Jada Pinkett-Smith Asks Should White Women Be On Essence Covers?

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jps319 Jada Pinkett-Smith posted a commentary on her Facebook page recently that dealt with equality in the media. She posed a question to African American women about image and media equality when it comes to all women. Although she targeted one specific form of media, the question that she raises could include other media outlets aside from magazines.  As controversial or put off by the question as some may get, it is actually a question that should be considered, if we are talking about real equality amongst everyone. Below is the question that was posed.

“There is a question I want to ask today. I’m asking this question in the spirit of thinking outside of the box in order to open doors to new possibilities. These possibilities may be realistic or unrealistic. I also want to make it clear that there is no finger pointing here. I pose this question with the hope that it opens a discussion about how we can build a community for women based upon us all taking a deeper interest in one another. An interest where skin color, culture, and social class does not create barriers in sharing the commonality of being… women. With love and respect to all parties involved, my question is this…if we ask our white sisters, who tend to be the guardians of the covers of mainstream magazines, to consider women of color to grace these covers, should we not offer the same consideration to white women to grace our covers? Should women extend their power to other women simply because they are women? To my women of color, I am clear we must have something of our own, but is it possible to share in the spirit in which we ask our white sisters to share with us? I don’t know the answer and would love to hear your thoughts.”


Many of Pinkett-Smith’s followers responded with some valid explanations as to why African American magazines should or should not consider diversifying. One follower said,“Just because Cosmo puts a black woman on the cover doesn’t mean the content is for us! Nowhere in Cosmo can I find information about my hair care, skin care,healthcare or issues that plague black women! I hear you Mrs. Pinkett-Smith but I definitely don’t feel you!”

But isn’t fair, fair? On one hand it is easy to see where, Pinkett -Smith is coming from. African American women have always been fighting to be heard, even during the Second Wave of the Women’s Movement in the United States. During that time we were fighting not only to have our issues heard ,but we were fighting for equality within equality at that time. We were Sojourners who were staking our claim and saying , “hey we are women too.”

Now, in the 21 century, we see more African American women breaking the color lines and gracing the covers of Cosmo , Vogue, and other mainstream Caucasian magazines. But we have only scratched the surface. While it is true that Essence is a magazine who’s  focus was geared toward the issues of black women, the original owners ended up selling  the Magazine in 2005 to Time Inc. , which means that Caucasians own the magazine. What was once “for us and by us” has changed hands and has become watered down and irrelevant.

Essence Magazine has become a magazine that glosses over topics that specifically deal with black women, and the deep ceded issues that we face in an American society that never really accepted our image and our unique cultural differences in the first place. Now, Essence, a magazine that for more than 34 years had been a major staple for young African American girls growing up, is nothing more than a fashion magazine that does nothing to help African American women better themselves.  So to put a white woman on the cover really would not be a devastating blow, as the magazine does not belong to African Americans anyway.

 Asa Lovechild is an accomplished actress and singer out of New York City and a supporter of  One Billion Rising

Follow @asalovechild



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  1. deech

    March 20, 2013 at 10:19 am

    I do not think that Essence should put white women on the cover, as there are hundreds of mainstream mags that cater to them and their image already.

    White women are not my sisters, just like lot of black women are not my sisters. This whole ‘we’re all in this together’ meme has died years ago.

  2. Sharona

    March 20, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Good question but not a topic that interests me in the sense that Jada is expressing. I agree that it is something that some might want to think about, however, it’s not a valid issue as far as magazine covers go, imo. Nothing against the ‘white” ladies,however, I don’t think gracing the cover of Essence is where they belong. As a long time Essence subscriber, I have decided not to renew for various reasons, so in that spirit, it wouldn’t surprise me to start seeing “others” on their covers. I will view from afar.

    • Karen

      March 20, 2013 at 2:14 pm

      Sharona, as a white woman, I agree. It’s not racist to acknowledge that there are differences between us in skin care, hair care and other items that are addressed in women’s magazines.

  3. Lynn

    March 20, 2013 at 10:43 am

    I personally think that it would be devastating to use a Caucasian on the cover of Essence. I don’t care if the magazine isn’t owned by African Americans. Let’s keep it real. Cosmo, Vogue, Elle and other magazines aren’t owned by African Americans and you see how long it took for them to to use African American women on their covers. I don’t buy those magazines, but I do subscribe to Essence, and I’m happy my daughter and nieces can look at Essence and see someone who looks like her or a family member EVERY issue. She can also read articles that address her skin color and her hair type. Let’s not forget that Caucasian models & actresses have more doors opened to them than African Americans. Let’s keep the focus on “us. “Everyone has the right to their own opinion, but Hollywood is far from the real world. When you have status and money, you are treated differently.

    • chris

      March 20, 2013 at 11:22 am

      Can ask for segregation on public transport because the are not own by African american? we now playing the same game as the white but don’t call us racist ,stupidity at its best. I subscribed to most black and some white magazines although not american i live in uk , for me doesn’t matter who is on the cover of magazines its content am thinking about.. if you think like what world are you making for children to live in segregated one ? may be we need to go back to martin Luther words and apply to ourselves and see who we can better ourselves as people . If we have all black and white people thinking like you in the 21 century we wouldn’t have black man leading the free world today.

      • big annie

        March 20, 2013 at 12:08 pm

        We are not talking about segregation on public transportation. The question is, “Should white women be on Essence covers?”
        Essence was originallly develpoed because there was a void in the magazine arena addressing the topics that were of concern and interest to Black women.

