minority in the USA because black people in power do not understand how to raise their own people up.

  • http://mybrowneyedview.com msladydeborah

    I think that the real question is not the white male taking over the management of Essence. I question if Essence is still a relevant publication period. I started out with Essence in the beginning and was a regular subscriber for years. About five years ago, I found myself becoming bored with the article content of the publication. It was irrelvant to me as a woman.  I did not renew my subscription and I know that I have only looked at a couple of issues since then. At this point in time, does it honestly matter who determines the content? 

    • Anonymous

      My sentiments exactly!  Both my mother and I have been subscribers to Essence since the beginning, but my current subscription may very well be my last.  It feels like when Susan Taylor stepped down from her post as Editor in Chief, the spirit of the magazine went away like her “In the Spirit” column.  Gone is the in depth reporting on issues of substance, and they are replaced with superficial celebrity interviews, articles on dating, and fashion. 

  • Miss Mae

    Until we as a community wake up and learn how to use our economic power we will continue to waste time on these arguments.  When are we as a community going to stop being consumers sitting on the side lines and watching things happen OR be investors in our community making things happen being in the game being a major player.  Do you think Jay Z, Russell Simmons, Oprah waste their time talking about the communities issues or do they get up off their behind and invest.  We need as a collective body to invest in our futures and our children’s, grandchildren’s future.  The issue is not about hiring a white male the issue is why we didn’t buy it as a collective body and allow Time Inc. to buy it?  It is their magazine now and they can do what they want with it.  When are we going to buy our own magazines, hotels, Media Empire?  Until we as a people get it and invest and stop buying things that deprecate over time, we will continue to be consumers putting our money in someone else’s pocket that will send their children to the best schools, generate income for someone else to enjoy.  Let’s start being Employers not Employees.  Let’s start investing in our global interest and not the interest of someone else that can send your sons, daughters off to war. 

    • Ronniesaunders

      Very well said sister Miss Mae. We have been pimped by the Jews, Anglo’s, Koreans, and now the damn Arabs who don’t give a sweet shit about us or our interest just like that fake tan puppet in the Oval Office.

  • Omarali81

    NO! NO! NO! we need our owne

  • Goldie G

    I stopped my subscription to Essence a long time ago and will not purchase from the stands either. In a few years they will have other races on the cover and folks will forget that it once was a magazine for American Black women.  Let the maggots in and they eat everything in sight, of course it is always easier to usher them in when another black is opening the door. 

  • stopthstupidity

    Just for a moment look at the Essence music festival, what the hell is that about. More dog and pony shows for us to shake and show our stuff, spend lots of money and sing.  Can you imagine the money that is exchanged just to have a good time and a few workshops thrown in.  In all honesty there is a multitude of Blacks who could run any magazine or corporation but because we are so splintered we cannot make the gains we are capable of making.  We are easily distracted.  How about Ebony and Jet being bought out, once again the Ebony Fair was one of the most black elite events of the year.  Some of us speak like it is wrong for us to want our people to prosper and take pride in our own, while every other race does exactly that with no apologies.  We informed and intelligent Blacks must forge ahead anyway.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Shavaht Michael Adams

    YOU’RE MAKING PERFECT SENSE HERE, WHOEVER MADE THAT DECISION HAS NO FAITH IN THEIR OWN KIND! WHITE PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS TRYING TO CONTROL WHAT WE THINK AND HOW WE IMAGE OURSELVES, MMMM….HINT HINT, HISTORICALLY COLONIZED MIND SETS, LOOK AT THAT COVER DOES JENNIFER’S HAIR LOOK BLACK OR WHITE? CHANGING OUR THINKING CHANGES OUR RESULTS!

  • Peter Haskett

    Old magazine guy here. On most magazines, a managing editor is an editorial traffic coordinator. It’s his/her job to make sure that the stories get assigned, that the writers submit them by their deadlines, that copy and art get routed to production on time, that freelancers get paid, etc. While the ME might have some influence over editorial direction, the senior voice always belongs to the chief editor. Working with the publisher, the chief editor develops and implements the editorial strategy and sets the tone and the style of the magazine as a whole. The ME’s job, while important, is secondary to the role of the chief editor.

