Richard Prince's Journal-isms™

Essence Editor Says She Was Fired

Send by email
Thursday, March 7, 2013

Exit Followed Clashes Over Time Inc. View of Black Women

Isoul Harris, Entertainment Journalist, Editing Uptown Magazine

Soledad O'Brien Obtains "in America" Franchises

Williams Attributes Apparent Plagiarism to Researcher

Latinos Closing Digital Divide With Whites

Social Media Becoming Indispensable for Journalists

Not Much Evidence of Hiring for New Fusion Network

March 10 Marks Anniversary of King-Gandhi Milestone

British GQ Pulls Naomi Campbell Piece on Chávez

Short Takes

Exit Followed Clashes Over Time Inc. View of Black Women

Constance C.R. White has disclosed that her departure as editor-in-chief of Essence magazine was involuntary and the result of repeated clashes with Martha Nelson, the editor-in-chief of Time Inc. who White says sought to limit the way black women were portrayed.

Constance E.R. White cites a 'tug of war'.

"I went in there with passion and excitement and high expectations," White told Journal-isms, referring to her 2011 hiring. "It wasn't what I expected at all.

"What needs to happen is the reader is getting lost and the reader has to be at the center. To make their world smaller is unacceptable," White said by telephone. "A lot of the readers have sensed" what is happening, she said.

Essence, the nation's leading magazine for black women, was originally black-owned but has not fared well under Time Inc. ownership, White maintained. Nelson vetoed such pieces as a look at African American art and culture, and "I was not able to make the creative hires that needed to be made," White said.

She elaborated by email, "When was the last time you saw Essence in the community advocating for or talking with Black women?

"No more T-shirts with a male employee's face on it being distributed at the [Essence] Festival."

Essence announced White's departure in a terse statement on Feb. 8. No explanation was given.

But White told Journal-isms that her exit came after "another tug of war with them" in January. "Them" was principally Nelson.

Nelson, a 20-year Time Inc. veteran, became editor-in-chief of Time Inc. in January, responsible for the editorial content of all 21 of Time Inc.'s U.S. magazines and its digital products, according to her bio. Before that, Nelson spent two years as editorial director, overseeing the 17 titles and editors in the company's Style & Entertainment Group and Lifestyle Group.

The final "tug of war" came in January, White said. Referring to Nelson, White recalled, "My boss said, 'you know what? It's time to go.' I was asked to leave my position. I asked, 'Was it something we can discuss, or has the decision been made?' She said, 'The decision has been made.'

From left: Edward Lewis, Martha Nelson, Laura Lang "I had a certain point of view about black women being central to this magazine. The boss didn't agree with me, and the president didn't agree with me," she said, referring to Michelle Ebanks, president of Essence Communications Inc. "It became an untenable situation." She would not comment on whether she had a contract with the publication.

Ebanks issued this statement Friday night: "We truly wish Constance well. Essence exists to affirm and inspire Black women. We always have and we always will."

Essence magazine debuted in 1970, the product of a communications company founded in 1968 by a group of African Americans that included as principals Edward T. Lewis and Clarence O. Smith.

Time bought 49 percent of Essence Communications in 2000 and absorbed the rest in 2005.

Lewis said in 2000, "The reason Time Warner is interested in Essence is they are interested in the editorial view of the magazine. They are not there to change it."

Indeed, Essence still proclaims on its website, "ESSENCE is Where Black Women Come First for news, entertainment and motivation. ESSENCE occupies a special place in the hearts of millions of Black women — [it's] not just a magazine but her most trusted confidante, a brand that has revolutionized the magazine industry and has become a cultural institution in the African-American community."

However, White's comments indicate that white corporate ownership has changed the magazine after all.

"This is a magazine where the central DNA was laid down by Gordon Parks," she said, referring to the famed African American photographer who was its editorial director from 1970 to 1973. White intimated that her efforts to maintain Parks' standards had been rebuffed.

"How is it that from 2000, when Susan [L. Taylor, longtime editor] left — she was pushed out — we have had about five editors, including two acting editors, yet Essence continues to decline? So where's the problem? And the editors are the black women. 'They are disposable. Let's keep changing them.'

"The point is, it didn't start with me," White said of the conflicts between top Essence editors and Time Inc. management. "If I can make a difference, I'd like to. If no one speaks up, it's possible it won't end with me."

She continued in an email, "Martha Nelson cannot shape the editorial [content] for the magazine, and it was a strange use of her time considering People, the cash cow of Time inc accounting for over $1 billion, was down 12-18 percent in the last two years and All You was down 38 percent." All You is described on its advertising website as "proudly" providing the value-minded woman "with practical, attainable, no-nonsense ideas for her everyday life."

The Publishers Information Bureau reported in January that the number of advertising pages in Essence dropped by 10.3 percent during 2012. Industrywide, ad pages were down by 8.2 percent. However, circulation rose from 1,051,000 in 2011 to 1,104,871 in 2012, according to the Alliance for Audited Media, previously the Audit Bureau of Circulations. For the industry overall, magazine circulation declined last year.

Influencing White's efforts to speak with Journal-isms, she said, was the decision by Time Warner this week to spin off Time Inc. magazines. As a result, Laura Lang, CEO of Time Inc. since 2011, said she would step down.

"I believe that Essence may have fared better under Laura Lang's regime because people became more accountable for their jobs rather than playing out their personal politics. But with her departure I just don't know what's going to become of Essence," White said.

The Jamaica-born White was style director, brand consultant and spokeswoman for eBay, the online company, when she was named to lead Essence. "White was previously the founding Fashion Editor for Talk magazine, a celebrated Style Reporter for The New York Times and the Executive Fashion Editor for Elle magazine," an announcement said when she was named. "She also served as Associate Editor at Women's Wear Daily and W magazine and began her career at Ms. magazine, as assistant to co-Founder Gloria Steinem."

"I still love magazines," White told Journal-isms. "I'm considering my next move. I'm happy to be able to see more of my kids," of whom there are three. "Later this month I will be speaking at Syracuse University on branding and the media and I will resume my appearances on NY Live!," referring to "New York Live," a daily lifestyle show on New York's WNBC-TV.

"I'd really like to see Essence move forward in a stronger way. I'm even more concerned about how Essence has fared being part of Time Inc. It hasn't fared particularly well. Hopefully, this upheaval will be for the better.

"There has to be a come-to-Jesus moment when people say, 'Here's what we're going to do and here are the right people to do it. We are a very valuable audience. In my farewell speech I asked my team to present to management what needs to happen at Essence to ensure its survival because they know.

"Essence needs stability and the brand needs a leader with a vision. Black women are social leaders, cultural leaders, we are aspirational and spiritual. Black women deserve the best. Essence is the last place where black women should be demeaned and diminished."

Isoul Harris, Entertainment Journalist, Editing Uptown Magazine

Isoul Harris, an alumnus of People magazine, the Huffington Post and Atlanta-based 944 Magazine, has been promoted from executive editor to editor-in-chief of Uptown magazine. The March issue is his first as top editor. Harris succeeds Angela Bronner Helm.

Isoul Harris

"I certainly want to build on what the brand has become over last 9 years," Harris, 39, told Journal-isms by email, "a publication presenting African-American life in the most beautiful, professional and creative way possible.

"The current March cover with comedian and actor Kevin Hart leaping mid-air sporting a Dolce & Gabbana tuxedo jacket exhibits the new direction in which I would like to take the magazine: stylish, fun, and energetic. That coupled with more substantive pieces such as 'The New America,' a feature about post-Obama America, which was written by MSNBC host and civil rights leader Al Sharpton. I want UPTOWN to be a book of sophistication and substance."

Harris' first book, "Nicki Minaj: Hip Pop Moments 4 Life," is due from Omnibus Press on April 1. He says he has interviewed Jada Pinkett-Smith and Will Smith, Janet Jackson, Rihanna, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Drew Barrymore, LeAnn Rimes, Usher, Beyoncé, Outkast, Vince Vaughn and Queen Latifah.

Uptown, based in New York, has a circulation of 228,488, according to the Alliance for Audited Media, previously the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Soledad O'Brien Obtains "in America" Franchises

Soledad O'Brien

Soledad O'Brien, who is giving up her CNN morning show, "Starting Point," in exchange for forming a production company and  supplying documentaries to CNN on a nonexclusive basis, says she has obtained the rights to the "Black in America" and "Latino in America" franchises.

"We struck an unusual deal," O'Brien told Diane Brady of Business Week on Thursday. "I’ll get to leave CNN with my catalog and documentaries. We were able to create a brand at CNN — Black in America — that I now own. I can take that brand and extend it in any way I want. You have Netflix (NFLX) and all these channels that are looking for interesting and different ways to tell stories. To have ownership of Black in America and Latino in America is hugely important.

"I absolutely pushed for that — it was critical to me. I’m so affiliated with this brand that there wasn't a real struggle. I don't just own it, but I can now take it across other platforms.

"I’m not exclusive to CNN. If I decide I want to go and do a show somewhere, I can go and do it. I’ve never owned my own content. Most people in TV do not own their own production company. In fact, most of us don't even own our own Facebook (FB) pages, and some don't own their Twitter account. . . ."

Williams Attributes Apparent Plagiarism to Researcher

"In a case of apparent plagiarism, Fox News pundit Juan Williams lifted — sometimes word for word — from a Center for American Progress report, without ever attributing the information, for a column he wrote last month for the Hill newspaper," Alex Seitz-Wald reported Thursday for Salon.

Juan Williams"Almost two weeks after publication, the column was quietly revised online, with many of the sections rewritten or put in quotation marks, and this time citing the CAP report. It also included an editor's note that read: 'This column was revised on March 2, 2013, to include previously-omitted attribution to the Center for American Progress.'

"But that editor’s note mentions only the attribution problem, and not the nearly identical wording that was also fixed.

"In a phone interview Thursday evening, Williams pinned the blame on a researcher who he described as a 'young man.' "

Erik Wemple wrote Friday for the Washington Post, "So what Williams is saying here is that he lifted his researcher's words. Why, then, wasn't the researcher credited in the piece?

Referring to Hugo Gurdon, editor in chief of the Hill, Wemple continued, "When asked about that matter, Gurdon replied, 'I’m not sure that researchers always do get credit.'

"They should. The only time they rear their heads should not be when they allegedly screw up."

Latinos Closing Digital Divide With Whites

"Latinos own smartphones, go online from a mobile device and use social networking sites at similar — and sometimes higher — rates than do other groups of Americans, according to a new analysis of three surveys by the Pew Research Center," Mark Hugo Lopez, Ana Gonzalez-Barrera and Eileen Patten reported Thursday for the Pew Hispanic Center.

"The analysis also finds that when it comes to using the internet, the digital divide between Latinos and whites is smaller than what it had been just a few years ago. Between 2009 and 2012, the share of Latino adults who say they go online at least occasionally increased 14 percentage points, rising from 64% to 78%. Among whites, internet use rates also increased, but only by half as much — from 80% in 2009 to 87% in 2012.

"Over the same period, the gap in cellphone ownership between Latinos and other groups either diminished or disappeared. In 2012, 86% of Latinos said they owned a cellphone, up from 76% in 2009. . . ."

Lynne K. Varner created this word cloud to accompany her Seattle Times column.

Social Media Becoming Indispensable for Journalists

The evidence is mounting that familiarity with social media is becoming mandatory for journalists.

Twitter "is building a powerful media company that is a threat to many of the biggest players in digital media," Brian Morrissey reported Wednesday for Digiday.

"Its ambitions to this point have been dogged by questions of scale. Remember all those stories about Twitter quitters? No more. Two hundred million monthly active users, the company reports, are double last year’s number. But still, how many people really tweet? The company now processes 1 billion tweets every two and a half days. During New Year's in Japan, that meant 33,000 tweets per second. Half of all Americans now see, read about or hear about tweets every day. These are facts that back up its execs' contention that Twitter is now a 'global town hall.'

"All that scale and activity gives Twitter something else: leverage. . . ."

Meanwhile, Lynne Varner, editorial writer and columnist at the Seattle Times, wrote Friday about the backlash against the Seattle Public Schools after it began investigating a class exploring white privilege.

