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Essence Magazine Is Black-Owned Once Again

One of America’s historically significant and longest-running magazines, which caters to black women is back under black ownership.

Photo credits: Essence Magazine

Though it was initially founded as a black-owned business, Essence Magazine relinquished that status when the publication was completely sold to Time Inc. in a landmark 2005 buyout deal.

Earlier that decade in the year 2000, Time Inc. had also purchased 49 percent of Essence Magazine in a transaction that set the stage for full-fledged white ownership. The new editorial management system had taken over a publication that was the literary fabric of black women and their experiences in America.

Essence Magazine was first published in 1970 by its parent company founded by Edward Lewis, Clarence O. Smith, Cecil Hollingsworth and Jonathan Blount. These black communications businessmen wanted to give a healthy appeal to upscale black women in American society.

For the first three years of Essence being in circulation, legendary author, director, and screenwriter Gordon Parks served as the magazine’s editorial director. However, on Wednesday (January 3), Vanessa De Luca, the Editor-in-Chief of Essence Magazine announced in an online news article that the company was back in black hands.

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