• Essence Editor-in-Chief Responds to Controversy over White Fashion Editor

    In an article I wrote for AOL Black Voices, Essence Editor-in-Chief Angela Burt Murray (left, with Mary J Blige and Mikki Taylor) responded to the controversy over hiring white fashion director Ellianna Placas:

    She said, “I understand that this issue has struck an emotional chord with our audience…however I selected Ellianna, who has been contributing to the magazine on a freelance basis for the last six months, because of her creativity, vision, the positive reader response to her work and her enthusiasm and respect for the audience and our brand. We remain committed to celebrating the unique beauty and style of African-American women in Essence magazine and online at Essence.com.”

    In another article on The Grio, she expressed disappointment that her hiring a white editor has seemingly trumped more important issues plaguing the black community. She said, “When we run pieces on how unemployment is devastating black men? Nada. When we run story after story on how HIV is the leading cause of death for black women age 18-34? Zilch. The things that really are the end of our world apparently aren’t.”
    What do you think of her response?
    Read more here.


    Claire Sulmers is the publisher and founder of Fashion Bomb Daily, the #43 most influential style blog in the world.