Varner told Journal-isms by email, "I also created a Word Cloud adjacent to my column to get responses from people about how they view the treatment of minority students in Seattle. I opened it to responses from parents and non-parents, in Seattle and outside, because I want to better understand how the public education system overall treats minority students. As you know with Word Clouds, the more a word is chosen the larger it will be."

Not Much Evidence of Hiring for New Fusion Network

In applying for a $3.5 million job-creation grant last year from Miami-Dade County, Fusion, the new ABC-Univision English-language cable network targeted to Hispanics, "promised to create 346 new jobs over the next five years — 201 in 2013 — in addition to retaining 137 jobs in the county," Veronica Villafañe recalled Tuesday for TVNewsCheck. "The new jobs would have an average salary of $81,000.

"So far, there isn't much evidence of such hiring.

"A LinkedIn site currently shows only 10 job listings for Fusion, including a digital reporter, coordinating producer, assignment manager and director of communications and public affairs, but an ABC spokesperson says they’re 'working 24/7 to bring people on board.' . . . "

A visual chronicle, "Journey Towards Freedom," opened at the American Center in

March 10 Marks Anniversary of King-Gandhi Milestone

"Having won our independence in a nonviolent struggle, Indians join Americans in celebrating the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s leadership of the civil rights movement in the United States," Nirupama Rao, India's ambassador to Washington, wrote Friday for Politico. "On Aug. 28, we will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington where King delivered his 'I Have a Dream' speech, and, on April 4, we will mourn the 45th anniversary of his assassination.

"On March 10, we will mark another milestone moment in King's public ministry and personal journey. On that day, 54 years ago, he returned from a monthlong journey to India where he rededicated himself to the nonviolent struggle for justice to which the leader of our nation's independence movement, Mahatma Gandhi, gave his life.

Rao continued, "Through most of the past century, Indians and African-Americans supported each other's struggles because we identify with each other’s predicaments and principles. . . . " He elaborated on the Gandhi-African American connection.

British GQ Pulls Naomi Campbell Piece on Chávez

Hugo Chávez and Naomi Campbell (Credit: Mediaite)

"In the wake of Hugo Chávez's death Wednesday afternoon, British GQ re-published an interview in which British supermodel Naomi Campbell fawned over the 'rebel angel' Venezuelan autocrat," Andrew Kirell reported Friday for Mediaite.

"Within hours, however, the piece was mysteriously scrubbed from the site. Was this a protective PR demand from Campbell's people? After all, she's in the midst of promoting her new Oxygen reality show? . . ."

Short Takes

Follow Richard Prince on Twitter @princeeditor

Facebook users: "Like" "Richard Prince's Journal-isms" on Facebook.

Richard Prince's Journal-isms originates from Washington and is published Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It began in print before most of us knew what the Internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a "column." For newcomers: The words in blue (on most computers) are links leading to more information. The Web site provides passwords and user names to some registration-only news sites, but use may be illegal in some states. Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.

Send tips, comments and concerns to Richard Prince.

To be notified of new columns, contact and tell us who you are.

About Richard Prince

View previous columns.



Coates acceptable colored writer in chat land

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a brilliant writer and talented genius who now is being certified as the best race essayist in America. Of course this crown is only worn in the white chatter class universe. When it comes to race Coates has marketed the skill of appeasing his white audience. Nothing he writes speaks to Black progressive themes but he he makes enough noise to stay under the radar of most Old School Black progressives. He will ban you from his site if you dare to challenge his formula and not stay in glues designated Black lanes. I have been banished to the shed by TNC. Interesting how he is being heralded as the latest fav scribe of Black ethos instead of being crowned as a great writer. Such is life even for designated poster boys in the post racial era.

Essence lost me years ago

The articles in Essence have not been relevant to me as a black woman in quite some time. I knew something was wrong and now I know what it is. Readership and sponsorship is down for a reason. I'm not surprised by any of this.  So sad...

This story is not over

I am very disappointed to hear this.  Ms. White will land firmly on her feet.  I would be great if all the multi-millionaires in our community backed her next venture.  Remember Rosewood.  We did it before we can do it again. 

Only what you know

Nelson and Time Inc. should leave the content to the people who are expert in it. Unless she grew up among Essence's audience, she had no business telling the editor what the audience wants. She can question, but ultimately leave it up to the editor.

Media imagery can affect health, M/F relationships

I'm sure Ms. White will fare well in her future ventures. The imagery of Black women (and men) is fully discussed in the health/sex/relationship book Living Well, Despite Catchin' Hell. Part of the "hell" is just that--negative imagery in the media; low marriage stats, health issues, sex--[hangups, benefits and risks], etc. But many Blacks are living well, and others aspire to do the same. See website for info and Amazon for print and e-book versions; also table of contents. Support books about you. For more articles about Black women (and men) imagery, see "Black Women's Health & Happiness" at Psychology Today (many topics), including mental health issues in the Black community.

Essence editors lose sight of opportunity

Constance White's insights into the difficulties she and others faced at Essence give me pause to wonder why Essence hasn't yet seen any competitor rise to the challenge of going after its target market? It seems apparent that Ms. White could recruit her own team, raise the funds necessary to produce a budget, and develop a brand that serves the target market in a manner she believes is best. As this story evolves, it will be interesting to see if it is more of an opportunity to gripe about the direction of Essence or an opportunity to lay the foundation for establishing the competitive advantage of a future competing brand. 

Essence editors lose sight of opportunity

Hold on a minute there, Mike. You make it seem as if it's easy to up and start a competitive magazine, especially a nationally circulated one. A new magazine startup is a very difficult undertaking requiring extraordinary resources and plenty of capital. Advertisers are not very attracted to startups and securing national distribution is another great challenge for a startup mag.

Essence editors lose sight of opportunity (response)

Larry, I appreciate your point. Over the past decade, while successful black media startups have stagnated, the media's competitive landscape has been turned upside down with new media digital platform successes.

If we disregard the categorial title of "magazine" and consider opportunities inherent in reaching, cultivating, engaging and monetizing target markets through strategic combinations of well-designed digital platforms coupled with social media distribution methods, we see ample opportunity for Ms. White and others to compete with Essence, if they desired to do so. After all, she is not merely someone with an idea of how to run a magazine. She's been-there-done-that. But on someone's else's dime. I'm saying she has an opportunity to put her own skin in the game and compete. And no, I'm NOT saying it's "easy." But why would you assume that my statement makes it "seem as if it's easy"?

The media universe is flooded with new startups. None have found it easy. Yet, even the Old Gray Lady (NYT) has seen its brand challenged by hot competition like, The Huffington Post and Daily Beast. In the tech world, Tech Crunch;Venturebeat; The Next Web; Read, Write, Web; Mashable, etc., dominate the field, which continues to grow minus any serious black competitors.

In Black media, we've seen the upward trend of Uptown and the new kid on the block, Dominion of New York (which is exploding in popularity and rising revenues).

My point is the alternative to complaining is competing. One can do both. But the former is irrelevant without the latter. To qualify the entrepreneurial journey as "hard" or "easy" is moot and beside the point. Every entrepreneurial endeavor is hard and risky. Yet, that is how competition is determined, jobs are created and ideas come to fruition.  

Essence Magazine

We should always pay attention to what we buy as African Americans. when Essence magazine was taken over by Time Inc. i did not renew my subscription and especially after Susan Taylor left I knew that there was a reason behind her departure. I am amazed that whites always want to buy in and buy up any business that Blacks are ready to dispose of. Is it because they are aware that we have buying power? There is no one who can tell our story better than Us and as soon as We wake up and realize, then we will stop being consumers and invest in our own communities. Pay attention to the Why behind their investing in Us, our magazines, hair care, and neighborhoods etc.

Essence Magazine

@Brenda Wilson. I agree 100%. After Susan Taylor left the decline was obvious and the magazine and EMF became a challenge to read and attend.The Essence Music Festival is no longer " Party With A Purpose" and the new regime is all about the $$$ with no substance.The EMF was informative, exciting, something for everyone and fun. My cousins and I (from all over the US) attended every year (we missed the 1st 2 years) and will take a vote amongst us if we'll continue. Time Inc., Burt-Murray and Ebanks are responsible for destroying (yes I said DESTROYED) the magazine and the EMF.

Essence Editor Says She Was Fired

I noticed a change in Essence after Susan Taylor, now I know why. Even though I continued my subscription, there was nothing about the new format of  Essence that motivated me to read it from cover to cover in one sitting like I used to do.  No one can tell my story like I do - I totally see where Ms. White is coming from.  Just renewed my subscription, but will be canceling future issues.

Essence Magazine

Wow, while I have a current Essence Magazine subscription in progress, I won't subscribe again. Thanks to Ms. White's candor and thanks to this article, I refuse to give money in support of people who use us and patronize us.

Stats be darned, no one knows what we need like we do. No one knows what nourishes our minds and spirits like we do. Therefore, no one can edit our stories like we can. I was just thinking today that it's so interesting that whites through time:

1. Wanted our skin tone (Though not too dark!)

2. They wanted our braids.

3. They wanted our full breast.

4. They wanted our full lips.

5. Now they want our booties.

And on top of all of these, they think they know what's best for us regarding our brand of journalism and story telling? Yet they have no respect for us and our legacies.

So, regarding to support this magazine in the future, it's a wrap for me.