    I point out all of this because Dr. Watkins and some of the respondents seem to be needlessly worried about what Mr. Bullerdick (love that name!) might do to the editorial integrity of Essence in his role as its ME.  

    • Makarios72

      I get that Peter, and he does have a funny name (ha ha ha).  But my reality says that his influence will grow over time, and also it is just another signet to us all that we are continuing to lose our grip on the unique expression we bring to the American landscape. 

  • Peter Haskett

    Old magazine guy here. On most magazines, a managing editor is an editorial traffic coordinator. It’s his/her job to make sure that the stories get assigned, that the writers submit them by their deadlines, that copy and art get routed to production on time, that freelancers get paid, etc. While the ME might have some influence over editorial direction, the senior voice always belongs to the chief editor. Working with the publisher, the chief editor develops and implements the editorial strategy and sets the tone and the style of the magazine as a whole. The ME’s job, while important, is secondary to the role of the chief editor.

    I point out all of this because Dr. Watkins and some of the respondents seem to be needlessly worried about what Mr. Bullerdick (love that name!) might do to the editorial integrity of Essence in his role as its ME.   

  • Anonymous

    Frank Robinson managed a baseball team owned by a White syndicate, as did Bill Russell and Tony Dungy. So, What is the problem?

    • Uniquely Black

      We are not talking about sports teams.  Those organizations want to win games.  They couldn’t care if you were green.  If you were able to help them win championships they will enlist your services.  There purpose is plane and simple.  However, Essence has had a directive, purpose and plan to further the black agenda through information about, for and to black people.  Apples and oranges my friend.  That’s the problem!

  • Jazzy 78

    My People! My People!  When are you going to WAKE UP!  Why do you feel we need a
    white person to lead up.  You don’t see other races running to the white man!  That slave mentality is taking years to overcome, and I wonder and hope the next generation will break the chains!  A white man told my daughter years ago that their girls are encourage to date/marry Black men.  They know their race is becoming extinct. They also want our money (?)!  I encourage our youth to read “The Autobiograph of MALCOLM X. It is old (1973) but well worth the read.  You will read just how dangerous, devious and nasty their culture is!  You don’t see the chinese, japanese mingeling  with us. But our females will run to their shops to have their nails done!  What’s wrong with ths picture? What you don’t know is, the chemicals from the polish is going straight to you bloodstream!  And you wonder why you have health challenges.  We are the powerful people in the world!
    That is why others are trying to destroy us!  Are you going to allow that to happen?

    Let us all come together and support each other.

    • TokenWhiteGirl

      I think your daughter talked to a crazy white man.

      • Meccanaje

        You are truly a token and act just like your kind…you can’t help to be what you are and join this debate without making any sense…if you have no solutions than why bring your token bullcrap on this sight!

  • TWG :)

    If the magazine is geared toward African-American women, then why hire a man at all? Is he the most qualified applicant? If it is truly geared toward African-American women, why are some of the African-American celebrities that are profiled on the cover trying to ‘look white’? Not in the skin-bleaching sense, but in the long, flowing hair kinda way.

    Perhaps a magazine’s main source of income are those companies that advertise in it, i.e. Consumerism. And Consumerism is an issue in this country regardless of race. Our (American) society’s views of beauty are so contorted and BIASED that it does not allow for OUR DIFFERENCES to even be considered as beauty. The almighty dollar, not race, is what the real issue is – and it’s the root of discontentment. And honestly, I couldn’t care less about any magazine. As people in general, we are all here trying to make it.

    If people would just rise above all this consumer trash that NONE of us need like magazines or acrylic nails, etc. We’d be better off as a human race. Sorry, Jazzy78, I really don’t believe in ‘pure races’. We came from the same and it won’t end till we go back to the same – it will be a rather large population, however.