        Since the ’70s until now, Black women cannot open a “mainstream” magazine and get beauty tips,natural hair care articles, honest reviews about products that work or don’t work for us. In mainstream mags, there wouldn’t be any eligible bachelors for us to look at or ones that were interested in dating Black women (hence, they agreed to be posted in Essence). In “mainstream” mags, there aren’t going to be any articles about Trayvon Martin or other murdered Black youths and letting us know ways to get involved. In “mainstream” mags, there are no articles addressing how the prison system is destroying the Black community and current changes in laws that finally address these companies that have refused to hire a person with a felony from 25-30 years ago. In “mainstream” mags, there are no article giving us suggestions on how to deal with racism in the workplace…how to deal with being excluded by your co-workers. In “mainstream” mags,there are no articles that express understanding on how Black women are frequenly viewed as being angry when all they are doing is expressing their opinion or when a Black woman is qualified for a position and is confident, she is deemed arrogant by white folks.

        This is not a philosophical question.It has nothing to do with Barack Obama being president. It is not about Black women being racist. Black women want a mag that addresses what they are interested in and they want the cover to reflect that.

        • Sherry

          March 20, 2013 at 1:52 pm

          This comment needs to be posted along with the question! This comment has deemed 2 vital points: TRUTH & ENUFF SAID

        • nancy rouland

          March 20, 2013 at 2:07 pm

          Amen big annie!!
          wonderful response, agree 100%!

        • Earl Smith

          March 20, 2013 at 3:22 pm

          The question of what blk women want in a mags i s a mute question. We did’nt love Essene mags enough to buy stock in it an have a say so in the management decision. Why not start an online venue and ask for investors. Having a say so about mags content is like voting. No vote no voIce. No stk no voIce about content of mags Sosuck up and take iy. Or. yoi know what to do. now.

          • Barbara

            March 20, 2013 at 5:40 pm

            Black women ARE doing magazines on-line. They need to maintain CONTROL of these magazines and the profits. They must not “sell out” as the ESSENCE people did.

            YES, put the White woman on the cover of ESSENCE. It will hasten the “flight” of Black women from this White owned magazine to a Black woman owned magazine that will discuss issues to move us forward in this country.

          • brownie

            March 21, 2013 at 1:36 pm

            I agree with this…white women however don’t have to buy stock in anything in order to have a say, white privilege grants them that and then some.

          • Bev

            March 21, 2013 at 5:12 pm

            I think you meant “moot” as in not open for debate, as opposed to “mute” as in unable to speak or silent.

        • Jah Larry Dread

          March 21, 2013 at 9:23 am

          Well stated big annie!

        • ally

          January 16, 2014 at 6:21 pm

          Finally a response that makes sense. Thank you!

      • Floyd

        March 20, 2013 at 12:48 pm

        Chris whether or not you know it we are still segregated and will
        be for a long time. Yes we go to same public functions, same restaurants, etc, but in our mind and soul we are still segregated.

        The question I have is what is wrong with being segregated, if
        we have all the physical, emotional and financial nourishments we
        need and can espire to any levels we desire?
        Remember the white man is not to be trusted. The Moors got them out of the dark ages that took 700 years, and like a doberman they
        turned on them, used there knowledge and creative and took over.
        This we should never let happen.Therefore we should be very cautious as to who is on the cover page of our magazine. I am not saying no white woman, all I am stating is be aware of the actions.

      • Prinzez

        March 20, 2013 at 2:19 pm

        Chris, Essence was made for the Black woman. Now, if Purina makes food for dogs, why would it be served to a human being. It was originated for Black women. Why work hard for your own and then passively say “here, you want all my hard work, it don’t mean nothing to me”!!!
        Jada wants publicity. Smart!

        • Jah Larry Dread

          March 21, 2013 at 9:45 am

          “Jada wants publicity” Maybe she does…then again maybe Jada has a level of conscious that black people, all black women and in particularly the black women of celebrity status should have! Is Mrs. Jada Pinkett-Smith the only black woman of celebrity status willing to put it out there? Big Up to her!

          • Prinzez

            March 21, 2013 at 10:31 am

            “willing to put it out there”! Willing – Wanting -Needing???! This was a question Jada asked that she knew would make sparks!! That’s all. What was her purpose? Why should she care what other people think about, if essence puts white women on the cover? It’s about story-telling.

        • Jah Larry Dread

          March 21, 2013 at 1:08 pm

          “Why should she care what other people think about, if essence puts white women on the cover?” If asked a question about a magazine that caters to black women…Jada Pinket-Smith is black and a woman. Why not? Would it be politically correct to ask this question to Lindsay Lohan?

      • Akbar

        March 20, 2013 at 3:11 pm

        Segregation is not the problem as we will always be separated into groups that we most relate to. American “segregation” was not about segregating equal races, but into powerful and powerless. Whites being the dominant group, and the Native Indians and ex Slaves being the latter. After slavery there was no need for the ex-Slaves, as the Immigrants with skills, were ready for the Industrial Revolution funded by free slave labor. Think about it, we were not even needed, we were superfluous after slavery. “Segregation” in the Chinese and any other Asiatic community is really not segregating themselves because there is no “intent” to keep others out. They have a distinct culture and language, one would automatically have little reason to be in the group unless they too shared these same traits. It’s about power, not bodies being segregated. Segregation is a legal term. De Facto segregation is what will always exist, not one homogenized group of people.

  4. Imsojazy

    March 20, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Umm, Charlize is African. South African to be exact. So how is this an issue? Jada wasn’t born in Africa. Nor was a lot of us North Americans. Fresh, people pick better reason to complain!

    • VRoll

      March 20, 2013 at 11:51 am

      The issue is not that she is African it’s about the fact this mag was for Sisters. But now that it’s white owned it’s not about showing positve images of our Sister, but just making money. As long as we let them control our media nothing will change. We need to have our own media outlets that have the best interest of our community in mind.
      STAY BLACK!!!