Cross-postings from Naturally Moi



  • Terri Williams · · Howard University Thank you! I will not be renewing my subscription and will share this... With so much negativity for the Black race in general, we need magazines that truly focus and cares about us!!! Reply · 37 · Like · Follow Post · Friday at 7:15pm
  • Jeannette Tinnelle · Top Commenter · Chicago, Illinois I left Essence mag last year, the content offered nothing to me as an older African American female. Ms White you left with your dignity in tact and that will carry you far. Reply · 28 · Like · Follow Post · Friday at 7:20pm
    • Velma DeLeon I have not renewed my subscription either. I really miss the old Essence Magazine. It no longer represents. Reply · 10 · Like · 23 hours ago
    • Anita Farmer · Top Commenter · GTCC Wow J....did not know all this was going on!!...?? Reply · Like · 14 hours ago
    • Ginger Rawley I thought it was just me, I did not renew in 2011. The magazine did not seem relevant to me. I thought it was an age thing, but I see my gut feeling that things had changed was accurate. What a shame. Reply · 1 · Like · 4 hours ago
  • Patricia Gillespie McAllister · · Top Commenter · 120 subscribers When will Black people begin to realize that owning your own business is the only way to have control of how Blacks are portrayed. When Time took over Essence, that was it for positive images of Blacks. Time did not want to hear what Constance White had to say about her wanting to portray Black women and men in a positive light, so they fired her. I am so glad that Constance did not give in to Time, and begin to disrespect the positive image of Black people. I think Constance should use her contacts and talents to start her own magazine for Blacks. Look at BET. Bob Johnson became the nation's first African-American billionaire when he sold the BET media empire for $3 billion to media giant Viacom in 2000. When Bob Johnson started and owned BET, Blacks and the world could tune in to BET to watch wholesome images of Black people. After Bob Johnson sold BET, and after Viacom bought BET, the image of Black people was trashed like one would never imagine. As a matter of fact, when Viacom bought BET, that was the beginning of the complete destruction of the positive image of Black people. I can't watch BET anymore. Black women are shown with their rear ends in the cameras, shaking their butts, their boobs out, and shaking everything on their bodies. Black men are on BET cursing, and calling Black women every degrading name in and out of the dictionary. White folks would never portray white women that way. So, you see, the $3 billion that Viacom paid Bob Johnson for BET was done to destroy the image of Black African people around the world. Bob Johnson is the descendant of freed slaves in America, and what he did destroyed the image of our ancestors, and the children of slaves in America, and all over the world. Reply · 18 · Like · Follow Post · Yesterday at 2:00am
    • Ruth Ferguson · · Dallas, Texas · 139 subscribers I was with you until I read WHOLESOME IMAGES of Blacks from Bob Johnson & BET. He sold us down the river a long time ago with his rumpshaking video themed programs - the kids who grew up watching that stuff now are stars or their grandkids are stars/wannabe stars on reality shows. Reply · 13 · Like · 22 hours ago
    • Jeffrey Perot · Top Commenter I think my mind just hit the ejection button and is now hurtling somewhere over Kansas. All I remember before blacking out was: "When Bob Johnson started and owned BET, Blacks and the world could tune in to BET to watch wholesome images of Black...". Reply · 4 · Like · 14 hours ago
  • Danny Simmons · · NYU · 837 subscribers A shame that another vehicle for black voices has been swallowed by the avalanche of commercialism and banality ...god it goes back but I as a young teen was excited to see the fro's and bald heads on women of color in the first issue...essence once stood for something.. Reply · 15 · Like · Follow Post · 15 hours ago
    • Crystal Durant · · Singer/DJ/Sound Designer/Graphic Designer at Rock Star at Loser's Lounge and other places · 172 subscribers Bananas Reply · Like · 14 hours ago
    • Jeffrey Perot · Top Commenter This is why China refuses to allow the west into their country without putting local Chinese in the mix. They don't mind a little western investment and know-how with a particular venture, but they have an outlook of that result then benefiting Chinese. Black americans have lost that. We'll sell our companies and take the money off the table after never having merged with our black competitors to stay viable and grow (see the epitaph of the black hair care industry). Reply · 4 · Like · 14 hours ago
    • Carolyn A Butts · · Publisher/Founder at African Voices · 1,482 subscribers I was very disheartened to learn about the firings and changes Time Warner has made to Essence over the years. I wish someone like Earl Graves could have bought the magazine and preserved its legacy. Reply · 3 · Like · 13 hours ago
    View 1 more
  • Rachelle BlessedLife McMillan · · Freelance Writer at WriteStar Publishing For the first time since I was 16 years old, I have not renewed my subscription since 2011. The content seems very frivolous! I am sorry to see Ms. White leave, as she injected Essence with life. I wish her well in future endeavors. Essence should have remained Black-owned. Reply · 13 · Like · Follow Post · Friday at 7:36pm
    • Omar Wassan · Top Commenter · Oakland, California The Black co-owner mr. Smith was kicked out of the magazine that he founded by his treacherous partner and board of directors for the short term fast buck mr. Smith warned them but there greed got the best of them. Reply · 11 · Like · Yesterday at 12:27am
    • Ruth Ferguson · · Dallas, Texas · 139 subscribers When NeNe is on the cover of powerful black women - Houston we have a damn problem Reply · 29 · Like · 22 hours ago
    • Jeffrey Perot · Top Commenter Oh, so thats the inside story. I always wondered why Michael Bloomberg kept his company private. Now I know why? I think too that it was the late Bob Johnson who feared public ownership like the plague. Smart man. Reply · Like · Edited · 14 hours ago
    View 2 more
  • Jeffrey Perot · Top Commenter Well, who the fuck sold the magazine to time? And if black women think this article is timely (pun intended) then why didn't one of them buy Essence themselves? Welcome back to corporate america Constance. Your firing is no more remarkable than any other that occurs thousands of times every day, except that its an ironic outcome considering the magazine's mission. Reply · 8 · Like · Follow Post · Friday at 7:11pm
  • Zachary Cornell Husser · Top Commenter · Columbia University Ms. C.R. White, I want to know from You how WE can help make things correct. Are You interested in going out on Your Own to compete and build a Magazine with quality for Our Black Queens? I want to know do Black Women have the "Will" to come together to Support another effort to tell Our Story? What's Up and how can I support another effort? Reply · 5 · Like · Follow Post · Friday at 8:27pm
    • Jeffrey Perot · Top Commenter These efforts are already underway in numerous online ventures already, of which Essence, I believe already had a foothold in as well. She could join one. But it surely wouldn't hurt to broaden the pie. But honestly the talent skillset of journalist/editor doesn't necessarily translate to webmaster and network engineer - they have to marry one another and all the flesh betwixt has to come together. The Huffington Post is a great example to which is making strides toward being an ethnic alternative. But make no mistake, while online is where its at, its hard, all the skillset is really how well you can bring diverse new-economy talents together. Reply · Like · 14 hours ago
  • Love Esteban · Once again there is always her side and Time warners side of the story and then there is the truth.... a truth we may never know. However, many readers of the magazine can take note and just observe what happens. This is one womans opinion of which may relay some truth, but there is no law that obligates the owners to go with her every decision and direction and vice versa. People disagree. The world is evolving. People have ego and get challenged and fired all the time. May Ms. White get the lesson and keep her talents moving. Reply · 4 · Like · Follow Post · 22 hours ago
  • Sekou Osei · Top Commenter Dear Folks, what did you expect? in truth the magazine has always been a bourgeoisie hair and make-up magazine and nothing more. Its themes were always some celebration of some Black bourgeoisie woman entertainer or trying some home cottages industry for a sense of Zen forfillment and a sense of fashion. I found Essence as about as relevant as Dunk-n-Donuts to a hungry dietibatic. No matter who owns it now, it has always been a Black bourgeoisie distraction from the realities of Black Working Woman and Black Life. And Right on Sister "Patricia McAllister" speak the truth... Reply · 3 · Like · Follow Post · 18 hours ago
  • Troy Johnson · · Top Commenter · Founder at Huria Search · 1,203 subscribers Subscribe to Ebony Magazine: instead. I think they offer the best hope to provided the type of publication we would like to see. Especially if they see that people are bailing from Essence -- this is an opportunity for them and us! Reply · 3 · Like · Follow Post · 15 hours ago View 1 more
  • Keith Ponder · Top Commenter COPY/PASTE. Time did not want to hear what Constance White had to say about her wanting to portray Black women and men in a positive light, so they fired her. I am so glad that Constance did not give in to Time, and begin to disrespect the positive image of Black people. I think Constance should use her contacts and talents to start her own magazine for Blacks. Look at BET. Bob Johnson became the nation's first African-American billionaire when he sold the BET media empire for $3 billion to media giant Viacom in 2000. When Bob Johnson started and owned BET, Blacks and the world could tune in to BET to watch wholesome images of Black people. After Bob Johnson sold BET, and after Viacom bought BET, the image of Black people was trashed like one would never imagine. As a matter of fact, when Viacom bought BET, that was the beginni...See More Reply · 2 · Like · Follow Post · 5 hours ago
    • Keith Ponder · Top Commenter DO NOT RENEW YOUR ESSENCE MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION. Reply · Like · 5 hours ago
    • Dominique Huff · Kennesaw Its time for blacks to stop trying to expect someone else to do it for us and do it ourselves. Secondly, we must stop selling out our businesses as well Reply · 1 · Like · 4 hours ago
    • Beverly Overton · Georgia Tech Just article on Constance, unbelievable as time passes we forget the struggle we r so consumed with personal struggles. A wake up call to stay informed...cancelled Esssence..... Reply · 2 · Like · about an hour ago
  • Troy Johnson · · Top Commenter · Founder at Huria Search · 1,203 subscribers A guess, in 2013, many of us still do not understand how things work in American. Essence Magazine's trajectory is nothing unusual;. (1) Conscious black folks identify a need in the Black community. (2) These mission driven folks pool resources and talent against great odds and minimal community support to create a magazine, website, whatever... (3) Over time the commercial value of the entity is recognized by others. The original owners sell out. Revenue seeking owners take over. (4) The new owners motivated by only by money completely pervert the original mission of the publication. Whatever remains of the original mission is lip service or an accident. (5) The publication survives despite the dissatisfaction of many of the original readers. But this audience, much older now, is no longer needed as the publication's target is much younger, less conscious. They are not bother by the focus on celebrity, the rehashed articles about how to manage your money, find and keep a man are all new to them. Essence is NOT going to change to conform to ideals set forth by it's founders -- it can't. The most we can hope for is that White and others get together and start a new publication. -- go back to steps (1) and (2) above and stop. But in America this is not likely to happen, Black Voices (website), BET (TV Network), Essence (Magazine)... Reply · 2 · Like · Follow Post · 16 hours ago
    • Alicia Williams Wow, this is so interesting (I am supposed to be writing right now, so my last comment, lol). I have always loved Essence, but haven't renewed my subscription for several years now for these exact reasons. Readers what point do we elevate our literature (even in mags) to represent our readership. The same rehashed stories about fashion, beauty, money will no longer cut it. Reply · 1 · Like · 16 hours ago
    • Troy Johnson · · Top Commenter · Founder at Huria Search · 1,203 subscribers It will never be elevated Alicia, at least until readers who claim they demand it are willing to support it financially. Quality writing, art, editorial, promotion and production that goes into a quality magazine comes at a price few seem to be willing to pay. So we get the same juvenile stories over and over... Sure grown women eventually tire of the content, new "marks" are ones born every day ;-) Reply · 1 · Like · 14 hours ago
  • Effie McCain · Truck Driver at C.R. England Global Transportation/Truck driving school Failure to admit that our people don't invest in our people is a disgrace in itself. We have failed to do as Economic America did and other immigrants did; invest and help each other with 75% of its income and the other 25% was for other races. I have not renewed my subscription, because it was not the voice of all African American/Black people. The tokens of richness of America only have a few areas they donate in and only a few evolve around the most needed. I am not shocked of the termination. We think we are in progression, but we have digressed in a bad way. I am very dissapointed with our Civil Right Leaders, Activist and the role models of our race that have been bought and famous off the struggle and the struggle isn't over; its just struggle. I felt Essence lost their heart for the real African American/Black talk. It was getting unrealistic in alot of views. Reply · 2 · Like · Follow Post · Friday at 8:25pm
  • Johan Nairne Beckles · Los Angeles, California Ms. White, stand in the middle of crisis and invite evolution to appear. Use your innovative and progressive concepts for a black women's publication to evolve into your own! We want our voices to be heard and our images to positively reflect our diversity without distortion from too much commercialism. We will follow. Reply · 2 · Like · Follow Post · 14 hours ago
  • Abdul Muhammed · Top Commenter · Babylon First CNN and other TV stations and now the once Black owned magazine has gone whitey! We must have and maintain our own and stop selling out, smdh! Reply · 2 · Like · Follow Post · 18 hours ago
  • Deborah Williams · Los Angeles, California I let my subscription go when Essence sold out to mainstream America. Reply · 2 · Like · Follow Post · 5 hours ago
  • Mona S Kiesha · Top Commenter · Central Film School London smh... it should of stayed black own.... Reply · 2 · Like · Follow Post · Friday at 7:50pm
  • Zachary Cornell Husser · Top Commenter · Columbia University What are Black Folks going to do about another "smack" in the face by Time, Inc. as they kick qualified Sister C.R. White out as the Editor of once Black Owned Essence Magazine? I say WE need to tell Our Own Story by coming together and forming and or working with a magazine already in existence. WE have the talent, but since We don't own an Essence Type Magazine, We get treated anyway. The Coalition should be with Oprah and OWN Magazine so We're telling Our Story and supporting a Black Owned Venture! We owe it to Ourselves to do this! However, I salute Ms. C. R. White for staying "True" to her Black Agenda. Now, What are WE going to do? Everything in life changes, but not the Truth! We've heard from Ms. White and Now it's Our turn, those of Us that purchase Essence Magazine to make an intelligent decision about the Time, Inc. owned Essence Magazine! Reply · 1 · Like · Follow Post · Friday at 8:23pm
    • Omar Wassan · Top Commenter · Oakland, California No one told the dummies to sale the magazine mr. Smith told them not to sale it so they booted him out he was the original founder of the magazine. Reply · 1 · Like · Yesterday at 12:30am
    • Richie Brown One question for you. Have you flipped through the pages of Own magazine? Own may be blk owned, but it is NOT a magazine for blk people. I do not have one friend that has a subscription for OWN. Own's targeted readership is a carry-over from Oprah's show. Reply · 1 · Like · 19 hours ago
    • Sekou Osei · Top Commenter Dear Richie, you are sooooooooooooooo right. A lot of Black publication are simply narscisstic and bourgeoisie self involved and not really relevant to much in the actually lived Black life. They only provide bourgeoisie exscape. Reply · 1 · Like · 17 hours ago
    View 1 more
  • Martine Baron I have not renewed my subscription for years now. When I noticed the influx of articles relating on how to get a man outnumbered the focus on loving yourself, loving your community and empowering others. The days of awaiting the essence magazine to read in the spirit are gone. No updated news on black authors, artists, community events, caring for yor baby but how to do make up and join a lottery for the latest essence man of the month. Yuck! I'm done with Essence. This just validates what many of us already knew. The sale of this publication gravely affected the content and integrity of the magazine. Reply · 1 · Like · Follow Post · 19 hours ago
  • Gerald R White ...unfortunately, the "real" agenda after Essence was sold has revealed itself, trim back positive Black images until subscriptions drop and ultimately shut down the magazine...kudos to Constance for distancing herself & her career from conforming...others would've kept the check! Reply · 1 · Like · Follow Post · Friday at 9:24pm
  • Tami J. Franklin · Top Commenter I saw the articles and content shifting to information that is not shaping the growth of our children and community. This is not good regardless of who buys the company. The heart of the vision must remain. A sad day in America's magazine industry. The true nature of thought is being lost. Reply · 1 · Like · Follow Post · 19 hours ago
  • El'Malik Abdul Muhammed · Top Commenter First CNN and other TV stations and now the once Black owned magazine has gone whitey! We must have and maintain our own and stop selling out, smdh! Reply · 1 · Like · Follow Post · 18 hours ago
  • Fylynne Crawford · Loop Junior College I'm meant Susan Taylor. Sorry! Reply · 1 · Like · Follow Post · 15 hours ago
  • Earthangel Seven So sad, and I guess this is why Essence Magazine has not appealed to me lately...its boring, run of the mill, cut a paste celebrity photo book. I haven't had a subscription for a good while and I guess its all clear now. Reply · Like · Follow Post · Friday at 10:38pm
  • Bonita Landy Gilchrist · Top Commenter · Admin & Clerical at Amerigroup I saw the difference in Essence whe Time took over. I cancelled by magazines when they turned it into another "white" magazine. Reply · Like · Follow Post · Friday at 10:21pm
  • Karla Hildred LaGrone · CEO & President at 24/7 Productions 40Days40Nights Promotions Its just like Fashion Fair makeup....I was a makeup artist for them in the 80's, they laid off so many of us and told us they were using the dept store staff that worked the counters selling fragrances and makeup. Most of them had no idea about makeup for women of color, then the truth came out....Fashion fair was supposedly sold to a company in France. Reply · Like · Follow Post · 9 hours ago
  • Pat Hardiesty They didn't just recently sell to Time. They sold out decades ago. I remember. That's when White models started appearing in the ads. I stopped reading this mag years ago. Reply · Like · Follow Post · Friday at 8:55pm
    • Nolan Lemon · · Top Commenter It wasn't decades ago, Pat. Time, Inc. bought "Essence Magazine" in 2005. Reply · 2 · Like · Friday at 9:06pm
    • Guichard Cadet In 2000, Time Warner bought 49%, and in 2005, TW bought the remaining 51%. They structured the deal that way as to not lose the entire subscription base in 2000. Reply · Like · 2 hours ago
  • MaryAnn Abney-Parrish · Top Commenter I stopped subscribing to Essence when the buyout to Time was completed. It had lost its focus. Reply · Like · Follow Post · Friday at 9:25pm
  • Marian Yates · Top Commenter No more Essence for me! Reply · Like · Follow Post · Yesterday at 12:11am
  • Shereen Hart · · Top Commenter Ditch Essence. Constance, start your own dang magazine so I can subscribe to it and let's have one for REAL black women with no white takeovers any more. I'm sick them screwing up our shyt. It never ends with them. That's why Nadine Thompson had to remake herself and start a whole new company with Soul Purpose, some white drag takeover that had no earthly clue what is the real deal with black women in America or their skin care. Nadine left, Warm Spirit folded and Soul Purpose was born; and the same thing needs to happen with Essence Time. Black women, leave them in the trash where they belong. Don't want it, don't need it. They wouldn't buy a white magazine run by a black woman and we don't owe them jack. Reply · Like · Follow Post · Edited · Yesterday at 12:33am
  • La Glenda Georgetta Reed · Executive Director/Founder at Self-Esteem, Inc. I hope she starts her own magazine for Black Women, I to noticed the change especially when all the new ads were mostly white. It always felt good to see the ads and content all Black, I am proud of you that you did leave with your dignity, like others have already commented. Thanks for giving us the best of you! Reply · Like · Follow Post · 14 hours ago
  • Lisa Askew-Kilpatrick · · One of God's Finest Wherever God Needs Me at Wherever God Needs Me To Be · 119 subscribers I WILL NOT BE RENEWING MY SUBSCRIPTION WHEN IT EXPIRES... AND I WILL BE VOICING MY OPINION OF CONCERNS. Reply · Like · Follow Post · 8 hours ago
  • Jennifer Carson · Independent Consultant at 5LINX I will cancel my subscription as well Reply · Like · Follow Post · 6 hours ago
  • Wanda Taylor · Chicago State University They have lost my subscription as well! Reply · Like · Follow Post · Yesterday at 12:09am
  • Lucille Fanniel · Top Commenter · Owner at Fanniel Fashions Patricia, thank you thank you I could not agree more! You Expressed every thing I always say and know to be true facts! it's devastating to see the Path BET, Essence, and Jet has taken our Black people and we have played into it for what! I just can't stand BET its disgusting! We rallied in AZ and did everything to try to get them to upgrade BET when Bod Johnson has it! no such luck! And the ignorance goes on! Reply · Like · Follow Post · 14 hours ago
  • Author Carmen Love Constance, I applaud you for standing up for yourself regardless of the consequences. Apparently you were too good to work with bigots like this! God has something better for you and wanted you out of there. I will not be purchasing anymore magazines from Essence. Reply · Like · Follow Post · 14 hours ago
  • Kathy Rawlins · Dayton, Ohio Having just started a new subscription to Essence which thank goodness I only paid $5.00 for one year, I realize how lucky I am not to have wasted more money. They need to take away some of the ads and bring in articles, there is nothing in there I can relate to. I know now I will not be renewing when the year is up. Reply · Like · Follow Post · 18 hours ago
  • Angela Moore- Kelly Shameful shameful --- you must appeal to your readers on positive level -- Reply · Like · Follow Post · 13 hours ago
  • Sandra Y. Lewis I will cancel my ebook subscriptions. Reply · Like · Follow Post · 17 hours ago
  • Tamara Walker · · 114 subscribers Essence had the opportunity to belong to Black Enterprise family but I think dollar signs blinded them. Sometimes it's not about the money. Reply · Like · Follow Post · 15 hours ago
  • Fylynne Crawford · Loop Junior College I used to love Essence under Susan Walker. It steadily lost favor after that. There's an opportunity for the literary sista's! Reply · Like · Follow Post · 15 hours ago
  • Ken Bright · Top Commenter · Mohawk Valley Community College Undermining the intelligence of the AA community. Trying to keep AA dumbrd dpwn. Its about lowering our awareness base. Reply · Like · Follow Post · 17 hours ago
  • Sha-ron ShockJock Purvis · · Top Commenter Goes to show how threatened the white man feels about black intelligence. Reply · Like · Follow Post · 16 hours ago
    • Molly Christine Swipas Sounds to me like they had a difference of opinion, she got fired, and now she's butthurt about it. All people, of all colors, get fired for all kinds of different reasons. Reply · Like · 16 hours ago
  • Gloria Benton-Tines · Tennessee State University start your own magazine about black people. Reply · Like · Follow Post · 14 hours ago
  • Anita Farmer · Top Commenter · GTCC INTERESTING....unaware all this was going on with Essence; always liked it for "out front" recognition and support of the black woman in business/ finance; relationships, home/family, fashion, health/well being; most of all style & grace. Hope they will continue in these areas of interests representing black female perspective of all ages...... Reply · Like · Follow Post · Edited · 15 hours ago
  • Lucille Fanniel · Top Commenter · Owner at Fanniel Fashions I quit as soon as I knew t was under new ownership Essence is going down and that's great! I had a subscription for many years! no more. Ms White you will find something bigger and better! Reply · Like · Follow Post · 14 hours ago
  • Catherine Michelle Gray · Top Commenter Omg,,,, I just told my husband how essence magazine has change,,,,,, and the change is not a good thing!!!!!! Reply · Like · Follow Post · 18 hours ago
  • Jocelyn H. Arnwine · I too will not be buying Essence anymore as well and have noticed the change in the content and it is not good. Reply · Like · Follow Post · 15 hours ago

