There was and still is a need for black women to be represented on the newsstands, both in magazines that target us and in mainstream magazines that embrace diversity. Though Essence Magazine caters to an audience of African-American women, many still champion the need for major magazines like Vogue, Vanity Fair and Cosmopolitan Magazine to feature ladies of all races. Jada Pinkett-Smith believes that request of mainstream magazines presents a conundrum. Can we implore them to include us in their pages while we shut them out of magazines that are for us by us?

She writes:

Will there ever be a day in which women will be able to see each other beyond race, class, and culture?

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


On one side of the argument, it’s clear that women feel we need a space where black women are celebrated, uplifted and featured exclusively to combat all the other unfavorable images of us in the media. The counterargument is that black magazines that don’t feature women of other races are adding to the problem of segregation instead of moving toward the solution of diversity.

Where do you stand, Clutchettes?



  1. Gina Wild

    Is this a hate-Jada-Pinkett-Smith campaign for some of you or what? I can smell some undercurrent hate towards Jada. IMO, she’s making a valid point.

    And that I see some people denying that Charlize Theron is African, Well, Charlize is South African and South Africa is in Africa, so she is African. Even though she’s White, she’s African or White (South) African, if you will. And if she’s an American citizen now, well she actually is an… ;-)

    • She was born a white African. If she has become a U.S. citizen she will be a white American. See how simple that is?

    • Anthony

      Awesome post, ABWW, but I tend to disagree. If the millions of black people that were born in America profess to be “african american”, I thnk a person born in Africa (an African) can remain as such….an African. Being from Africa or America or Italy or wherever has NOTHING to do with skin color….but only the fact that they were born within the borders of said country. So, Ms. Theron is atually and Africa-American moreso than the vast majrity of people that claim to be. My ancestors were all from Scoland, having moved to America in 1740. I therefore consider myself to be Scot-American (or Scottish-American). Nothing at all to do with race….but nationality.

    • Gina Wild

      Rapper Walé has Nigerian parents, and he was born and raised here and he’s a U.S citizen, and he’s an African-American.
      Charlize is a white African woman. So if she’s a US citizen, then she’s an African-American. She’s not Black American but she’s African-American, so he’s Barack Obama. Get used to it!

  2. Mainstream media is still owned by and made for whites. You would think that this wouldn’t escape Mrs. Smith since as black woman she was unable to keep her own TV show on the air! There are white women in the advertising in Essence every month. Have a hospital auditorium full of seats, Jada.

  3. I’m sorry but I was kind of done with Will Smith when he made a comment years ago about wanting a love interest in his movies that wasn’t a black woman. As far as Jada is concerned, the last movie I saw her in was “The Women”, in which she had a small role as a black lesbian in her circle of white friends…

  4. veronica

    Jada…You are right to have a progressive mind on race relations…I agree with you that we should move forward…you are up against people who have not yet evolved to this level and so you are faced with resistance and opposition to your proposal…History has only moved forward by someone looking further than their nose. Keep up the good work in all the battles fought…you are my inspiration…

  5. Go to the grocery store….there are 20 magazines with white women on the cover…2 with black women (Essence and Oprah) and maybe Ebony if its not a man………….No Essence should not feature white women because every other magazine does….and we may have it better than Asian women, I dont see them on the cover of anything.

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