    • Marang

      March 20, 2013 at 2:55 pm

      @Imsojazy As a black South African women I have to break the news to you
      that white women (people) in my country have enjoyed the same white
      privilage that of white people globally. SA was colonized for 300yrs
      and then people of colour were subjected to 50yrs of Apartheid (wiki it).
      We have experienced & continue to experience the same struggles of
      “mainstream” media (newspapers, mags and TV) not recognizing us and
      catering for us, even though white people here make up 10% of our
      population, and black people about 80%!!! My mother bought Essence & Ebony
      for years for the same reason that American black women bought it. It is
      only in the last 20yrs that SA has magazines that cater to black women such
      as True Love magazine, because sadly enough even though we are the HUGE majority
      in SA, black women here are ignored and deemed irrelevant by mainstream
      white owned media/ publishing companies. White people run the world – period.
      I wish what Jada is suggesting was possible, but its a highly altruistic
      suggestion to expect black women to share their tiny platform with a world
      that still shows us daily that we are not the standard of beauty (by revering
      our lighter skinned or longer straighter haired members of our community).
      The opportunities inherently available to “the African” Charlize Theron probably
      far exceed the opportunities available to hard working black American
      actresses, purely because she’s a white hard working actress. There is a
      magic present in being white. Other white people treat you better, black ppl treat you better, asians treat you better…basically everyone respects you more
      when you are white. I don’t mean this in a mean way, but white women (people) literally don’t need our help, they don’t need a space on our platforms because
      they aren’t having a hard time in life at all.

    • Akbar

      March 21, 2013 at 2:16 am

      This is not about where one was born its about being on the cover of a magazine. We all know where she was born and she still white lady who has done nothing for the South Africans or Black Africans in America. So?

  5. Juanita Taylor

    March 20, 2013 at 11:05 am

    If a white woman is on the cover I will ever buy essence magazine again..I’m so tired of whites always taken over what we as blacks have started and now that I have just found out it’s now owned by whites more then likely I won’t buy it anyway….


    March 20, 2013 at 11:10 am

    No. We do not need to share anything. You can not share anything with white people because they steal it, buy it, or take it and change it to misdirect our people. Black is black and white is white. We are not them and they are not us. We do not need to morph ourselves or become homogenous with them.

  7. Yolanda Honton

    March 20, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Hell no…they have their own magazine and plenty of them

  8. R.C.

    March 20, 2013 at 11:41 am

    If this happen, I’ll be cancelling my subscription!

    • Stephanie Curry

      March 20, 2013 at 12:05 pm

      I will no longer read it if it does.

  9. big annie

    March 20, 2013 at 11:42 am

    May we have something that we can claim and use expressly for us, as Black women, please?? You can see how Essence is gradually being watered dowm since now being owned by White folks And now,Jada is putting it out there that we should hold hands, sing kumbaya, and be OK with the idea of white women gracing the cover of Essence.

    What would the purpose of this action? I don’t see Sofia Vergara or Jennifer Lopez begging for Latinas to be OK with a white woman (blanca)to be on the cover of their mags!!
    Why is it expected that Black folks acquiese anything that we can sort of call our our and that considers our issues and concerns?

    As far as the comment about Charlize Theron and nobody is really from African, etc: we are speaking about BLACK WOMEN on the cover of Essence. This is the crux of the discussion. The labels of African American do not come into play with this topic.It is about the COLOR of the model on the cover.

  10. Onesilverbac

    March 20, 2013 at 11:59 am

    If the magazine is not own by blacks, it’s already corrupted, just like “BET”, that has not stopped a great number of blacks from watching that network, that I might add has some of the worse programing ever.

    Keep purchasing the magazine, it employs a few of us.

  11. Olivette

    March 20, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    NO! really, we are bombarded with images of white people on TV, on billboards, most of the magazine is about them, The stupid shows, no brain er shows, 99% of commercials on TV and in print media is them, are there no one else on this planet beside them. why on earth and heaven do we have to include them in our magazines. Having said my piece I will subscribe to the magazine. I guess money would be the reason that such a thing would happen putting white women on the cover. I don’t think they would buy it any way, but if I am going to respond no then I should support the magazine.

  12. rosemary davis

    March 20, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Jada Pinkett needs to get back to minding her own business is she an activist now?? Why would she raise such a question about black magazines their are only a few worth reading and who cares about the cover of a magazine it’s the content of the magazine that matters.It’s questions like this that continues to fuel racism just read the comments thus far Jada and see if your question was worth being raised so far it’s stirred the pot of hatred

    • lscott

      March 20, 2013 at 1:23 pm

      I hear you. You no these so-called afro-american stars make me want to puke. Why do they continue to allow the Zionist to rule them; or don’t they no that they have all power in their hands to create something far more greater than what the synogue of satan has. Yep I said it. For this is exactly who is running the show when it comes to entertainment and the like. Try building up your on culture Jada (blacks) instead of continuing to bow-down to your “masser”. When are we as a people are going to wake-up and smell the coffee because it has brewed. It’s amazing to me how some of our black sisters & brothers turn their coattails to us and forget about their own kind. We as a people will never rise to the level we are intended until we understand this. So, my answer is, Jada you can go back to your massers and tell them I said HELL NO even though they do own the magazine.

  13. Yvonne

    March 20, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Hell to the NO! I’m a Subscriber and I’ll be canceling my Subscription ASAP, if that happens.

  14. Codrington C. Dapp

    March 20, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Ummm…aren’t we already over-saturated with images of white women already?…doesn’t the world already worship them enough?

    • big annie

      March 20, 2013 at 12:36 pm

      @ Codrington: Thank you. You sum it up perfedtly !!

  15. legallyblkchisis

    March 20, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    There are alot of simple minded folks here. Who really cares if a white woman is on the cover? I honestly don’t care either way. Being the burden barriers of racism and discrimination for ages, it often baffles me to see how we can spew the same foolery that was spewed towards us. I am about being fair and equal TO ALL. If Essence decides to put a white women on the cover it takes nothing away from my blackness nor the content of the magazine (which is what’s important) CORRECT? I agree with Jada 100%. I hate racism period and I refuse to condone or take part in it, no matter who it’s towards. Elevate your minds beyond the ugliness of racism and pettiness.

