In a historic editorial decision, February’s cover of Essence Magazine does not feature a prominent celebrity photo, but instead took a stand on a more pressing issue.
The magazine features a simple phrase, #BlackLivesMatter, which has come to represent the movement to end police brutality following the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. In a HuffPost Live conversation on Friday, Essence editor-in-chief Vanessa K. De Luca discussed the reasoning behind the bold “black-out” cover -- the first issue without a cover image in Essence’s 45-year history.
“We were thinking about what is the thing that is going to grab people … and sometimes it’s very clear that that’s a person,” she said. “In this instance, it was very clear that it had to be a message around this whole social justice, new civil rights movement that we’re bearing witness to.”
“2014 honestly was a wake up call, I think for all of us,” she said. “When you think about the impact of this particular hashtag, #BlackLivesMatter, and how it has echoed across the world, it touched people’s hearts in a very emotional and real way. And I think we’re ready for it.”
Watch HuffPost Live delve into Essence Magazine’s biggest stories from the February issue here.
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