After watching the fracas over Essence‘s hiring of a white fashion director in 2010 (and white managing editor more recently), we had to get newly named editor-in-chief Constance C.R. White’s take on both. What does she think of those who say non-Black editors can’t truly cater to the needs of Black women?
“My take is that Essence has always had a diverse staff,” she said in our Media Beat interview. “That was last year… and I’m moving forward.”
White said her main focus in the fashion section, and all of the book, is to focus on what the reader wants, not to reflect the opinions of her editors.
“If you start to think of it as an editor as necessarily your concept of the situation, you can really get off-track. What we really do and what I really encourage my editors to do is be a proxy for the reader.”
This video can also be viewed on YouTube.