    • Prinzez

      March 20, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      ESSENCE WAS MADE FOR THE BLACK WOMAN!!! DOG FOOD IS MADE FOR DOGS!!!! GIVE DOG FOOD TO DOGS AND ESSENCE FOR BLACK WOMEN!!! IT’S NOT ABOUT RACISM?! Oh, yes it is! We went and got our own because they would not give it to us, and now we say to them here take it? Please!

    • Marang

      March 20, 2013 at 7:27 pm

      @legallyblkchisis You really have missed the point. Its incredibly false and hollow for you to say:

      “I hate racism period and I refuse to condone or take part in it, no matter who it’s towards. Elevate your minds beyond the ugliness of racism and pettiness.”

      The world and all its people continue to ‘condone’ and ‘take part’ in racism. Your decision to ignore what is right in front of you and all around you is the same as sticking your head in the sand and pretending “there is no problem”. Sure, you’re free to do that, but you will not have contributed anything to changing an unjust world for any of your black female descendants. Multiple studies have shown that on average white people earn more that black people, and that men earn more than women for identical professions/ jobs. Where does that leave black women? Refusing to acknowledge that the world in general STILL singles black people and women out as interior is not “elevating your mind beyond” anything. Its just naïve. Unfortunately life does us no favours. We do often need to work 4 times as hard (twice for being black and twice again for being female) to obtain the same rewards as our male or white counterparts. As I said before Jada’s suggestion is highly altruistic – its something that hopefully one day we will achieve. But it’ll only happen once its clear that black women can trust other races and the opposite sex, currently black women are at the back of every queue and not much trust exists because of it.

  16. kdmorris

    March 20, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    I had to read the article two times to make sure that the intent of content was clear and that my reply is equally clear.
    The word that comes to mind is “assimilation” – something we did throughout the civil rights movement. We gave up, ignored or sacraficed our own businesses, to be allowed in, not ACCEPTED INTO theirs.
    With this said, I must support the “nay” votes and sentiments for some of the same reasons.

  17. Wkareem

    March 20, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    If Time, inc owns ESSENCE… And if it is true, what has been reported; that Black owners “sold out” their corporate interest … Then TIME, Inc can put whomever they want on the cover. No longer “Your Call” (decision)… Your interest has been sold. Learn the harsh reality-move on-make better decisions in the future.

    • Nairobi Brogdon

      March 23, 2013 at 10:42 am


  18. HAILE

    March 20, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    We always thinking about other people they dont think about us thats why we have to always get our own.At one time they did not even let us play Baseball.Burry our dead. Go in there churches. Drink where they drink and more.I am for being fair with all people but I am problack.What we need to do is to support all our black businesses so that they prosper.

  19. Peter D. Slaughter

    March 20, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    I stopped buying this phony watered down magazine years ago.
    So I wonder now,why are black people surprised.
    With all this talk of democracy,freedom,lincoln freed the slaves,MLK Jr
    celebrations and monumnent.
    These phony double dealing racist’s will not shut down or stop all this profiling and criminalizing black people and black men in particular.
    There is updated slave prison operation going full blast right in the faces of black people and people want to argue and debate about some phony white woman image on some watered down magazine.
    Black’s need to boycott $$ this magazine,these tv networks and the rest of these phony racist double dealers.
    Maybe if black’s stop spending all their money with these crook’s they might give us a little more respect and stop makiing fools out the black masses who spending money with them.

    • big annie

      March 20, 2013 at 1:35 pm

      Thank you,Peter. I think I am going to leave Essence alone. They can put Godzilla on the cover…I dont care. I am NOT buying Essence magazine again.

      • Peter D. Slaughter

        March 20, 2013 at 2:18 pm

        Somebody would say to me ” we have bigger fish to fry in comparison to be worried about this magazine putting some image on it.
        The fact that they would do it is blatant and obvious so why argue with these phonies.
        This is in spite of black women buying all types of products and services from the commercials in the magazine.

  20. Josh Smith

    March 20, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    If Jada really wants media equality, then yes, a white woman should grace the cover. No magazine should ban a woman because of race or color, thats racist, it fact that is one of the definitions of racism, to ban or discriminate someone because of race or color. What an outrage if that would happen to any woman for any mag.

  21. HAILE

    March 20, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    I have never seen an African beautiful woman on the cover of an Asian Magazine. A spanish speaking people magazine and so on and they never even discuss it and I donot hear anyboby saying anything about it.Once they put a European looking Miss Figi as miss Figi to advertize and lure torists and the people of Figi complained loudly about it, because they said she does not look like them. They said that they are for all people but she had to go. And so it was.

  22. zwiggle

    March 20, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    No, Essence was created for African Americans, whether or not they use African Americans on the cover of their magazines, it for their benefit..not ours. I say NO!

  23. Phillip Battle

    March 20, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    That’s to say; if they continue to use us for whatever reason they find fit to do(regardless of what a Black person who made some money thinks); we should benifit. Now I do know that the white woman and the Black Man are the true slaves in America; which is why they seek eachother in many cases- rich or poor— but that was then; now is the time to hold peolpe ACCOUNTABLE for all their actions.

    Peace to the Family

    • Karen

      March 20, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      Why would you think there’d be a spike in profits if a white woman is on the cover? White women still wouldn’t buy the magazine because the content (as far as hair care, skin care, etc…) is geared towards black woman; AND many black women would decide not to buy the issue if a white woman were on the cover. Sounds like a bad idea all around.

  24. Kenyatta

    March 20, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Not happy essence, About four years ago, I have a subscription. to essence. Then I saw the direction the magazine was headed I DIDN’T like it so I cancelled my subscription. having said that, I’m not surprise, but I am disappointed in essence, ebony, jet and any other magazine the forget us.

  25. Wilson

    March 20, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    No white should not be on the cover of Essence simply because it is a black magazine, and that makes sense to me. I read Essence to read about black people, white folks are in most everything there is, most other races have their own magazines, so let blacks have theirs.