Cross-postings from Naturally Moi (con't)

47 Responses to Essence Editor Says She Was Fired; “It wasn’t what I expected at all”

  1. cat March 8, 2013 - 7:10 pm

    We should not be surprized. When you sell your company out to others don’t expect the same passion and purpose as it was intended for…I don’t understand why we keep doing this to OURself…I guess money will make you do just about anything….Sorry for the sister maybe she can start her own mag…You can’t make boss massa uncomfortable and stay employed…

  2. Dr. Cheryl Smith-Brown March 8, 2013 - 8:27 pm

    Join the group. I too spoke up on my job about the way that black children were being treated in the school district. It seems that when you dig deep enough and call the top leaders out on the carpet, you will be let go. Corporate America, school districts and banks mortgage companies across America want to keep control of black americans. It began with the promise of 40 acres and a mule which ended in the closing of the Freedman’s Bureau and no land or mule. It is a d**n shame that nothing has changed, it has just been painted over with another coat of paint and renamed.

    • Sekou Osei March 9, 2013 - 9:41 am

      Dear Dr. Cheryl, no one is responding to th power of corporate America over our lives and the crimnal acts of mortgage companies and their power to impose gentrification. But to be honest we have been disarmed by the biggest corporate harlot in the person of President “Bucheat” Happy Obama, as he drones children in North Africa and the so-called Middle East and now the NDAA. Our community must take a very real reality check on whose are its friends and who are its enemies

  3. Cynthia Cornelius March 8, 2013 - 10:37 pm

    I knew that there were some changes made to Essence. I noticed Europeans included in the ads. I will not be renewing my suscription if I feel that it is no longer geared toward Black women.

  4. Cassandra March 8, 2013 - 11:45 pm

    I was just talking to a friend about Essence and the content. We both were saying how we don’t relate to it at all. The fashion is limited and the lifestyle is so limiting there is no reason to look at it. I thought I just grew out of Essence. We laughed because we haven’t grown out of Vogue, Metropolitan Home, etc. Essence hasn’t held my interest for a while. It is disappointing that Constant has left, she was bringing more depth and creativity to the magazine. Today Essence seems like it’s for 17 – 27 year olds. Maybe that works for them, doesn’t work for me.

  5. De March 9, 2013 - 12:08 am

    Like many have commented I thought I had outgrown the content. Ms White Thank you for having the character to not sell out. It is tough to be stand tall

    I have not renewed my subscription in 5 years. Time for a new magazine

  6. hhh March 9, 2013 - 12:15 am

    Unfortunately this is a continuation of a trend that started in the late 90?s with African American controlled media and advertising. African American media like all media is highly dependent upon advertising placement and circulation for revenue. Likewise African American advertising agencies compete for control of billings from fortune 100 companies who dedicate less than 3% of there marketing budget towards African American consumers. Because corporations feel that they can reach African American consumers without the need to target them with specific advertisements or that their general market”white” agencies can develop Afrocentric ads as well as African American agencies less marketing spend is allocated towards the African American consumer. As a result, many African American ad agencies have been competing for smaller billings which translates to small placement revenue for media outlets like Essence, Ebony, BET, Black Enterprise..ect. Consequently many of the top African American agencies began to sell to or enter into joint ventures with large general market advertising corporations, who targeted African American advertising agencies as a way to control 100% of corporate marketing spend.The net result was less placement billings for African American media outlets who inturn were forced to sell or enter into joint ventures with large media corporations like Time Warner. From 1998 to 2008 we have lost control of much of the African American advertising and media industries. African Americans, who are the heaviest consumers of media and per capita consumer products, have lost the control and benefit of the industries that have traditionally served them. Moreover, the many African American vendors who received contracts from African American advertising and media companies no longer benefit from the pass through of corporate marketing budgets. Bottom line, we loose the benefit of our consumer market power and the control of the content and quality of our media outlets.

  7. Barbara March 9, 2013 - 12:15 am

    I cancelled my subscription to ESSENCE when it was sold to Whites. They kept begging me to come back as one of their valued subscribers–offering half price off. I did so, but found the contents of the magazine boring. Plus, I didn’t like giving my money to Whites.

    I had not planned to renew when my two year subscription expired; and I definitely will not do so. I will not have some White women running a Black women’s magazine for me and my Black daughters telling us what we should think and do.

    Ms. White, join the other Black women on-line magazines. That’s where our future lies.