    I encourage all not to be disheartened by trivial pursuits. We should truly focus on what really matters…

  • RON

    It’s unbelieveable how our people are selling out and then want us to believe that this “WHITE GUY” has no power! If he didn’t have any power then he wouldn’t be there. After BET solded out, you would think that other BLACK owners would think twice about it. I guess as long as they’re making money it doesn’t matter. We’re always hearing about the reason why we don’t having anything is because we don’t support black owned businesses. Well that’s a bunch of BULLS**T! Just like Mr. Johnson they’re trying to say “DON’T LOOK AT THE WHITE GUY BEHIND THE CURTAIN, WE’RE STILL BLACK OWNED”

  • Beverly

    I remember reading my first issue of Essence in 1976, it was so impressive. I think I asked my Mom to subscribe for me. But at any rate I was an avid reader of Essence, I continue to read until a few years ago, I lost interest, it began to lose what was really going on in the Black community and what it represent. You can usually tell when something began to slip, you can’t quite put your finger on it but you know something is missing. By Essence selling out proves my feeling was right I remember I could not wait to receive each month issue. So since I have not pick up an issue in quite sometime now. But knowing what has taken place, I am done how could such a beautiful magazine sell out, especially to someone that hasn’t a clue. I still have several of my old issue of Essence, which I will keep.

    I would like to add, how can another nationality know what we want or how we feel, when they have never walked in our shoes. If we come together as a race (People of Color) so much could and would be accomplished. There is so much talent in us as a race but we are so afraid to let it out without being told when or how. We are an envy race which mean we are SPECIAL if we would just unite and keep what we build, we would definite GROW and what we build could keep and not sell out too another race.

  • Beverly

    I remember reading my first issue of Essence in 1976, it was so impressive. I think I asked my Mom to subscribe for me. But at any rate I was an avid reader of Essence, I continue to read until a few years ago, I lost interest, it began to lose what was really going on in the Black community and what it represent. You can usually tell when something began to slip, you can’t quite put your finger on it but you know something is missing. By Essence selling out proves my feeling was right I remember I could not wait to receive each month issue. So since I have not pick up an issue in quite sometime now. But knowing what has taken place, I am done how could such a beautiful magazine sell out, especially to someone that hasn’t a clue. I still have several of my old issue of Essence, which I will keep.

    I would like to add, how can another nationality know what we want or how we feel, when they have never walked in our shoes. If we come together as a race (People of Color) so much could and would be accomplished. There is so much talent in us as a race but we are so afraid to let it out without being told when or how. We are an envy race which mean we are SPECIAL if we would just unite and keep what we build, we would definite GROW and what we build could keep and not sell out too another race.

  • Barbara2

    Until we wake up, the future for young black children will be lost.  America is running short on black leaders now.  The threat of a black child being educated in America is dripping down the drain.  Blacks that have earned titles in front of their names are killinng off the young black race quicker than the whites.  Appointments of whites are killing ALL jobs outlook for the young blacks that can; read, write, and do the strong thinking.

    • SapphiresMomma

      Barabra, I beg to differ:

      “Until we wake up, the future for young black children will be lost.”

      Many of us are awake. We have never been asleep! The future of my children is very bright. They are well taken care of, educated, and from a family that has raised them well. All of my friends children are doing very well. The key point here is that we are raising our children to be productive adults/human beings

       “America is running short on black leaders now.”

      Do we really need a “black” leader? Who do you think that person should be?

       “The threat of a black child being educated in America is dripping down the drain. ”

      Not true!  Education is free for those who want it, and take advantage of it. Again, parenting plays a major role here!

      ” Blacks that have earned titles in front of their names are killinng off the young black race quicker than the whites.”

      Again, not true!  Blacks are killing other blacks quicker than whites, or anyone else. 

       ” Appointments of whites are killing ALL jobs outlook for the young blacks that can; read, write, and do the strong thinking.”

      Really, all of them?

      As someone has already mentione on this blog. We have so many other important issues that need attention rather than becoming “emotional” over a WHITE OWNED COMPANY, giving a WHITE MALE, a managing position with THEIR COMPANY!

      But, I respect your opinion, and I can understand some of where you are trying to go.

  • Anonymous

    A friend sent me this blog and asked what I thought. What I think is that Dr. Watkins doesn’t know very much about magazines job titles and functions and does a real disservice in stirring up a dust storm over nothing. The managing editor is in charge of production, making sure copy flows on schedule and in good shape. During the five years I was editor in chief of Essence in chief we happened to have an excellent managing editor who also happened to be white and did a superb job of editing as well. She did not pitch or assign stories, approve layouts, select photos,  submit ideas or shape content. But she had held that position for so many years and she certainly knew a thing or two about our readers.  She instead worked closely with the printer, the ad reps and others in charge of making sure the magazine came out when it was supposed to. Although the responsiblities of managing editors — at least at magazines as opposed to newspapers — may differ, in many cases they are as I have described.

