The Essence of Things Hoped For
· September 13, 2010
Now that the dust and charge of emotion have settled down a bit, cheapest essay writing service this black writer begs a lowest price cheap discount cialis professional few more minutes on Essence Magazine’s new hire. Every buy generic cialis 20mg single Black person who heard that our beloved
Essence hired a white fashion director gave bittersweet pause. Apparently, her interim performance proved meritorious enough to gain this coveted spot. If truth be told, we knew this was coming–the inevitable shift born of commodification. Essence–once for today’s Black woman now puts Black women first.
Why was this move so problematic? Because it is hard to discern whether she’s a white fashion director or a fashion director who just happens to be white. By the time we do figure it out, what will it cost black folks especially black women in terms of our precious cultural premiums held in mind, body, and spirit?
How do we
hold on to an evolving human condition and our cultural condition without letting one suffocate the other? Often as a people, we engender inclusionary practices at the expense of our hard-won cultural sanctity and originality. How do we accept that this particular white sister will do us honorably?
Now, I am not so naïve as to think that no non-black allies have existed, supported, and helped birth and hone much black creativity and talent. Thank you to every non-black individual who is/was in service to black achievement and creativity for the sake of the achievement and betterment of the black artist who created it. My query though is how many equally talented, creative, available, hungry to take up the torch black sisters and/or brothers were passed over? Does this now mean that Essence will garner a more universal status and appeal thereby allowing more black talent in publishing to expect the same or similar opportunities working at Vogue, Cosmo or Elle?
Doubt that since the white supremacist formula historically does not go both ways. Ironically though, it is this very precarious circumstance that produces the conditions and crucible for black product and creativity. Make me wanna holla/The way dey do my life!
Black strivings—the creative and complex products of the terrifying African encounter with the absurd in America—and the absurd as America—thank you, Dr.
Cornel West for always going to the heart of the intellectual matter—like Essence magazine must be vigilant when choosing who's watching over the proverbial hen house. Black originality born of the minds and souls of black folks must anchor itself as much as possible in the essential oil of our unique experience as American Africans because inevitably the price of doing lucrative business means white folks meddlin’ again as Granny used to say. They will necessarily be in on conversations that deal with money and the making of money whatever the medium. Yes, our cultural content springs creatively and consistently from our own original black selves and the influences therein but when it is to be imaged for mass consumption it is controlled and/or influenced largely by powers that are non-black. And when one controls, they say what its gon’ be. Their allegiance is not to righteous representation of which Essence was birthed nor is it motivated by the cultural sanctity or positive cultural proliferation Essence stands for. As a body of work, Essence is its own rich and stellar legacy that testifies to our beleaguered black existence as beautiful but most importantly human. Where and what this white sister is all about still remains to be seen because interim duty does not a fully-commissioned director make. How will she use her power for our own black good?