    Shame on those Negroes who sold us out to White people. Never support anythingelse they do (That goes for you too Mr. Bob Johnson and BET).

  8. Kelly March 9, 2013 - 12:18 am

    We can all express such truths regarding our feelings and well known changes that have taken place since Time Warner bought the magazine. But with all of this knowledge we have, we still choose foolishly to support their negative efforts by attending their widely popular Essence Festivals. So who really cares about us not subscribing anymore. They knew what they were doing all along. The festivals make enormous amounts of money on both black females and males. I have refused to support them for years since the selling off of the magazine. But the real question is why do we always sell ourselves out for money? Ebony, THANK GOD, they have chosen to really remain in the black community. Somebody really did have a love for their work, and truly believed that we do have a voice.

    • Barbara March 9, 2013 - 9:42 am


      Isn’t EBONY 60% owned by the same White people who own ESSENCE? It seems it’s only a matter of time before EBONY is “fully” owned by Whites too.

      I never attended an ESSENCE festival.

      Whites seem to have control of Black people’s mind and herd them in to make money off of them. Other groups (Koreans) do the same to us. We are totally brainwashed. When you have a Black person such as Ms. White who takes a stand against this brainwashing, she/he is shut down/fired so they (Whites) can keep making money off the “unsuspected” Blacks.

  9. Vercie March 9, 2013 - 12:37 am

    I couldnt put my finger on why Essence wasnt as intetesting as in the past. I used to read every inch of that magazine. Thank You for confirming something is wrong. No subscriptions until change comes.

  10. Jeanette Davis March 9, 2013 - 12:46 am

    I peeped the change in the magazine over a decade ago, when they had more ads than substance, and the substance they had was leaning away from issues within our community. I left and have never purchased another issue. When black owned businesses sell out to white corporations, they are selling the image of black folks to people planning to control that image, and present it in a negative way. BET, Essence, OWN and all of the rest are fading fast. If we do not control our image around the world, we can’t complain about others doing so. Wake up Black folks!

  11. Sharron Johnson-Wilkins March 9, 2013 - 1:30 am

    I was completely turned off when I noticed all of the white ads vs no whites for all of these years. There are something’s that do not mix…an all Black magazine turning white! I stopped my subscription when I first notice the change. It was like what the h**l is this!

  12. Peter D. Slaughter March 9, 2013 - 1:46 am

    Overall not surprised and if black people and especially a vast % of black men and women need to boycott this phony,white owned racist so-called magazine. I will make sure not to buy another one at all

  13. Anfra Boyd March 9, 2013 - 1:54 am

    When Essence announced years ago that it was sold to Time, Inc or Viacom I knew that it would lose it’s power and the real reason that it was so successful in the first place. Essence was a magazine that empowered, inspired and educated Black Women to evaluate their lives in every aspect of religion, spirituality, finance, community, etc. Once any company sells out to the “white” bigger companies, we loose our power and purpose. Look at what happened to MOTOWN & BET. It’s just not worth it to sell out no matter how much profit is at stake. Why sell your soul and lose your power?


  14. Rose March 9, 2013 - 2:35 am

    my last year subscribing….

  15. TRUTH March 9, 2013 - 3:36 am


  16. TRUTH March 9, 2013 - 3:47 am


  17. Sharon Kirkpatrick March 9, 2013 - 6:04 am

    I will never buy essence magazine again. I will not be supporting the white media……

  18. Betty March 9, 2013 - 8:17 am

    Gee. Black people would do better to invest our money and talents in promoting the economic development of Africa. At least we’ll be benefiting more in the long run. White corporations still benefit from black labor. What do we get? Deeper into dependency, debt and depression. As far as I’m concerned “black success” is only an illusion if it does not empower black people to have full control over the resources of our motherland. Take a look at the state of black communities everywhere. Have we really overcome? It’s time to get our priorities straight and stop giving white people the economic control and advantage over us. Then we’d be in a better position to control our destiny. Call Mugabe a tyrant and a murderer, but at least he stood up to the beast. Obama’s just another token”white house” n****r with a cowardly streak.

    • Barbara March 9, 2013 - 9:51 am

      @ Betty

      You’re right about Mugabe. Even when they tried to dethrone him with the so-called Democratic contender, he (Mugabe) fought it off. That old African Lion will not give up….lol

  19. Teatime Talk March 9, 2013 - 8:39 am

    Stand tall and strong my sista. Most of us are aware that the struggle is not over, but continues. In unity there is strength and power. We must not yield. We must use the power of our “Dollars” to send a message to not only to the white American power structure but also to those of our people who have yielded and are afraid to fight back. Our ancestors experienced fear, however, they feared more, he results of NOT fighting back.

  20. Teatime Talk March 9, 2013 - 8:46 am

    When I get my magazines in mail, I don’t read them anymore. There used to be a time when I would get the magazine from the mail box and start flipping through the magazine before checking the rest of the mail; and more often than not read an entire article while leaning against the kitchen counter where the rest of the mail was tossed. Those days are long gone. I now take the unread/explored magazines to the local hospital for patients to read.

  21. Myrna March 9, 2013 - 9:09 am

    Sadly I opted to let my subscription lapse just last year for all of the reasons above. I will not go back or renew until someone realizes this isvavmagazine for African Amdrican women!

  22. hhh March 9, 2013 - 9:17 am

    All this is true, however we fail to understand how the system works and therefore are victims to changes within the system; always reacting to manipulation rather than being in front of it. The problem is that Corporations do not feel that they have to invest their money in Black consumers and don’t in proportion with the profits they gain from our patronage. If corporations were held to account and force to invest in us as much as we support them many of our Black owned business and industries would still be intact. This is not a hand out but requiring those who receive our money to respect and earn our money. If companies were forced to invest 13% of their marketing spend towards the Black consumer market BET, Burrell advertising, Essence, a whole host of Black owned business within advertising and media would still be Black owned. Moreover, you would see far more Black executives within corporate America and more black own vendors as a whole. When we spend our money but don’t force those who benefit to respect our consumer dollar everyone looses. If GM, Nike, Kellogg, Walmart, Ford, Toyota, McDonalds, Yum Food Group, Target, Macys, I could go on and on, were forced to spend their marketing dollar in proportion to the Black consumer dollar that they receive it would take us a long way towards saving our institutions and our economy. Right now we are consumers without a voice.

  23. William Loren Katz March 9, 2013 - 9:31 am

    It is deeply saddening to learn how this commercialization and devastation of a noble mission was accomplished through a change to white ownership. In its initial incarnation Essence editors published my essay on “Black Women of the Old West,” which with its striking photographs excited enough attention to lead a publisher have me expand it into a book. It was a book Dr. Betty Shabazz, when she interviewed me on her WLIB-AM radio program [twice],announced “This is one of the most interesting books I ever read.” I guess the overriding question is how does one keep noble and needed efforts from being bought up by white financial interests with little interest in or even hostility toward Black women, their lives, communities and history. I don’t have a ready answer, but maybe others do.

    • GodMind March 9, 2013 - 11:21 am

      @WilliamLorenKatz….@hhh….@Betty….etc… Well I keep hearing the conversation about doing business in Africa, ok if not now, then when? The richest black man in the world is a Nigerian brother “Aliko Dangote” (13.8 billion)” and there are others. The Chinese are all over Africa doing business, Oprah and Robert Johnson have invested in Africa too. Maybe that Beautiful Black highly intelligent woman “Constance” can go global with a new African Essence! In my opinion the euro centric media machine is (perceived as) controlling our destiny thereby assassinating our future lineages. It tells us what success for us looks like (from their perspective). I am reminded again of Carter G Woodson’s book “The Mis-Education of the Negro”. Seemingly we have made ourselves a back door people! We love this house! Hey Fire!!!!

  24. Lisa March 9, 2013 - 10:17 am

    I’ve been reading Essesence since I was a teen. I buy them now and I never read the from cover to cover. I now know why , thanks for the information. I will not be buying Essesence anymore. I hope Mrs. White starts her own magizine.That is the new door God has opened for her, Time won’t be able to handle her greatness.

  25. Lisa March 9, 2013 - 10:20 am


  26. Prinzez March 9, 2013 - 10:30 am

    I stopped l o n g ago, and, wrote a letter telling them why. It was not for the average Black woman who bought the magazine looking for the dream. It offered no solutions. OOPS, maybe I was expecting or reading the wrong magazine.

  27. Marshata Randall March 9, 2013 - 11:33 am

    I too noticed a change and will not purchase Essence any longer. IT IS NOW TIME THAT WE EMPOWER, INVEST IN, and EDUCATE OUR OWN PEOPLE! I AM 100% BEHIND Ms. White when she venture out on her OWN and get US unified!

  28. LeRoy Henderson March 9, 2013 - 11:49 am

    Constance White’s experience is one more glaring example of what happens to African Americans who dare to stand up to white corporate America’s hubris. Bravo to her! She will land on her feet. Essence Magazine is one of the most obscene examples of how whites think they know what’s best for us. It is traitors like Ed Lewis and Bob Johnson who are complicit in the on-going campaign to dis-empower us, even in this day and time. Some massive public gesture should be made in the case of Essence Magazine’s arrogance and blatant disrespect of African American women.

  29. hhh March 9, 2013 - 12:08 pm

    I am a Black male and it inspires me to see so many intelligent Black women responding to this article with passion and conviction. As always, you are the foundation of our families and communities. You are also the purse strings of our economy as 89% of all household purchases are made by females. @Godmind, I agree and pray for a return of the Atlantic Triangle Trade system this time with a pan-African focus, the wealth and prosperity flowing to Africa and African American consumers within the diaspora. In order to make that a reality we must harness the power of the African American consumer, the 9th largest consumer market in the world. We must force those who wish to do business with us to respect us and conduct business in a way that benefits our communities and employs our people. This is something we can do right now. Buy within the community and encourage organizations such as the Church, NAACP, Urban League, HBC’s, Black Greek system, Prince Hall Masons, Order of Eastern Star, Black Greek system, and all other affinity groups to boycott companies that do not have at least a 13% composition of African American executives, vendors and suppliers, franchise owners and affiliates. We must see a return for our dollar as well and force 13% of the corporate marketing budget allocated towards the African American consumer and community. If we accomplish this, Black male and Female unemployment will drop significantly, Black own businesses will experience a renaissance and we can begin to engage in import/export and FDI ventures with African countries and businesses. We must take back some of the strength of our dollar, as we can see our very lives depend on it.

  30. David March 9, 2013 - 12:26 pm

    This Black owned Magazine should have never been sold to white organizations which are dedicated to kill us softly with their attitude toward us, making believe that we are inferior.

    I mean, what were we expecting to happen; Constance C.R. White can be considered a HEROE for standing up for her people, to the point of losing her job.

    I am proud of her, and talking about her, I am telling you Constance, I wish that you have support from our fellow Black Brothers and sisters, and I hope: “All BLACKS” who know that they are Black and are by all means CONCERNED should Stand with her write to the editor in chief of that previously Black owned magazine, and tell them what we think of thier actions that lead to disagreement with Constance C.R. White, DEMANDING that she gets her job back with compensation for trouble that they cause her, and even considering buying back to Black Own Magazine. It is time that we start to: “Intelligently” stand for our people. It is only then we will gain respect.

    Thanks for your time.

  31. Herman Hawkins Jr. March 9, 2013 - 12:49 pm

    What we don’t control we can’t expect to get anything from. We MUST keep what’s ours. Then again we don’t always take proper stewardship of what we own or have an negligent attitude. That is just as bad as others controlling what we spend. Proper ownership, maintenance AND stewardship are a must if we as black people are to get anywhere.

  32. Mandingo March 9, 2013 - 1:13 pm

    Essence is not going to portray us positively because it is owned and thus controlled by our racist enemies.Marcus Garvey truly said that the only solution is us owning and controlling our resources for our own benefit.

  33. Shahid Raki March 9, 2013 - 1:30 pm

    No one else can speak for us, but us. No one else can think for us, but us. No one else can properly portray us, but us. I wonder what made us think that someone who does not look like us could properly portray, commit, and function in our community about us, but us. I remember reading years ago how one particular white owned hair care company was intending to drive all of the black hair care companies out of business. And unless I’m mistaken, they either have or have just about done it. Essence has been for and about our beautiful black women and we always want it to be that way. Who can best speak for them, but them. Where would we be without them? Everyone has a right to buy and sell their businesses, goods, and services to whomever they want, but sometimes if that someone has bought something that is part of our culture it cannot be expected or assumed that they can or will try to continue with the same level of care, understanding, and knowledge of us as we have of us. You speak for you and we’ll speak for us.