    There are so many things we can get in a tizzy about these days: the economy, unemployment, Rupert Murdoch, Fox TV, Michelle and Sarah, Little Wayne. The list goes on. The race of the Essence Magazine “managing editor” should be way down on the list. When the argument made is a faulty one, it should be off the list. True “scholars” speak with authority about the things they know or thoroughly research what they don’t know.  Blog readers should be careful to separate genuine scholarship from pure baloney.

    Diane Weathers

    • Miss Mae

      Good Day Ms. Weathers, Thank you for the information.  I totally agree with you that there so many more important things that we can deal with as a community.  I am so sadden by the level of argument over a position with a magazine that was sold by African Americans to Time Inc. with that said, like I stated earlier it is Time Inc. to do with what they wish.  I wish we can come to some solutions on how we are going to invest in each other and our community, children and grandchild.  With public schools in NYC being closed to privatization for corporations to run.  Anyone think on how that is going to impact us down the line.  LONG WAITING LIST!  Children not getting into schools for two-three years at a time for lack of seats.  Health issues.  I just heard today another young man in my community had a stroke this is the third stroke from someone under 40 years old this year.  What is going on?  Young men murdering each other.  Petrifies being release in our community.  Children being murdered by the hands of their parents. Domestic Violence, infant mortality rate is on the rise and low birth rate the list goes on and on.  When are we going to invest in our community?  Or are we going to stay Consumers Employees and not Employers.

  • Anonymous

    This is why I don’t subscribe to Essence Mag anymore. I saw the change in the magazine’s articles, landscape on beauty and other things some years ago and I became disgusted with it. I’m a Black woman who prides myself with my race and the naturalness of my hair and Afrocentric perspectives. The magazine does not go into the wide range of who the Black woman is at this point and its a shame in my opinion that Essence has to be own by a eugenicist corporation like Time Warner and then to top it off have a white male at the manging editor like a Black woman or man wouldn’t be able to the job just as good or even better! I wonder if Time Warner ‘suggested’ this man into this position. Hmm.

  • AnthonyII

    Damn!!!!  O.K., alright, now, wait,, dayum…!?!?  That was my initial reaction, and I had planned on leavin it JUST LIKE THAT  b/c my sense is that most folks would know just where I’m comin from.
    As an African-American man,I remember the first time I saw Essence on the stands.  Cicely Tyson was on the cover.  I bought it, read it, subscribed to it. Shared it with my friend, she loved it: our friends, they loved it.  We seemed  anchored in a special way that probably gave birth to the phrase “It’s All Good”.
    There is nothing subliminal about this.  Doc Watkins thoughts are on point.  I refuse to believe there are no Black Women more qualified for this position.  It’s that simple.  This goes on the front burner.

     

  • Rwjacksonhh

    Essence will never bless my coffee table again and I won’t buy another until things cahange. A funny thing happened today, I called Essence and attempted to speak with Constance White and I got her A.A., I guess the woman didn’t like what I said, because she hung up twice.

    Like I said, “Never again!”

  • BeenThereSawThat

    Dr. Watkins, Essence had a white woman as managing editor from at least the early ’90s — when it was black-owned — until soon after it was fully acquired by Time Inc. She had no say in editorial content, just made sure i’s were dotted and t’s crossed, and that closes ran on schedule. To your point, though, there are lots of qualified black men and women who could fill that position, especially in an industry where we don’t trapeze from publication to publication as easily.

  • Boydbrbr239

    WHEN YOU ARE ILL AND GO TO AN EMERGENCY ROOM, DO YOU  REQUEST A BLACK DOCTOR,NURSE.OR BLACK HOUSE KEEPER.  IF YOU CAN INCREASE PRODUCTIVE COLOR IS NOT THE ANSWER OR THE QUESTION.

    THANKS.

