A proud moment: Black women command the covers of 2018 September issues

UntitledBeyoncé. Rihanna. Yara Shahidi. Tiffany Haddish. Tracee Ellis Ross. Lupita Nyong’o. Zendaya. Slick Woods. Issa Rae. Aja Naomi King. Laverne Cox. Naomi Campell.

In an unprecedented move, almost all of the cover stars on the coveted September issues of mainstream fashion magazines – including Vogue, Glamour and Elle – are black.

September 2018 is clearly the month of #BlackGirlMagic, with the 12 black women listed above covering the fashion industry’s biggest (both in physical size and importance) issue of the year.

Even InStyle, which featured Jennifer Aniston on its primary cover for the September issue, tried to get in on the tail end of the action by including Dutch Moroccan-Egyptian model Imaan Hammam on one of their subscriber covers.

It’s a powerful statement on beauty, blackness and recognizing cultural tastemakers. Highlighting black women who not only run the gamut in skin tone, hair texture and bScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 6.19.31 PMuild, but who are also leaders in their industries, is impressive. It’s exciting and brings hope to a year that has felt like a dumpster fire more often than not.

Having Nyong’o, with her darker skin and natural short crop, on the cover of Porter magazine’s “Desire Issue” or putting trans actress and activist Laverne Cox on Variety’s cover would have been unheard of years ago. That’s power.

“Until there is a mosaic of perspectives coming from different ethnicities behind the lens, we will continue to have a narrow approach and view of what the world actually looks like,” Beyoncé said in her Vogue cover story, which was photographed by Tyler Mitchell, the first black photographer to shoot American Vogue’s cover in the publication’s nearly 126-year history.

That narrow approach seems to be changing: The new issue of British Vogue boScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 6.19.23 PMasts both the magazine’s first black editor-in-chief, Edward Enniful (who emigrated to London from Ghana), and its first black September cover girl, Rihanna (who was born In Barbados). The Elle Canada issue that Ross covers was produced by the only black editor-in-chief in the Elle network, Vanessa Craft. Under her leadership, six of the last 11 issues have featured women on color on the cover.

But that change, while welcome, has been slow: the crop of September issues comes 53 years after Donyale Luna made history as the first black woman to appear on the front of a magazine with her Harper’s Bazaar cScreen Shot 2018-08-11 at 6.19.15 PMover in 1965. The following year, she became the first black woman to appear on the cover of British Vogue. (American Vogue wouldn’t do it until 1974 with Beverly Johnson.)

Essence magazine hinted at this slow change for their peers when they announced their own September cover, featuring Naomi Campell wearing Dapper Dan for Gucci and interviewed by Andre Leon Talley. “Giving Black women covers since May 1970,” the magazine tweeted.

Beyoncé-Approved Tyler Mitchell Is The First Black Photographer To Shoot A Vogue Cover

Tyler Mitchell, a 23-year-old artist from Atlanta, will be the first black photographer to shoot a cover for Vogue in the magazine’s 126-year history. Beyoncé chose Mitchell to photograph her upcoming September issue cover, Yashar Ali reported for HuffPost on Monday. She obtained full control over the cover from Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, a source told HuffPost. “The reason a 23-year-old black photographer is photographing Beyoncé for the cover of Vogue is because Beyoncé used her power and influence to get him that assignment,” the source said. Mitchell, a New York University graduate, quickly became a recognized name in the art world through his work in Cuba and his featured work on Instagram. His more than 40,000 Instagram followers include celebrities like Rose McGowan and Naomi Campbell.

 The New York Times’ “Up Next” series featured Mitchell in December.

“I depict black people and people of color in a really real and pure way,” he told the Times. “There is an honest gaze to my photos.”  The 23-year-old first gained attention in 2015 with his self-published book of photos, El Paquete, which focused on Cuban skate culture and architecture. Mitchell captured the book’s 108 photos while in Cuba for six weeks as part of a documentary photography program, according to the Times. Mitchell’s work has appeared in other magazines, such as Teen Vogue’s March for Our Lives feature. He photographed gun reform activist Nza-Ari Khepra with Parkland shooting survivors Emma Gonzalez, Sarah Chadwick and Jaclyn Corin for Teen Vogue’s piece on the #NeverAgain gun control movement.

The 23-year-old has also shot covers for Fader and Office Magazine.

He has also directed film projects for clients such as Marc Jacobs and Ray-Ban. Mitchell told The New York Times in December that he was editing a three-screen film project he shot with a 35-millimeter camera on how race affects adolescents.

The 23-year-old has also shot covers for Fader and Office Magazine.