  34. PinkRose March 9, 2013 - 2:38 pm

    I stopped subscribing to Essesnce after they sold out to TimeWarner. And Black folks shoulda’ stopped buying a LONG time ago!

  35. Cassandraj March 9, 2013 - 2:57 pm

    I will not be renewing. I noticed the changes a few months ago.

  36. Shi March 9, 2013 - 3:14 pm

    Black Pride and Ownership is a Faded Accomplishment in the Black Business. Blacks embraced that magazine even when all those black butts were shanking all over the place, instead of a computer class, tutors, mentors, educators being implemented in BET programing. Missing was a Colossal Opportunity to be involved with Black Young Youth , we Still hung on. Hear this, from Johnson (I made It); and I will sell it to the highest Offer; if your blood was RED; It Is Now Green To the Tune of $3Billion. The Legacy – The Heritage – The Black Identity Is Stolen by Money that a Black Rich Icon refused to cradle the Promise of Tomorrow’s Black. Shame, Shame

  37. Corky Johnson March 9, 2013 - 3:31 pm

    Good Afternoon My Brothers and Sisters: You all have some very good concepts and true to life experiences. I do have some inside insight. The time has come to band together as a people, A great people of the Black race. We need a mass movement within our communities to educate our people that it is good Being Black, Thinking Black, Buying from Blacks, and Supporting Blacks. We have made all other ethnic group rich in this country, because we are still trying to be accepted by the other groups who don’t look like us. They don’t care about you, your families, or your current conditions, the drugs, the high school drop out rates, who get’s an education, inproper or inadequate housing, welfare, food stamps, what ever. The time has come where we all must decide, what are you doing, or willing to do, to make your contribution to the race financially and supportively. When are we going to wake up and develop our own wealth and resources. We have only 1/2 of 1% of the total wealth in this country. A damm shame, considerating the total wealth we Black Americans have collectively. If we don’t take action and not come together, we will be the permanent under class. In America, it is Whites who use wealth and power to marginalize, exploit, and subordinate us.White can deny Black employment, educational opportunities, business resources, a place to live or the right to vote. We own nothing or we sell our companies just for the dollars.

    In my book: Why Are Afro-Americans Afraid To Take Off The Blinders on, I explain the current issues and facts, plus give solution’s as to the New Black Direction, that we must choose.

    We are one, our cause are one, and together, we MUST HELP EACH OTHER, if we are going to succeed: Corky J.

  38. Poetee March 9, 2013 - 3:47 pm

    Ok Ms White, now start your own magazine.

  39. Poetee March 9, 2013 - 3:51 pm

    I knew something was wrong when they were promoting Im gonna have babies without being maried.

    • Gail Hawkins March 9, 2013 - 7:52 pm

      Why are we surprised? We don’t support Black Businesses, Black Professionals such as Doctors,Dentists or Accountants, etc. I would think after all these years we would have learned. When a race feels that they are less than or less deserving, this is what happens. Also when we sell out for the bottom dollar, we should not expect those people who buy us to be as interested in ourselves as we are. Look at the community where beauty supply shops in our community are owned by non-Blacks. I am tired of seeing young Black girls and women with weaves that make them look horrible (hair loss and tracks visible) just so that can swing their hair. Men (boys) walking around with their underwear showing, fathering kids out of wedlock while others struggle for the right to marry who they want. Black America, wake up. You’ve already slept too long.

  40. ana March 9, 2013 - 9:53 pm

    Essence has changed quite some time ago,the conversation,the advertising and the complete overall makeup of the magazine itself. It was quite noticeable from the beginning of the new ownership…No more Essence for me,it is not the Authentic Black Magazine Anymore…Black People need to Retain Their Own Businesses,that is the only way we will have any True Freedom and to Provide our Own Employment for our Future Generation…We Need to Control Our Own Destiny.

  41. Jacqueline Rogers March 9, 2013 - 10:17 pm

    As so many have stated earlier I stopped subscribing to Essence years ago. We must always remember that blacks on the cover doesn’t mean blacks in control. However, I can’t be mad at Time. Their allegiance is to the bottom line and not the concerns of we as a community.With black hair care generating almost $700mm;why wouldn’t Essence give you page after page of hair, beauty and fashion.

    Instead of just stopping subscriptions to Essence let’s start investing in each others entrepreneurial efforts. Lets teach by example the next generation that the best investment you can make is in yourself and your community.You can never consume your way to power.

    PS Black women are the largest group of purchasers for online shoes.

  42. Greg March 10, 2013 - 12:42 am

    This is typical. It is not Black Owned anymore. They do not have a need to cater to black people. So get her black behind out of here.


White privilege depicted in Essence

Let's not lose sight of the privilege on display while reacting to the firing of Constance White (ironically, the fired black editor).

Fact: A white woman, Ms. Martha Nelson, exerted her authority in determining the direction of Time Inc.'s subsidiary, Essence, which targeted a black female audience. In other words, a white woman fired a black woman over a disagreement surrounding the strategic development of an iconic black woman's magazine.

The notion that "we" are best suited to tell "our" own stories is a comforting premise we tell ourselves as we sell our stories daily while working on media platforms owned by others. At the end of the day, we can think whatever we want. But the actual authority resides with those who own the content. In short, we don't own our stories if we don't own the platform upon which our stories are told. And those who own the platform, own its content ... and its direction ... and how we are depicted upon those platforms.

Soledad O'Brien is the lesson we ought to take to heart. When she negotiated with CNN to depart amicably, she recognized the branded series, "Black in America" and "Latino in America" were valuable enterprises. She now owns them outright. And CNN will forever be spoken of favorably by Ms. O'Brien. Nice outcome, and mutually beneficial to both parties.

I think Ms. White failed to recognize her subservient role at Time, Inc. She mistakenly believed she was standing up for a principle that has no value in the world of capitalism. Note: Essence mag may be down during a down time for revenues in the industry, but its circ is up. I suspect that will not be greatly affected by the few hundred folk who stop subscribing due to the loss of Ms. White.

Ms. White paid the price of marrying herself to a principle that is worthless in the billion-dollar mag media industry. She will receive many pats on the back from well-wishers who won't pay her bills or invest in her would-be entrepreneurial enterprise (if she, like Ms. O'Brien," decides to create a startup media venture).

Ms. White erroneously believed the hype that she was the "Editor-in-Chief" and final decisionmaker on the direction of telling the stories of black American women. She now understands that she merely played a role that she was privileged to play as long as she remained within the boundaries set by those with true privilege: the owners. 

Essence Magazine's past and future

As editor-in-formation of what became Essence Magazine, I find I am not surprised, by what has happened to it. Despite what has been said, written amd attested to, when I was first approached by members of the Hollingsworth Group to consult about the formation of a new black audience magazine, it was I who suggested doing [a] women's book, since I had already been collecting editorial and advertising background on doing one.

I also suggested not competing with Ebony by doing the general market magazine they had in mind, and I agreed to come on board only if I received a percentage stake in what we were doing.

When I failed to get a contract including this, and having it signed in a timely fashion, the four members of the Hollingsworth Group (all men) decided without even mentioning it to me that they were bringing Gordon Parks on board to be editorial director, and they were giving him the 5% stake in the enterprise they had promised. I walked out the next evening, leaving only the tape recordings they had made of our meeting discussions as to what I wanted to do at the magazine. I never gave them or discussed my business plan.

More than two years later, they had the name from Gordon, a new business plan, and a lot of my old tape recorded, ideas on editorial and staff. I have never regretted leaving.

Cross-postings from Clutch magazine

  1. tamvanhorn   March 8, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    I think that is what we want to be represented, we as readers need to talk to Time, Inc. and state our requirements…our money spends too easily to give it to people without our best interests at heart. Support this sister being brave and speaking out!

    Thumb up Thumb down +29 

  2. Chic Noir   March 8, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    The first three issues of Essence under Constance White were so good. If you don’t have them, go to Ebay to buy a copy. None of that ” what’s wrong wit blk women” or ” why don ‘t blk men love us” garbage. There was even an a monthly Column about Black women living and working abroad. The fashion editorials were better. Articles with Blk women in healthy relationships with Blk and non blk men.

    I don’t know what to do since Essence is the last magazine standing that’s geared to us.

    Thumb up Thumb down +28

    Reply Report comment
  3. Ticia   March 8, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    I would love to know how a white women could possibly think she knows best when it comes to black women? Essence for years has been a mess. The editorials are half-ass, the covers are boring and the content lacked the vibe of for us by us feeling. My point white women can’t run a so called black women’s magazine with out the strong influence of a black women. It’s very sad to hear, very sad indeed.

    Thumb up Thumb down +30

    Reply Report comment
  4. seritatheresa   March 8, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Time inc cancelled Time Magazine so I think they’re struggling and expendable black women are always the first to go in struggling organizations. I read some of my favorite articles in Essence in the late nineties and now I notice I just thumb through looking at clothing and reading the horoscopes like I do with Marie Claire. It’s no longer worth the price of subscription.

    Thumb up Thumb down +13

    Reply Report comment
  5. SMH March 8, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Why doesn’t she start her own magazine? This may be the making of a healthy trend:

    Start a business, grow it, sell it to a white establishment, let it fail, start over, take your customers with you.

    Looks like that model has worked for white businesses in their gentrification exercise. I suggest BET follow suit.

    Thumb up Thumb down +27

    Reply Report comment
    • Mademoiselle March 9, 2013 at 9:55 am

      Very true! Venture capitalists get rich off a similar model all the time, except they start with flailing companies, get it just good enough to syphon the value out, and sell it off before acquiring another company in need of help. I definitely agree that black people need to stop chasing white money like that’s the end of the road. If you’re going to chase it, chase with a plan in mind.

      Thumb up Thumb down +4

      Reply Report comment
      • SMH March 9, 2013 at 10:14 am


        What you described is actually Private Equity (see Mitt Romney). Venture Capitalists fund start-ups, which is a wildly different risk/reward model, and deservedly so.

        But I agree with your general conclusion. Whites take ZERO risks on anything Black, and only get involved when it is already success, like BET and Essence. That is predatory. I think Black people should flip it around.

        If I were Bob Johnson, I would have taken all that money, transferred as little knowledge as possible, and taken back my market in one way or another.

        Thumb up Thumb down +3

      • Jalila March 9, 2013 at 11:38 am

        @SMH, but you’re assuming Bob Johnson actually has the best interests of blacks in mind. He’s also very predatory, even with his current ventures (Opps and Youtube channel).

        Thumb up Thumb down +2

      • Mademoiselle March 9, 2013 at 12:07 pm

        You’re very right. I stand corrected.

        I agree with your approach to selling a business. I’m never a fan of selling your core competency. Bob should’ve treated the sale like a monetary infusion to his next greater idea and taken his loyal audience with him. Instead he fed us to the sharks so he could sit pretty.

        Thumb up Thumb down +2

      • SMH March 9, 2013 at 3:08 pm

        You nailed it. Unfortunately, he’s not even sitting that pretty, as he’s already lost half the money.

        I think Bob is just a really lucky guy that hit a gold mine. Imagine having the eyes, ears and minds of about 50 million Blacks, plus Black culture enthusiasts all around the world. He gave all of that up, and Oprah had to work much harder to get the kind of audience that flocked to Bob without competition.

        I’m just happy about the new crop of Black business(wo)men that are coming up, like Magic Johnson, Dr. Dre, 50, P Diddy. To be honest, I think the founder of Clutch can actually take the entire segment for Essence if she tweaked her product & distribution.

        Thumb up Thumb down +1

      • Chic Noir March 9, 2013 at 7:00 pm


        Say what Bob Johnson lost half of the money?

        *Chic Noir leans in closer for the dirt.*

        Thumb up Thumb down 0

    • Stef March 9, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      If only it was that easy, old media is dying especially paper magazines. The capital for these ventures are run into the 8-9 figures .