  26. teri

    March 20, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Wouldn’t even dignify that question by attempting to answer it.


  27. Ruby from NJ

    March 20, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    There is no such expression as “deep ceded.” The writer means “deep-seated.” “Cede” means to give over to someone.

    • Karen

      March 20, 2013 at 2:24 pm

      True, but it can also be “deep-seeded”. Thought I was the only grammar cop here, lol 😉

  28. kookie

    March 20, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Black people have fought hard to get a voice in America, especially women. Essence and other magazines of the same sort have resources that are intendend to persuade, motivate, uplift and provide spiritual guidance to women of color. For so many decades Black women were not mentioned in magazines such as Vogue or others. However;the Black women that was or is portrayed are those who have crossed over to mainstream media. As for Jada Pinkett-Smith, she has been blinded by money and fame. She like others will get a true glimpse of White America when they fall on their behinds. Just like the famous Michael Jackson, O.J. Simpson, Tiger Woods and others.

  29. Lizish

    March 20, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    ask black people in South Africa if Charlize is the same as them. White people called a place Africa and fooled us into calling ourselves after a place. White people in Kenya do not call themselves African (at least not in the recent past). White people are white wherever
    they are.
    This nonsense is so prevalent black people in the Pacific are now African. we are simply black people.

    When we are treated the same in other magazine then Charlize can be on the cover of Essence.

  30. shield

    March 20, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Jada is a sell out just like all the others period. It is her job to continue selling out her people. WTF white media owns every fucking thing already my subscription is done and that is that. Nothing but ads anyways. These negroes do not understand that if you own something and it is actually a profit your enemy will want to own it. Look at the hair industry are kidding we have been shut out of making profit with nothing but Koreans taking in all the dollars. We don’t own shit.

  31. Robyn Howzell

    March 20, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    “My question is, why do white women want to to be on the cover of ESSENCE?”

  32. Mary

    March 20, 2013 at 2:13 pm


  33. Greg

    March 20, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    There is a natural problem in this for Jada Pinkett-Smith. She is a rich celebrity. You will naturally wonder whether she is out of touch with everyday black women or folks to objectively answer this question. My natural question would be: Would she say this if she was not so successful? It is easier for her to take this position.

    There are other problems I have with this. One being that, there is still not equality in opportuniites for black women at large. I read yesterday what the model Chanel Iman said about them telling her they already had their one black model. This is also referring back to that nonsense that racism is over because there is a black president. We ‘common’ black folks absolutely know this is not true.

  34. Kim W.

    March 20, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Can’t we keep something for ourselves!!! Haven’t white folk bamboozled us out of enough.

  35. Vernon Muhammad

    March 20, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Why not its white owned now any way !!!!

  36. Sonya

    March 20, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    She was born in:

    Born 7 August 1975 (age 37)[1]
    Benoni, Transvaal Province, South Africa
    Nationality South African[

  37. Mz

    March 20, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    ‘Now, Essence, a magazine that for more than 34 years had been a major staple for young African American girls growing up, is nothing more than a fashion…” That’s because Essence is no longer owned or ran by Africans-Americans.

    What amazes me about our so-called celebrities is that because their “World” is so cozy and racist free-so to speak, they believe that the playing field has suddenly been leveled. We have a hard enough time Mrs. Pinckett-Smith, in the real World trying to prove we are beautiful on this earth now you believe that they are being wronged cause they aren’t on a White owned Essence? I, for one have no “white sisters” I am a Black woman who promotes sisterhood among black women-that’s my concentration! You don’t read or hear about white women raising hell in support of Black women for Vogue or any other. White Women have their own “Essence” magazine: Its EVERY other magazine on the newsstand outside of Ebony and Jet!! Jada, this one is a fail!!!

  38. Akbar

    March 20, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    It may not seem like much now but that they own it and most people do not even know this is significant for what being Black will mean in 100 years. I always thought that to write a novel about the disappearance of the ex-slaves in America would have some half truth in it but now I am beginning to see that we probably will not ever be what we ideally think we can be in this country. History still does not know what happened to the Mayans. I mean we have lots of intelligence about what might have happened but nothing conclusive. As the Latino population rises they will need things we never needed like bi-lingual schools and employees and laws to insure that this happens. We will have to learn yet another language that is not our own; Spanish. In the end we all die human, but cant you see something changing here? We have never really owned much of anything and not because we didn’t try. People need at least 40 years to trust your product at all stages of product development. The manufacturers of the past 90% of the time would not produce a product if they thought they would lose money with us trying to sell to ourselves and people outside our community. We never convinced enough of the people that mattered that enough people would support out product ideas. Patterns have to be developed over time and that hardly ever happened outside of Sports and entertainment and that took a while. I do not see it as a doom and gloom thought really, many civilizations come and go and I really do not see us becoming what we thought we would become. We never had a chance really. We never had our own language… every other group had the glue that keeps communities together but us. White people own Essence Magazine and BET?! They own Jay-Z even though he has some ownership in Brooklyn they own his mind. Like Chris Rock said if Bill Gates had Oprah’s wealth he would jump out a window and kill himself! I already knew this reality put forth with humor. If Oprah is who we look up too and she is poor among the super rich what happens next? If you have ever lost a child you know that life does not always follow the plan that we have for it to follow and what we call premature death may really be beyond our comprehension of what this life rally is. Maybe our demise is not far-fetched or pre-mature to talk about but the signs are all there. The Asian communities which I lived in when I was in San Francisco i the 60’s did not need to dilute their culture by begging the white man for a seat in Woolworth they were inviting them in to eat their unique food. They offered something unique from another country the ex slave had his/her unique cuisine taken so the best we had was what white people already had just cooked differently. No white person had ever tasted egg-drop soup or chow mien, until the Asian people came here. They wanted something new and different and went to eat it thus building the Asian community. They did nothing more than Black or anything more intelligent they just sold their food and we all liked it and bought and helped them build what they have now.
    Nothing to be ashamed of we never had anything that unique to sell for one but racism was so that only a few white men came into the hood to find sex and our way of frying chicken… Try and sell our “Black style” chicken recipe to a business owner at the turn of the 20th Century when he can cook it himself or hire you to cook it for him. Do not be down on ourselves their are bigger things going on in this world that are so much bigger than a white lady being on the cover of what used to be our magazine. One day they will say “we own it and you better put a white and a Black lesbian civil union on the front cover to make us the most progressive magazine in the US!” It’s good to embrace the political movements of the day, but you don’t want somebody making you do it. Maybe we should put a high profile Black Civil Union on the front now before we are forced to because our time as the Black people we thought we would become is not going to ever happen. There will never be one Black community and that’s fine in the larger scheme of life. Like I said, many of us have lost children at an early age and will never see them do the things we had planned for them. Its the same with groups of people. Its painful to think about losing a child but it happens and some things in life just are bigger than our hopes.

