Publishers Weekly Cover Photo Sparks Twitter Controversy

By Jason Boog Comment

speaker_calvinreid_100x100.jpgThis evening, the Twittersphere pounced Publishers Weekly for running an image by on the front cover of the most recent magazine–an picture of a woman’s head covered with countless hair picks.

Entitled “Pickin’,” the image was photographed by Lauren Kelly for the new book, “Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present” by Deborah Willis.

Hoping to ease the controversy, Calvin Reid (pictured), the senior news editor at Publishers Weekly, responded via the magazine’s Twitter feed. He picked the hashtag #afropw to archive the ongoing discussion about the picture.

“I admit that I love afro picks! In the 1970s I had many just like them also stuck in my massive afro … and it’s a story about ‘picking’ books. I love dumb jokes,” Reid wrote on Twitter. He concluded: “While I respect everyone who may be offended, I think the photo is a delightful and wry expression of historical Afro Americana.”

UPDATE: Reid writes GalleyCat, via Twitter: “Obviously many people dislike the image. Perhaps I shouldn’t have used it but I believe its a fine & beautiful & funny image.”

UPDATE: The LA Times and Mediaite writes about the picture.