      There is a reason sites like clutch have grown, cause they can do what the paper mags do at a fraction of the cost

      Thumb up Thumb down +1

    1. Kacey   March 8, 2013 at 5:33 pm

      She just confirms what many of us had already suspected – that Essence is no longer a magazine by and for black women.

      Thumb up Thumb down +32

      Reply Report comment
    2. Ayana March 8, 2013 at 5:41 pm

      This is why I read Ebony now! Ms White was a huge plus for them they way Amy Barnett is to Ebony.

      Thumb up Thumb down +6

      Reply Report comment
    3. ArabellaMichaela March 8, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      Many people feared this course would ensue when Time acquired Essence. Sadly, the magazine did change much for the worse. The very paper it was printed on became cheaper and bad to the touch, unlike other women’s magazines. It appears to be the typical lack of respect of white women even for their black female equals and colleagues. I stopped reading Essence a while ago.

      Thumb up Thumb down +9

      Reply Report comment
      • Mademoiselle March 9, 2013 at 9:36 am

        Black people need to stop selling their value to white people. No good comes from giving other people power over us, and we need to stop chasing white dollars in exchange for our black voices. Even if they use us to “run” our portion of their conglomerates, it’s always just patronizing — like Debra’s role at BET. The only time they want us is when they think they can pad their bottom lines with our money without having to spend much of their resources on keeping us. Now that petitions are the latest change agent, let’s see if the next time one of our keepsakes is up for sale black people will petition to stop the deal.

        Thumb up Thumb down +5

        Reply Report comment
    4. anonymous March 8, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      She’s being honest about her conflicts with Martha Nelson and Michelle Ebanks. However, there’s a lot to this story that Constance isn’t telling. I’ve worked at Essence.

      I wonder if Essence will respond.

      Somebody didn’t get the “hush money” she expected. That’s the only reason she’s going public.

      Thumb up Thumb down -4

      Reply Report comment
      • Anon March 8, 2013 at 8:02 pm

        You’re on some sh@t, hush money for what?

        You’s a d@mn lie.


        Thumb up Thumb down 0

        Reply Report comment
        • Anonymous March 8, 2013 at 10:41 pm

          Typically when you are asked to leave a high profile position before your contract is up, you are paid until the end of the contract is expired and expected to honor the confidentiality agreement that all employees at Time Inc are required to sign. Women who are smart negotiate an additional sum to leave quietly and the company abides. This is a common practice. It’s also why so few ex-editors have spoken about their experiences despite the many who have been fired. Essence has a long standing reputation as being a dredful place to work, and not treating its employees well.

          Thumb up Thumb down +11

        • Lydia March 9, 2013 at 11:45 am

          Michelle Ebanks is a Time Inc. person and serves the corp’s interest — not Essence mag and its audience. Trust and believe that.

          What White has said has been known for years: White women (Time Inc.) control the direction of the magazine. Not black women.

          Also know, even if the mag was black owned, it could still be a mess.

          Thumb up Thumb down +2

    5. omfg March 8, 2013 at 5:46 pm

      and just a few days ago there was a story pointing the finger at conde nast for not having a magazine for black women. boo hoo.

      now i hope everyone knows why it may not be such a good idea.

      when it comes to things like this, black people need to tell our own stories and define what’s important to us. the best way to do this is through black ownership of said vehicles.

      this was the perfect counterpoint to that article. thank you constance!

      Thumb up Thumb down +24

    1. p   March 8, 2013 at 6:22 pm

      i feel like EBONY is the new essence i have been kind of disappointed in essence for a while, i bearly read unless its something special i used to ALWAYS read it seems more like TMZ and very few articles with flesh and bones. everything is not bey and stuff, black women still WRITE, are active in politics etc..there are some articles but its all entertainment, little social, spiritual and very pimpafied if you ask me. Where is susan taylors vision ‘in the spirit’ i mean…

      Thumb up Thumb down +8

      Reply Report comment
      • Anon March 8, 2013 at 8:00 pm

        EBONY (aka EBONY/JET) is not the new ESSENCE, both magazines have been on a downward spiral. Take for instance the recent unprofessional behavior displayed by the top editor at JET. And when the black blogsphere responded, one of the EBONY regular bloggers implied that the black blogsphere where rather inept in their ability to come up with non-recycled content, topics.


        Their publications are sorry and they are arrogant about it. The same thing with the people at BET…

        Thumb up Thumb down +8

        Reply Report comment
        • Lydia March 9, 2013 at 11:55 am

          @Anon, have to disagree with you there. Ebony is giving Essence a run for its money. Why? Many of the Ebony/ Jet team are from Honey Mag, Essence, etc. (You know the same group that ex-Essence EIC Angela Burt Murray belonged too) That’s why the mags look the way they do. It’s more focused on women. And Essence editors have taken note.

          Mitzi may be a mess but you can’t deny that Jet’s done a lot of great stories under her. Great news stories and lots of breaking pieces.

          It would be great if Ebony could focus on all blacks and not just women. But don’t sleep on the progress made. AND it’s black-owned.

          Thumb up Thumb down +3

    2. anthony davis March 8, 2013 at 7:01 pm

      I would agree with P, I look forward to reading Ebony far more than I do Essence now.It just seems as if the magazine has lost it’s soul and now that I am hearing this news I really don’t know if I can continue to read and support this magazine.What is happening here would never happen at “Vogue”.”Elle” Glamour” Cosmo” or any of those magazines geared towards white women.

      Thumb up Thumb down +7

      Reply Report comment
      • Chic Noir March 8, 2013 at 10:41 pm

        I remember Anna Wintours threw a small batch of fairy dust shade at Hillary Clinton when she turned down the chance to be on the cover during the 08 presidential campaign.

        Thumb up Thumb down +1

        Reply Report comment
    3. heavenleiblu March 8, 2013 at 7:06 pm

      GO OFF, Ms White! Delicious tea, we got here, and I’m all the way behind her sentiments.

      Thumb up Thumb down +7

      Reply Report comment
    4. Anon March 8, 2013 at 7:48 pm

      Quit expecting for that thing to be restored, look to new publications, start your own that are not tied to large white/jewish corporate ownerships.

      That was the dumbest move, and the individuals who headed that negotiation were African-Americans, prep-school, academic elite types, (light skinned) acting like the world, all of a sudden, became less racist and color blind towards blacks.

      Thumb up Thumb down +8

      Reply Report comment
      • p March 9, 2013 at 8:50 am

        You sound racist, with all due respect not feeling the shade in your comment.while i agree to start our own im not feeling hate towards light skinned folks or anyone, pls grow you dont havecto hate on folks to get your own its about injustice not hate thanks

        Thumb up Thumb down -3

      CCN March 8, 2013 at 8:55 pm

      Clutch, could you do an article about the individuals who negotiated the deal between Essence and Time, and who all was working for the mag. during that time, and right before.

      Would love to get the perspective of people from that era. I wonder if any of them were paid money to “hush it”.

      Thumb up Thumb down +11

      Reply Report comment
      • ArabellaMichaela March 9, 2013 at 10:43 am

        @CCN: While I too lamented the sale of Essence, there was no conspiracy or “hush money.” It was very public. The former owners, Ed Lewis and others, simply decided to sell (sell out!) to Time for a lot of money. Print Magazines are hard to run and are notorious for being money losers.

        Thumb up Thumb down +2

        Reply Report comment
      • Aya March 9, 2013 at 12:01 pm

        They all sold out, apparently. Even the fairy godmother that everyone looks at at Essence (you know the one) was among the ones that took the cash and ran when the Time Inc. takeover was finalized … so it’s been said. Everything isn’t all that it seems to be. I agree. Move on or better yet, get still and create something new!

        Thumb up Thumb down +1

      1. Writerdiva   March 8, 2013 at 11:14 pm

        There may be some hope for Essence. I’ve heard yesterday that Time-Warner will be unloading all of their magazines. There’s hope for it being black owned again!

        Thumb up Thumb down +1

        Reply Report comment
      2. LKJ   March 8, 2013 at 11:26 pm

        I’ve been through with essence for a while. I know it isn’t pc, but I have a problem with a magazine geared towards black women being white owned. There is also the issue with them hiring that blatantly racist editor awhile back.

        Thumb up Thumb down +11

        Reply Report comment
      3. JN March 8, 2013 at 11:35 pm

        I’m proud of the fact that a Black woman even had the courage to stand up for what was right. It’s not easy to do in Black media. I’m sure she will find opportunities elsewhere.

        Thumb up Thumb down +14

        Reply Report comment
      4. Gwendolyn Henderson, Ed.S. March 9, 2013 at 1:02 am

        Done with Essence! Done with People!

        Thumb up Thumb down +2

        Reply Report comment
      5. paintgurl40 March 9, 2013 at 2:28 am

        I remembered when Essence had a white fashion editor not too long ago. Truth be told the fashion spread at that time was terrible! But I agree with the rest of the comments, Essence has gone downhill.

        Thumb up Thumb down +2

        1. p   March 9, 2013 at 8:51 am

          Incredibly divisive statement. Peace.

          Thumb up Thumb down -2

          Reply Report comment
        2. emme   March 9, 2013 at 11:22 am

          Im behind Constance on this. Constance basically revealed the big pink elephant in the room to everyone. Everyone saw this whole scenario playing out when Time announced they would be buying the magazine. Everyone knew this is what the new life of Essence would be. The fact of the matter is that when Susan Taylor left the magazine went with her. The fact that people still don’t understand that as women of color our visions of how we want to be represented is not the the same as that of other women. Now the question is do we want to save one of the very few if not the only magazine geared toward black women and if we do then how do we do it?

          Thumb up Thumb down +9

          Reply Report comment
          • Aya   March 9, 2013 at 12:08 pm

            I feel you, Emme. But must ask: do all women of color have the same vision? Personally, I grew up with these mags and still support them, but I in no way feel represented.

            The things aimed (generally speaking) at Black women or women of color are so limiting, insulting and lacks intelligence. We all aren’t a monolith. Everyone doesn’t go to same type of house of worship if they go at all, we sure as hell don’t all eat the same, weigh the same, wear our hair the same, date the same, etc.

            Experience is teaching me that this whole representation of black women is an illusion. Black-owned, white-owned — it doesn’t matter. The truth is that black women have to get back to the essence of being them. And that’s beyond nappy hair, permed hair, light skinned, dark skinned, thick, skinny and all in between. When that happens, the world will shift and elevate!

            Thumb up Thumb down +3

            Reply Report comment
            • Mademoiselle   March 9, 2013 at 12:39 pm

              That’s a good point about black people not being all knowing. I do think black people have more work to do on educating one another about the stereotypes & prejudices we have about ourselves so we’re not painting ourselves into a box. It’s important to voice our opinions to our own media just as loudly as we would to mainstream media. That’s why I support all the backlash BET gets. Debra can’t keep going like she knows what’s best for her audience while ignoring what her audience asks for. If she’s not willing to fight for us at the office, then BET, Essence, and the like can go ahead and dig their own graves.

              Thumb up Thumb down +1

          • Mademoiselle March 9, 2013 at 12:12 pm

            I’m not interested in saving anything controlled by white people. They have enough support, and don’t need my marginal help. I’m ok with Essence dying out now that it’s theirs and no longer ours. If Constance were to band with the previous editors she mentioned and start a new publication for us, I’d be all for it, though!

            Thumb up Thumb down +10

            Reply Report comment
            • Aya March 9, 2013 at 12:21 pm

              I hear you, too, Mademoiselle. But remember there’s a such thing as black devils! ;-)

              Thumb up Thumb down +2

            • Mademoiselle March 9, 2013 at 12:27 pm

              That’s true. It would probably still take a whole lot for even the black devils to convince me to help others get ahead, though.

              Thumb up Thumb down 0

        3. jamesfrmphilly March 9, 2013 at 12:20 pm

          she looks a lot like my first wife…

          Thumb up Thumb down +2

          Reply Report comment
        4. Marketing Gimmicks March 9, 2013 at 12:27 pm

          Honestly…it all boils down to profit.

          Black media is in a fishbowl microcosm of what’s happening with overall media. We are now DROWNING in a complete celebrity entertainment complex where our people only seemed to be emotionally engaged in attacking, reacting, being armchair activists…and simply trying to keep our heads above water.