    • elaine

      March 20, 2013 at 5:25 pm

      Thank you, Akbar.

  39. Linda

    March 20, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    A white woman does not fit into “the intrinsic or indispensable properties that serve to characterize or identify” the Essence Magazine, do it?

  40. jacque

    March 20, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    I would not be in favor of a white woman on the cover alone. But maybe Essence could do a cover ” Let’s say a sister and her best friend that happens to be white.

  41. elaine

    March 20, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Jada sold out, sold her children. why shouldn’t she sell us out?

  42. Prinzez

    March 20, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    LOL!!! Jada got the responses she she knew she would get!!! Now she will make BIG conversation about our thoughts.

  43. Lawrence Campbell

    March 20, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Two statements and one question…

    (1) Essence has progressively walk itself (with the help of women and men who hate themselves) from darker hued women to neutral(ites) women over the past fifty years, the culmination of which is something more zombie-like, espousing the new form of self hatred and racism…” Neither black women, nor white women are my sisters”

    (2)ONE GOD, ONE CREATION, One confused generation. Either men are men and women are women, or your creator is confused too…is that right?

  44. Robynn H

    March 20, 2013 at 8:44 pm



    Enuff said!!!!

    Oh! Add: FUBU

  45. JC

    March 20, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    No, absolutely not!!! They are already trying to work their way to doing it with these bi-racial children in it.(Blonde hair grey/green eyes). It is a shame that black folks so hung up on white skin and looks!! They have just about cast black folks aside for hispanics or asians so why would they do that? Just stop buying the magazine if they do and hit them in the pocket where it will hurt! I will say one thing it certainly will not get you into heaven unless you are walking right with GOD!!

  46. Lady

    March 20, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    No! Hell No !!!!!

  47. corbin56

    March 20, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    White women have taken over your men, your hairstyles, some of your clothing and now your magazine.

    My answer, N O .

    I don’t read Essence any more, but I still don’t want to see a white/pale/pink woman on the magazine.

  48. Kim

    March 20, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Aren’t they on enuff?

  49. Muffy

    March 20, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    I don’t even read magazines anymore. I just look at the fashion, but I say no. Why? Because white women are on every mainstream magazine there is, including tabloids. If we lived in a place where you see women of all colors on every magazine daily, then I would say yes. Magazines I still get are Seventeen, Allure, Elle, People, People Style Watch, Entertainment Weekly, Vibe, Harper’s Bizarre, Teen Vogue and Vanity Fair. I’ve been with these magazines for years(Well, People Style Watch is a fairly new mag) and other than Vibe, Blacks, Asians and Hispanics are rarely on the cover. EW doesn’t count since it’s not a fashion magazine or tabloid.

  50. Minister Ed

    March 20, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    I grew up in a segregated environment. Loved it! Trying to keep my neighborhood Black. Very few Black neighborhoods in the country. Whitey has tried to destroy Black families, Black schools, Black churches, Black organizations, Black communities and Black men. Whitey will use even his mother to destroy a Black family. We are an endangered species in America and Whitey will do anything to prevent equality. And that’s just the way it is.

    • Rickrack

      March 21, 2013 at 6:52 pm

      @ Minister Ed,
      isn’t truth healing and stimulating ????

  51. Leesh

    March 20, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    They are already on the cover ever since Time Warner bought out Essence they are just in Black Face waiting to phase in white models and their connection to blacks culture. Nothing to do with Black Women of America.

  52. Bernard

    March 20, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    No, they shouldn’t and Black people need to stop wanting to be on their covers, wanting to receive their awards(oscars, grammys etc). You don’t ever hear White people raising hell about not receiving a Soul Train Music Award or a BET Award. That’s because they don’t value us or our opinion. I don’t understand why we are always trying to be inclusive with them. If I were an actor…I mean I’d take an award if they gave me one but I’d really cherish one if it were given to me by my own. You know in the end, that is what matters. I really feel this way. I never watch the Oscars or Emmy’s. It’s a waste of my time. They don’t honor the movies or music that I love and I don’t see anything wrong with the music and movies I love. It’s just they don’t like them and I for one am cool with that. So am I with the magazines. I wished Black women would stop buying those magazines that don’t glorify you as a woman. I think it’s a big reason so many Black women feel inferior to white women. Everywhere you turn it’s an image of some white woman with her hair blowing in the wind and having everything given to her and Black women tend to believe that white women have no issues. If they would concentrate on their own magazines they would see that Black women are beautiful. So no…I don’t think they should grace the covers of Black magazines and when and if they do…make it be like they do us….once every blue moon and then some unactractive white woman that’s on drugs or something…just like they do us.

  53. Deacon

    March 20, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    What is the magazine’s Mission Statement?….If I know that I can give an intelligent answer…IJS

  54. Gcole

    March 21, 2013 at 12:17 am

    Essence can no longer be considered “OUR” magazine, it was sold to a white owned company, and they can do whatever they want to.