He has also directed film projects for clients such as Marc Jacobs and Ray-Ban. Mitchell told The New York Times in December that he was editing a three-screen film project he shot with a 35-millimeter camera on how race affects adolescents.

Facing Losses, Condé Nast Plans to Put 3 Magazines Up for Sale

condenastCondé Nast, the company behind Vogue, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, became one of the most successful magazine publishers by charming readers and advertisers alike with a formula built on old-world glamour and all-American pizazz. But now, even after having taken measures to cut spending and make itself more digitally savvy, the company is expected to adopt a more radical strategy to ensure that it does not fade away. Robert A. Sauerberg Jr., the chief executive of Condé Nast, plans to address senior staff members on Aug. 8. The meeting will come in the wake of an extended visit from Boston Consulting Group, which recently concluded a months long examination.

It does not promise to be a cheerful gathering. According to more than a dozen current and former Condé Nast executives, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss internal matters, the measures instituted at the company over the last decade — closing Details and the print versions of Self and Teen Vogue; laying off some 80 employees last year; combining the photo and research departments of different magazines — have not been enough to stem the bleeding.

Racism at American Pools Isn’t New: A Look at a Long History

poolsThe poolside confrontations keep coming.

This summer, a black boy was harassed by a white woman in South Carolina; a black woman was asked to provide identification by a white man in North Carolina; and a black man wearing socks in the water had the police called on him by a white manager of an apartment complex in Tennessee.

The encounters, some captured on video, have prompted widespread anger and resulted in consequences for white people involved. But they are hardly new: The United States has a long history of people of color facing harassment and racism at swimming pools.

Pools are supposed to be places to relax, but ever since they exploded in popularity about a century ago, they have served as flash points for racial conflict — vulnerable spaces where prejudices have intensified and violence has often broken out.

“That’s the most intimate thing,” said Greg Carr, chairman of Howard University’s Afro-American studies department. “I’m in this water, you’re in this water, it’s in me, on me.”

READ MORE: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/01/sports/black-people-pools-racism

August Alsina Opens Up About His Addiction To Pills on Jada Pinkett Smith’s ‘Red Table Talk’

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It’s been a few years since August Alsina’s health scare when he passed out into the crowd in 2014 in New York during a concert that left him in a coma for three days. It was later revealed he had liver disease in a 2017 interview with actress Jada Pinkett Smith, whose family (more or less) took him in and helped him during hard times.

Now, on Jada’s online show “Red Table Talk,” August spoke more about his health struggles, this time about his addiction to Percoset pain pills. Along with Jada, August opened up to Jada’s mother Adrienne Banfield Norris and her sister-in-law Ashley Marie about his addiction. August says his drugs-of-choice were alcohol and marijuana during the early stages of his career, but his dependence on percosets began after his 2014 coma.

During the “Red Table Talk” sit-down, it’s revealed August was taking six percocets a day, but he didn’t think he was addicted because he wasn’t acting like the drug addicts he knew growing up, i.e., pawning the house and car for drugs. August credits Jada for inspiring him to beat his pill-popping habit.

Watch the emotional chat below:

Down and Out in San Francisco, on $117,000 a Year

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The threshold for classifying a family as “low-income” in the Bay Area is the highest in the nation — and no surprise…..

It’s beyond laughable that a one-bedroom apartment can sell for $1.5 million in San Francisco — and get multiple offers within a day. Or that dumpsters sport satirical “for rent” signs. Or that the asking price for a side order of brussels sprouts at many restaurants is $16.

Beyond laughable because such stories pass like a Bay Area breeze in the city named for a pauper from medieval Assisi. But the latest assessment of the out-of-reach quality of one of the world’s great places to live came as a real jolt:

A family of four earning $117,000 a year is now classified as low income in the San Francisco area. This threshold, used to determine eligibility for federal housing assistance, is the highest in the nation — and no surprise.

Once upon a time in the American West, the most exclusive places — Sun Valley, Aspen, Lake Tahoe, the San Juan Islands in Washington State — were known as “golden ghettos,” an imperfect term used by trendy demographers.

But now the entire West Coast, from San Diego to Vancouver, British Columbia, is a string of gilded megalopolises. These are the tomorrow cities, the tech cities, the cities of the young and educated. And each of them is struggling with a prosperity crisis that threatens the very nature of living there.

A New Yorker would say, “So what, get used to paying through the nose to live in a tiny space on limited land.” Manhattan, Brooklyn and now Queens have seen it all. But people on the West Coast, perhaps naïvely, are not ready to say, “Fuhgeddaboudit.” Not yet. With varying degrees of success, they are fighting for the soul of their cities.

Residents of San Francisco are troubled by the same things that we are in my hometown, Seattle — the homeless and the high cost of living. The issues are linked, but not entirely.

