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?
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?