  • BamShe108

    You don’t have to study economics or business to know the facts Ugly Truth. Whenever “we” do something that seems remotely negative, we attack one another. I gets tiring to hear all the time about what Blacks need to do. Successful Blacks are doing it, and those that are not don’t know how or are point blank unable to due to the lack of knowledge. When the Black women on reality TV gets started all you hear is their representation of us, and what “they’re” gonna think of us. To even term other ethnicities as judging us is insulting, and we do it more to one another. At least out loud we do. I don’t hear of any minority successes doing anything to give back to the community in the terms that they are able. What about free concerts in NYC during the summer for huge entertainers who charge $300 bucks for a good seat tickets the rest of the year.Their contributions are always noteworthy like donating money to this charity, donating computers to this school, etc. Not that these are not important because they are. Look at our biggest names in entertainment, athletics, etc. Their wives and girlfriends don’t look like me so if a white male is taking charge lets stop acting like this is something new. I go out into rough neighborhoods and I do talk to these fake gang members. I say fake because when these gangs started on the west coast there were guidelines. The guidelines today is just to say I am in a gang and I am. Initiation, not only do they not even know how to spell it, but they can’t even define it.Just ak one of them and my point is made. We sit and talk about things we know nothing about, and nothing we even try to learn about. We are a people that know everything, and when you know everything you can’t learn anything. We let White American call any group of young black males walking on the street together a gang, now a basketball team coming home from practice is stopped and searched because they’re a gang. I tell them I don’t worry about what they’ll do to me I am worried about what they’re doing to themselves. No one of substance shows any care or concern where it’s needed most so I wish we would stop worrying about the color of the new White Male Managing Editor. All these companies and corporations give grants and scholarships to forunate children who are a lot of times in posisitions to get additional academic scholarships. We need to start doing more than just complaining. I know I do, and I don’t need an army or approval to do so. I go to sleep with me at night, and when I look in the mirror Me is who I see. I can live with myself, because I do try. Talk is cheap, and actions always have spoken louder than words.

  • Goodbye Essence

    This is unfortuante, and I’m tired of white, asian, and other races making money off of things that pertain to us. A magazine for and about black women should be led and managed by black women.  I’m done….  Goodbye Essence.

  • Oshunn

    That’s what happens when we sell out to white corporations.  The former Black owners of Essence sold the publication to a white corporation.  For the most part, unlike Oprah, whites hire people who reflect their image.  So, whether a white male is the magaging editor doesn’t matter since CONSCIOUS Black people aren’t  in charge.

  • Oshunn

    That’s what happens when we sell out to white corporations.  The former Black owners of Essence sold the publication to a white corporation.  For the most part, unlike Oprah, whites hire people who reflect their image.  So, whether a white male is the magaging editor doesn’t matter since CONSCIOUS Black people aren’t  in charge.

  • Larome

    I agree with the ugly truth ,because that’s exactly what it is ,Dr.Claude Anderson talks about this in the book BLACK LABOR WHITE WEALTH a search for power and economic justice (pretty old book now but still relevant)so once again I agree with ugly truth 100 percent and will add its only getting worst.I am trying very hard to create my product’s so that I can empower my own kind.I see nothing wrong with self preservation ,except BLACK folks don’t understand it and every other group does….

  • Maya Parker

    No Not Really ! That would really make no sense. If Essence is based around the African American people, then why would you put any other race in charge? How would that Caucasian person know how to capture the thought or even the look?? long story short…..NO.! no disrespect to white people =o)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_T563IRI2GEXXKTAEB52VRCJ6HE Lavender Times

    As much as I loved ESSENCE in from the early 70’s till my college days in the 1980’s they have lost my consumer dollars.  Won’t tolerate blond blue eyed models anywhere except in a multicultural ad and the now white ownership has diluted the magazines content.  Only black women can and should run a magazine that CLAIMS to put Black Women first.  Never in history has a white owned anything put a Black Woman first.  We need nor want a white man’s interpretations of our style, politics, finances and family.  This is MY opinion.  Black woman age 50.

  • lala

    you should check out bullerdick’s Facebook page. crazy rantings

  • lala

    you should check out bullerdick’s Facebook page. crazy rantings