Former Editor in Chief for Essence Magazine, Constance White, was recently removed from her position for apparently not having the same vision as her superiors. Constance feels that the reason behind her abrupt dismissal was because she didn’t agree with the new approach her bosses at Time Warner Inc. we’re taking by wanting to remove Black women as the focus of the magazine.
Essence Magazine which has been in circulation for more than 40 years was initially Black owned, however in 2005 they were acquired by Time Inc. who then made White EIC in 2005. “Essence needs stability and the brand needs a leader with a vision,” stated White, “Black women are social leaders, culture leaders, we are aspirational and spiritual. Black women deserve the best. Essence is the last place where Black women should be demeaned and diminished.” As of yet Essence Magazine hasn’t made an official statement in regards to Constance White’s departure or who they’re considering for her replacement, but this does raise the question of what the new Essence Magazine will look like. Undoubtedly the new Editor-in-chief will be more malleable to the ideas of the powers that be at Essence, but how severely will that effect the look and voice of Essence Magazine? There aren’t any other mainstream publications in circulation that have been as effective at speaking for Black women as Essence Magazine nor are their any with their level of influence and impact on the Black community. I don’t imagine Essence Magazine turning into Home & Garden overnight, however I am concerned with what compromises will be made and what new messages will be sent using the Essence platform and how the reading audience will react/be affected. Are any of you Essence subscribers/frequent readers, how do you feel about this news of Constance White’s release?