          Things aren’t looking promising because there’s no clear black leadership, the enemy is fuzzy wuzzy, it is now a global economy of competition, and who we are as a people has been totally obliterated because we are no longer interested in emotionally and politically aligning ourselves to the poor and marginalized. We blame them for their problems and they in essence are treated like a stain, a shame, and an embarrassment…when the real culprit is institutionalized racism, white privilege, light skin privilege, and allowing those outside of us to define our struggles. And that ain’t right.

          So in other words we can celebrate our black entrepreneurs like Oprah, Magic, Shaq, Jay-Z, Diddy, Beyonce but we won’t dare touch on POVERTY. It’s asinine and backwards to ask people to constantly relate to individual success when the whole is suffering. Yet. This is what Essence and black people have become.

          We only want squeaky clean representation but the truth is the bulk of us are struggling. In many ways the black community is doing worse than ever but our voices have become too cowardly because their paychecks are being signed by Mr. Rothenstein.

          Our media…black media… is simply not going for the jugular in WHAT’S really going on in our communities because we have become impotent and quite fearful of what the culture of power will do to us if we’re honest about their deceit and manipulation tactics. We allow them to shout “VICTIM” every time we voice our historical legacy…we allow them to spit on us because we have a black president…honestly our impotent voice is quite alarming.

          We are more than hair, makeup, fashion and celebrity. But right now we are morally and spiritually bankrupt because it’s every man for his damn self.

          And by the way. We’re running out of singers and real stars to put on black covers…Tia and Tamara? Girl Bye!

          Thumb up Thumb down +5

          Reply Report comment
        5. Tonton Michel March 9, 2013 at 1:15 pm

          This is what happens when you sell out. Time to put Essence 6ft under.

          Thumb up Thumb down +4

Cross-postings from the Root Kinsmankid Essence has gotten lam over the years. It's too focused on entertainment and even that focus is very narrow. The same five African-American celebraties are featured on its covers: JIll Scott, Mary J. Blige, Nia Long, Gabrielle Union and Halle Berry. I love these ladies, but there are other talented black women doing positive things in the community, who aren't in show business. Essence doesn't feature news-oriented stories about the African-American community until the mainstream media does. In addition, I used to read Essence to find the best books to read, but that section has deterioriated, too. I no longer have a subscription. Terry Dean With all these black women trying to be white, I'm surprised Essence is still being published.  Look at busted up trash like Niki Manaj. Yeah, that's where a lot of the new generation of blacks women are headed. They want to be Niki and the Kardashians, period.   Carioca What a travesty it was to sell to a white owned concern in the first place. With TIme at the control or any other white owned entity, how could they continue the flavor that Essence had once upon a time. Felix Long likes this. Dey Blu You know what as a matter of fact, I respect the Koreans for doing that... partly, because that's how you are suppose to do it. You are suppose to help YOUR race out, first. When Black people understand that and stop selling out when they receive great amounts of money, the better off we'll be. I personally own a business myself it's a computer engineering business, if I had to give it up it would be to a Black person because that is how it's suppose to be. ANYWAY, THAT IS WHY I HATE EVERYONE AT B.E.T AND ESSENCE THEY ARE PATHETIC. The day the root is owned by a non Black they will lose my respect and every REAL Black person. R Dub "The day the root is owned by a non Black they will lose my respect and every REAL Black person."  Ummm...I Hate to totally wreck your sunday ... but you do realize that the root is funded by, housed, administered, and is part of the Washington Post? "The Root is published by The Slate Group, a Division of the Washington Post Company" It's right there on the bottom of the site.  I think this is a great example though that if a publication had editorial freedom -- they could put out quality stuff. The root is indeed "Black staffed....white owned" if you want to look at it that way. They too are a pen stroke and bottom-line profit statement away from being closed at any given time too which will be based more on advertising dollars than how many people come here. Felix Long likes this. Regina James Yes, well said! This is why I no longer have a subscription to Essence because I knew they sold out! kittysue and 1 more like this. Dey Blu Eh, I don't feel bad that's what they got for selling the magazine to a race that can't even remotely relate to Black Women. When will Black people learn to sell within our own race? When? We did it with the Koreans and the hair salons now they are a billion dollar industry and now majority only sell Black hair business to their own race, I mean when will we learn? WHEN? I don't feel bad for these people and neither should you. And FYI, I don't hate Koreans or Whites but I hate the ones who are racist, period. And it should be the same with you whether your White or Korean you love Black people but you hate the ones who are racist. Paul Pearce Race card much?  judging from the public display of immature self centered stone thrower mentality - is it a wonder she is gone?  From the style of her comments - it seems White intimated to her boss - "its my way of the highway" - so the boss said OK. Senator1906 Reading these types of things really is frustrating. We're at the point now where plenty of black people are running thoughtful media properties, yet somehow we complain that one isn't speaking to the needs of black women. I'm sorry White lost her job but I hope she uses her creativity, contacts and vision to do something productive like start her own publication that speaks to the needs of black women. missqueen I feel that a white women cannot run a black magazine because she do not know how a black lives her life or how she function as a woman. The question is what can the magazine do for black women now, this article, has shown us that a white woman is calling the shot, in which she doesn't know what she is writing about. I think I may not renew my subscription. R Dub Saying that a white woman can't run a black magazine is like saying a black person can't be president of the united states. Same analogy. It's like saying a black person can't own a chinese restuarant....or a white person can't own a soul food kitchen (when in Atlanta...try Carvers -- you'll change your mind).  Point is business -- its all about people knowing how to do it right...and obviously many people feel like essence isnt doing it right. A black woman at the helm doesn't necessarily mean that she has lived the lives of all of us (chances are in today's america she was ivy league...middle class upbringing -- which still only represents a small portion of African Americans).  My main point is that this racial pegion holing works both ways so watch what you say or you'll find yourself at the butt end of not being selected for that next promotion  Just saying Da Knockout I have been saying Essence was getting terrible... When I took a media class they said that the only magazines that were doing good were black womens magazines. The only reason why Time Warner took control of Essence was study and destroy it. It was out doing the white magazines because Vogue Elle Glamour subscriptions fell Essence Ebony and Jet still held such a strong subscription and presence.... Blacks need to becareful and mindful because people are always trying to OWN them and control them. Corporate America wants to own everything even your culture. They dont care about black women or black men they care and are studying what you like what you do so they can control you. WAKE UP   emily grands likes this. Eunice E Bowen I DID NOT KNOW ESSENCE WAS OWED BY TIME IF I HAD KNOWN THAT I WOULD NOT HAVE RENEW MY SUBSCRIPTION  clarke101 Where YOU been Eunice? Think THAT was nearly 10 years ago. I quit Essence when Susan T. left. acadia likes this. Senator1906 What does it matter if Time owned it or not, apparently you still enjoyed the content. ivan cohen Not long ago I was at web site where the author(black female) asked if the black press was still relevant. This episode with Constance White proves that the question is moot. Black press is still needed. The shame is that there were no black entreprenuers in the wings who could have purchased Essence from Susan Taylor and kept it in black hands. I also feel the same way about BET and Motown. Mainstream/Majority falls in the league of big fish eat little fish. Black communities across the country are not enpowered, they enfeebled. I miss the local radio personalities. Now it's Steve Harvey, Tom "the fly jock" Joiner and Michael Baisden. They're good in their own way but they don't have a local connection to my community. icantrememberallofmyaliases Ivan,  Don't fall for the ookey-doke. During the 90s and early Aughts, a few--very few Black GenX outliers who decry the way Essence, Radio One, and even BET ran. Either they did thing ritualistically and for symbolism or they immediately copied hot trends (mega talk show hosts, celebrity this or that. etc.) to dismiss us as haters.

We came to them with ideas but they weren't popular then because they chased or dug their heels in never to venture into new territory. They worried about losing audiences too lazy to risk teaching audiences how to mature and to expand. It's why we dumba$$ crap like Hollywood Husbands or whatever the name directed by a Yale graduate.

Essence couldn't afford to put an outlier thinker on the cover because three generations had been trained to only respond to celebrities and certain types of narratives. So for all that Constance is bellyhooing, I say, GTFOH. She was in the business long enough building by assisting this muck she can't manage to work anymore. 

I believe her gripe in asking for more two years but she is not un-der-stan-ding, to Whites, we, Black women, don't want to really evolve. So why invest and spend money when they see we arent even stakeholders for ourselves. Time INC should not have to breastfeed us anymore. They kept clocking in to whine but walk like regal priestesses who were owed something. And it's not about the error of selling to Corporate America.

Susan Taylor sucked, too. She started the equation of making us think celebrities were intellectuals/leaders and to party with a purpose. Convolusions.

Constance sucked as a leader because her backstory didn't prepare her to win in her two year fight with Time. See, some peope think titles and promotions is greater than a fact.

Yitzak Rabin: (paraphrasing) If you have the same problem for a long time, maybe it's not a problem. It's a fact." 

To explain away to blame the racists is disingenuous when Black media was too hard-headed and hired only their echoes which could not prepare them for future business evolutions and social evolutions.

I do believe "the White woman in contempt" is contemptuous but so have people who professed to have loved Black America the hardest and suffocated us into stifled, developmental arrest because they didn't want to listen to "other Black people" who had different ideas that would have essentially steered Black media from cross-contaminating itself useless.

Time INC is not a charity and to keep running Essence's culture is.

I have a fine arts degree and I know for my entire adult life, my Black fine arts peers could not get Essence to culivate. So don't blame it on the (probably privilege out-of-touch) White executive when Essence and Black media hung themselves.

If you let people cry you a river, they will....revising history to scrub themselves clean of what really happened. More people need to speak up about how we screwed ourselves and stop making it over-simplistic in selling it to Time INC. Stop blaming Time INC. for treating it like a business/for-profit. The problem was a lot of Black media players didn't get it.

I could have sold Black America to the world and a significant impact with Blacks feeling to reinvest in themselves. It's about leadership and who gets picked to lead.

What we've done for too long is listen to "whose up next" explain how the Boogeymen ate their lunch. I see racism but I own up to the fact that sometimes I make bad decisions, didn't have enough support, systems not existing or place for applied success. But no, Black leaders only cite racism when factors like us not being efficient for 50 plus years assist instiutiional racism to remain dominant.

We need to stop beng bailed out by Whites for one. Constance kept collect White Money's checks to never revolutionize us. Don't get mad 'cause you were distracted and miseducated. Bourgie Black People.

clarke101 And THAT is a bunch of pseudo intellectual BULLS**T. We Use Our Minds Ivan, I agree with you 100%. We have to remember that White’s can’t marginalize us unless we cooperate with them. The way that Time is choosing to edit Essence Magazine would not be an issue if the original Black owners of the magazine had never sold it. It amazes me that Black people have sold just about every thing they owned to White corporations or people. There was a time when Black owned gas stations, convenience stores, funeral homes, banks and many other business. Now we are broke and under employed. Wake up Black people.  dcarrierpigeonguy What would you expect after giving up such a vital resource. What makes you think after the systems owns your creative empowering outlet they would continue to culturally condition you in a positive way. First of all that would undermine the status quo and secondly, the bottom line is their bottom line. And, with you out of the way full steam ahead.  Black people have become so overly miseducated that they are no good to themselves or anyone else in the community. Why would anyone be gungho about working for the establishment after losing community ownership. Only in Black America. Common sense is not common anymore and getting less common in this technological age. The Talented Tenth. Bovine Droopings! Ariel8081 too good for this job

Essence Magazine

I am not clairvoyant, but when it was announced that Essence was to become the property of Time/Life, I knew that it was over.  The quality of this magazine has been declining, and this slow death is killing me.  I miss what Essence was.

Essence Editor fired

Although I could dig into this story and comment, my primary response is based on the image of this black woman - as beautiful as she is: Inasmuch that this heritage magazine is about the "essence" of the black woman, then black women should be the spirit of the editorial direction. That said, when I gaze on the image of Ms. White's natural hair and black skin - she is too black and too strong for the women at the helm of Time-Warner....   It always has been... and it will always be..... Now that we know this, keep ya head up Ms. White!!!!

Black media

Essence magazine and also historically Black magazines such as Ebony and Jet are guilty of evading or denying the real plight of Black America..They better wake up and "get on it.." Its later than we think..Please read the new book"The Unfinished Business of the Civil Rights Movement:Failure of America's Public Schools to Properly Educate its African American Student Populations.."

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.