Essence Magazine Devotes Entire Issue to ‘Black Lives Matter’

By Jamilah King Jan 06, 2015

Essence, one of the nation’s leading black women’s magazines, has just unveiled an entire issue dedicated to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. The issue focuses heavily on black women of the movement with pieces by Angela Davis, Susan L. Taylor, Melissa Harris-Perry, Isabel* Wilkerson, Michelle Alexander, Chirlane McCray and more. 

It’s an especially important move by the magazine given that the #blacklivesmatter hashtag and movement was founded by three black women: organizers Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi. 

Vanessa K. De Luca, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, wrote that the issue marks the first time in the magazine’s 45-year history that it hasn’t featured a cover image. 

Pictures are powerful, but so are words. That’s why we’ve invited some of our greatest thought leaders–you included–to help us answer the question on our minds at the moment: Where do we go from here? Beginning this month, inspired by you, we are launching Civil Rights Watch, a new series across our platforms in which we will be chronicling–and calling out–significant gains, losses and solutions in this evolving movement as we all try to find a constructive path forward.

The protests, ?die-ins, marches and social media campaigns that have been born out of our collective grief have given you an opportunity to express your outrage, show your support for the victims and their families whose lives have been forever changed, and forge alliances with like-minded individuals who also believe that it is time for a change. It gives me hope that so many young people are leading the way, people like Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi and Alicia Garza, the brave and beautiful women behind the BlackLivesMatter movement. When we asked Patrisse for their permission to use their poignant battle cry as the centerpiece for our story, she graciously agreed.

Read more here and check out the issue, which is on newsstands now. 

* Post has been updated since publication to correct, Isabelle.