  55. Aziz Muhammad

    March 21, 2013 at 9:42 am



  56. Prinzez

    March 21, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Essence means “The inherent (sticking to), unchanging nature of a thing or class of things”. Just an fyi.

  57. Pattycake, RN

    March 21, 2013 at 11:48 am

    @Deech, I am curious, on another post regarding improving the health of Black women by eating more nutritious food, etc. you reacted almost violently about that admonition. If other Black women are not your sisters, (as you have stated in this post), then why did that bother you so much? You say that that meme died years ago. Maybe that is why a lot of Black women are beginning to feel even more irrelevant because now we have even deserted each other.

  58. Pattycake, RN

    March 21, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    @Legallyblkchisis…the point is, racism is systemic and financially funded. We as Black women need to be inspired by our own positive images. It feeds the spirit and the soul. This, I believe may be the reason that the mainstream does not want us to have anything to call our own. What is wrong with educating our own people and inspiring each other to do great things? What is wrong with projecting our beauty and intelligence? Why would anyone want to stop that? Hmmm… could it maybe be out of FEAR?

    @Marang, you said it beautifully- it’s called REALITY. I get so tired of constantly having to defend myself because people want to call me arrogant or crazy if I want to feel just as worthy as anyone else.

    @Josh Smith, I am so sorry but I don’t think you will ever understand. No disrespect but you have never lived in a Black woman’s shoes. When you go through life being treated like your issues do not matter, like nobody cares about how you look, or if they do, you have to be compared to someone who is lighter than you or considered more beautiful because they have a straighter nose or hair, etc., or if you are constantly belittled in society, ganged up on, or made to constantly feel that you must be subservient to everyone because of some “invisible” hierarchy, regardless of your credentials, then maybe one day we can have an intelligent conversation about this issue. But for now, I encourage you to continue to research this subject with an OPEN mind.

    @Phillip Battle, I think you and I may see things a lot differently based on what you may feel that you have been restricted from. Where I live I see a lot of Black men with white women. A lot of the white women dress provocatively, (not like provocative Black girls, but like provocative white girls). Dressing provocatively has nothing to do with race, but perception does. Because when a Black girl dresses provocative, she gets a negative spotlight on her, but no so much as her white female counterpart. Can you now see why Black women are upset that the images of Black female achievement are being torn down. We have positive as well as negative things in our culture but it seems that only the negative things are being accentuated by the mainstream. Just because some Black men and white women feel that they were kept apart in the past doesn’t give anyone free reign to constantly bombard Black females with negativity. Especially when these same people will hold white females who dress provocatively in the highest regard. So sad, and then people want to talk about equality. Exactly, cuz that’s all it is, is talk.

    • Phillip Battle

      April 15, 2013 at 10:04 am

      Ms. Pattycake, RN as much as I admire your views as well as your intelligence; I must admit to you that I don’t use white folk as a yardstick to measure what’s acceptable or despicable to me. That’s to say I give not one darn hoot about how white women dress; the premise of me commenting on my sistas way of dressing is simply out of historical context of how my sistas where and still are being treated and viewed as sex objects, and breeders. The notion of Black Women dressing provocative (in my opinion) is no more of an excuse for the sistas to continually be seen as an object of flesh. Monkey see Monkey do is not what equality should be based on; our Black Experience should not be quantified by weighing our behaviours on the scales of white folk. Maybe I don’t know the difference between Sexy or Provocative; well just for the record– I do appreciate a SEXY WOMAN with cloths on– which is far from those girls that wear cloths 3 sizes to small, and everything God gave them hanging out- may she be Black or white.


  59. Georgetta M. Campbell, Ed.D., Retired Media Specialist

    March 21, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Jada Pinket Smith can make any comment that she desires, as each black woman might. I do not care whose picture is on the cover, for if I owned the magazine I would behave as Oprah did, using her own picture on the cover of each issue… I suppose in order to avoid controversy. ESSENCE is a “fragrance” and females can be varied in smell and in color. EBONY means “black” so might give some of us more agony if it becomes less black after being sold. Where were the Smiths when the magazine was up for sale? Did they try to purchase it? Some black people who might wish to own such a vital tool as a magazine can no longer afford to buy isssues of the magazines or any of the things advertised in them. Educators never make much money and in retirement are quite poor sometime!

    • Nairobi Brogdon

      March 23, 2013 at 10:40 am

      🙂 Amen!

  60. al williams

    March 21, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    First of all we have been giving our Culture and Blackness away for sometime now, we cross over into the White world and when they no longer have a need for our Talents they copy it and become Rich as a result,dance,hair,music,fashion exc.I think it’s a little too late to start complaining now.

  61. Corky Johnson

    March 21, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    We Black Americans have had tunnel vision for centuries, worrying about other folks, and building on their causes and building on their finances, and not worrying about our own, trying to as Jada state build a bond ???.

    We need to Wake up, and look at the current conditions that we as Black Americans are being forced to play, and look at what your government ( the system ) is fighting to cut, and the Black community always are the first to be effected. We Black Americans have entered the New Millennium much the same way they entered the previous four centuries-as an impoverished, powerless and neglected people.

    Because we DO NOT OWN any resources in our community, we are heading into some serious problems.
    There are alot of white, korean, irish, chinese, jewish and other ethnic groups that have supported themselves, and they have grown and developed their communities to be strong and financially able, thats what they are suppose to do, do for self.

    We accept this, and we still support them with our dollars, but they have created businesses for themselves, which allow them to hire their own people, and create opportunity for their communities.
    We must take on the responsibility for ourselves, and developing a New Mindset of becoming Employer’s instead of Employee’s which is something new too us.
    We must start taking immediate steps, and we need the support of all of us Black folks to make it work for us.
    I am not being prejudice nor exercising tunnel vision, I am speaking vision and a must for our survival. We must be mindful as to who we spend our money with and why.???