“Walking the streets of San Francisco can be a frightening, demoralizing, even unhealthy experience for residents and tourists alike.” This commentcame not from the medical association that just pulled its convention because its members no longer feel safe in a city of 7,500 homeless people. It came from the woman just elected mayor of San Francisco, London Breed.

Raised in poverty, and the first African-American woman chosen to lead the city, Breed has vowed to remove homeless encampments within a year. There is nothing compassionate or financially sound in spending $250 million a year on homeless services that still leave thousands sleeping on the street.

In order to do the other thing that Breed wants to do, build more housing of all kinds, she has to secure the social contract. That is: Can people accept more crowded neighborhoods, in a city that is already the second most densely populated among big cities in the nation, if they feel that elected leaders do not have a decent plan — or a clue?

As Breed notes, San Francisco has created only one home for every eight new jobs between 2010 and 2015. She may not be ready to utter a hard truth that some residents already have: that not everyone who wants to live there can.

In Seattle, the nation’s fastest-growing city for this decade, the social contract is nearly broken. The city used to be run by creative problem solvers. Now, an ideologically driven City Council dreams up new things to anger residents while seeming to let the homeless have the run of the place.

The latest backward move was a tax on jobs — quickly repealed after a citizens’ revolt. While the council was trying to target Amazon, the city’s biggest private employer, the tax would have also hurt grocery stores and family-run businesses, as if they had caused the homeless crisis and spike in real estate.

An unholy alliance of socialists and developers threatens to destroy the city’s single-family neighborhoods with a major upzoning — further disrupting trust between residents and politicians. If the intent is to make Seattle more affordable, this approach has failed. The city has built more new units of housing over the last five years than in the prior half-century. And yet Seattle continues to lead the nation in home price increases.

Vancouver has taxed speculation, hitting foreign buyers and those who own homes that sit empty. Prices have stabilized somewhat. But the globalization of the housing market is a problem more particular to British Columbia.

No matter what you hear anecdotally, people will continue to move to the West Coast. The City of St. Francis has seen far worse than the present crisis. More than half the population was homeless after the 1906 earthquake. But by midcentury, it was the American city, birthplace of the United Nations.

We need a new urbanism. For all the grumping about how great the cities facing the Pacific used to be, they can be greater still if the bright minds now trying to “disrupt” a grilled cheese sandwich can focus on the biggest challenge of this generation. We know what doesn’t work. The task is to find a creative mix of solutions that do.

Lupita Nyong’o Criticizes Magazine’s Altered Image of Her Hair

The Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o has spoken over the years about her struggles to learn to love her hair and skin color. She was taunted as a young girl for her “night-shaded skin,” she has said. She once felt “unbeautiful.”Finally, Ms. Nyong’o said she realized that beauty was not a thing that she could acquire or change. “It was something that I just had to be,” she said at a Black Women in Hollywood luncheon in 2014.

But now, at 34, Ms. Nyong’o has yet again found herself defending that beauty.On the cover of its November issue, the magazine Grazia UK featured an altered image of Ms. Nyong’o. Gone is her mass of curly black hair, held in a thick ponytail at the back of her neck in the original photograph.

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On Instagram, in a post that was widely viewed and shared, Ms. Nyong’o rejected the magazine’s use of the image.

As I have made clear so often in the past with every fiber of my being, I embrace my natural heritage and despite having grown up thinking light skin and straight, silky hair were the standards of beauty, I now know that my dark skin and kinky, coily hair are beautiful too.

Being featured on the cover of a magazine fulfills me as it is an opportunity to show other dark, kinky-haired people, and particularly our children, that they are beautiful just the way they are.

I am disappointed that @graziauk invited me to be on their cover and then edited out and smoothed my hair to fit their notion of what beautiful hair looks like. Had I been consulted, I would have explained that I cannot support or condone the omission of what is my native heritage with the intention that they appreciate that there is still a very long way to go to combat the unconscious prejudice against black women’s complexion, hair style and texture.

Ms. Nyong’o affixed the hashtag #dtmh, the acronym for the song “Don’t Touch My Hair,” by Solange Knowles. The London Evening Standard magazine apologized to Ms. Knowles last month for removing a significant portion of her hair from an image that appeared on the cover of its October edition.

In September, the hip-hop artist Nicki Minaj called out magazines for altering her hair while not doing the same to women of other races. “For years, fashion mags would change my hair for their covers but allow women of a diff race to wear the exact style on the cover,” she said on Twitter.

On Friday, Grazia magazine issued a statement apologizing to Ms. Nyong’o but deflecting blame for the image alteration.