    Look up the Maryland Doctrine of exclusion 1638/1968. Not all black folks are trained for entrepreneurship, but we can’t stop supporting each other in any form. Each one teach one.

    We are so far behind acquiring only 1/2 of 1% of the nations wealth is a damm shame, because we make all other ethnic groups rich, no matter what kind of services they provide, good or bad, we still support them with our dollars, which is the key.

    Example: We Black folks spend $3.3 billion a year on tobacco, we spend $3.5 billion a year on alcohol, we spend $ 29.3 billion a year on clothes, $ 19 billion on cell phones a year and 54% on smart phones.
    With all of that wealth coming out of the Black Community, we can and must keep those billions at home, but We Own Nothing, we comsume, and we worry about bonding with other groups, that are currently taking advantage of us everyday.

    We do not own any Super Market’s, and we only have a ten day supply of food in own communities, before we are starved out. We own no Drug Store’s, We own no Laundry Mat’s, no Buses, no Gun shop’s, no Train’s, no hospitals,now they want white women on the cover of our once owned magazine,which is owned by Time, as is BET is now owned by Viacom, getting my point.
    When a business entity has a monopoly, it dominates and control nearly all aspects of an industry, and can use its massive power to raise barriers to control markets and bankrupt competitors, we must flip the script and become competitors, http://www.createspace.com/3979333.

    We are one, our cause are one, and together we must help and support each other, if we are going to succeed. Corky J.

    • Rickrack

      March 21, 2013 at 6:47 pm


    • Jah Larry Dread

      March 22, 2013 at 8:52 am

      “$19 billion on cell phones a year and 54% on smart phones”…This I did not know. I learn something new today!

  62. Lou Walker

    March 21, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Absolutely NO!!!!!!,I have been with Essence since it’s incep[tion.It began years ago because those folk wasn’t accepting us.LORD!!!! please can be the originals of any-thing.I believe you will lose many followers if you dare to do it.This is unbeievable.

  63. Rickrack

    March 21, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Did ANYONE !!!, read this Section ???

    “While it is true that Essence is a magazine who’s focus was geared toward the issues of black women, the original owners ended up selling the Magazine in 2005 to Time Inc. , which means that Caucasians own the magazine. What was once “for us and by us” has changed hands and has become watered down and irrelevant”.

    Since sister Pickett-Smith, is aware of this fact, and it seems that every-one replying , missed it ???? Why won’t ALL OF THE RESPONDIES

  64. Donothing

    March 22, 2013 at 1:36 am

    This issue is not important and I bet Jada wouldnt be asking this question if she wasnt an established actress and needed work in Hollyfakewood.

    First off I don’t give a dam about any black magazine showing any non black woman on the cover

    Black people don’t give a dam about their selves nor their own culture so continue to not give a dam

    the black youth are not even in touch with their own hertiage and you cant blame the school if you so call parents are so black conscious
    than why are your children walking around dazed and confused and no knowledge of their own self worth

    I look at the black youth of today and the black family units and it all a sad state focus on your youth, your communities and coming together and building your own wealths and we won’t have to answer to

    Bs like this take note from the foreigners who enter this country and do not give up their culture to anyone but they’ll gladly take your money

  65. toni

    March 22, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    H**L NOOOOOO!!!!! I will not purchase another essence magazine. White women are also trying to look like botox in their lips to look big, injection in their butts, some of them tanning their bodies to death seriously to death, our men’s are having babies by them, what about our race. What about our Race of a people?

  66. Nairobi Brogdon

    March 23, 2013 at 10:37 am

    The majority of ALL media is owned solely by two men. So in your efforts to change eachothers mind all you do is feed into false truths. There are about 6 black skin/hair mags, about 3 black fashion… in your debates of white women on the cover of Essense and “black cultural mags” no one has said anything about Black Enterprise or Black Insider. We are so driven to prove our blackness and claim our “ownership” yet WHAT DO WE OWN????? We are concerned about a black fashion mag rather than true ownership. Woman know thy self!!! I know what products work for me and I dont need a black celebrity to convince me to believe in a product or myself for that matter.
    I can say the best product for your hair is Mizani, for your skin is Dove, make up L’Oreal, food Amy’s, and that if you dont have the collections of Donny, Stevie and Marvin then you are incomplete as a black woman. Those are the things that I love and I choose to use, do or listen to because I enjoy them not because they trend with this racist theology.
    We have to be more than a race debate!!!

  67. Keepbothbarrelsloaded

    March 24, 2013 at 1:31 am

    This is not rocket science. NO, NO, NO…the ww is the last trick of wm, devil. One of the ways the crackas destroyed the afro communities is bdistorting every positive image about ppl of color and making it WHITE so we will be brainwashed including our children and their children while making a profit. To make us honor them and look down on ourselves. WE NEED SOMETHING FOR OUR SISTAS AND DAUGHTERS TO LOOK UP TO. Us Afro ppl are always trying to be equal opportunities but we do not get the same respect..hell no. and if they do i am going to burn my subscription

  68. Porcelain

    March 24, 2013 at 7:47 am

    The mag., has been sold what do you think will eventually appear ? Get over it the magazine should never have been sold but the owners sold you/ us out for good most blacks , after making their money will sell to the highest bidder which happen to be non black. Truly you have to know they are waiting to put white to cover, they’re just watching sales.

  69. Rev. George Brooks

    March 25, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    GOOD !!! Because blacks should have NEVER have sold all or ANY of the magazine to whites and Jews in the first place. And blacks should not be reading or supporting Essence anymore since they sold out. The whites and Jews are in charge, so what do you expect? How dumb can you be? Ebony will probably be next, because Linda Johnson Rice, with her weak, simple self has sold much of Johnson Publications to Jews and whites too. Talk about a dumb, weak-minded woman. So, black folks, do like I do (a black man). I don’t read these white-owned and controlled, so-called black publications any longer. — Rev. George Brooks

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