is a monthly magazine
Magazines, periodicals, glossies or serials are publications, generally published on a regular schedule, containing a variety of articles. They are generally financed by advertising, by a purchase price, by pre-paid magazine subscriptions, or all three...
for African-American women between the ages of 18 and 49. The magazine covers fashion
Fashion, a general term for a currently popular style or practice, especially in clothing, foot wear, or accessories. Fashion references to anything that is the current trend in look and dress up of a person...
, lifestyle and beauty
Beauty is a characteristic of a person, animal, place, object, or idea that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure, meaning, or satisfaction. Beauty is studied as part of aesthetics, sociology, social psychology, and culture...
with an intimate girlfriend-to-girlfriend tone.
The magazine was founded in 1968 by Edward Lewis, Clarence O. Smith, Cecil Hollingsworth, Jonathan Blount, and Denise M. Clark. Essence
Communications Inc. (ECI) began publishing
Publishing is the process of production and dissemination of literature or information—the activity of making information available to the general public...
in May 1970. Its circulation began at approximately 50,000 copies per month, subsequently growing to roughly 1.6 million. Gordon Parks
Gordon Roger Alexander Buchanan Parks was a groundbreaking American photographer, musician, poet, novelist, journalist, activist and film director...
served as its editorial director during the first three years of its circulation.
In 2000, Time Inc.
Time Inc. is a subsidiary of the media conglomerate Time Warner, the company formed by the 1990 merger of the original Time Inc. and Warner Communications. It publishes 130 magazines, most notably its namesake, Time...
purchased 49 percent of the magazine, buying the remaining 51 percent in a deal reported to be worth $170 million in US dollars. In 2008, Essence won 12 New York Association of Black Journalists awards in the Investigative, General Feature, International, Business/Technology, Science/Health, Arts and Entertainment, Personal Commentary, Public Affairs and Online categories.
There are sections such as Work and Wealth
, Healthy Living
, and Looks We Love
that cover topics that focus on career, finance, health, lifestyle, fashion, and beauty which share an intimate connection with readers.
Essence Music Festival
The Essence Music Festival
Essence Music Festival is an annual music festival celebrating contemporary African American music and culture. It is the largest event celebrating African American culture and music in the United States. It has been held in New Orleans, Louisiana every year since 1995 except for 2006, where it...
is the nation’s largest annual gathering of African-American musical talent. The festival is a three day event, which has cultural celebrations and empowerment seminars with nights of musical performances. The festival is held every Fourth of July weekend, and has featured some of the biggest names in entertainment including Prince
Prince Rogers Nelson , often known simply as Prince, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. Prince has produced ten platinum albums and thirty Top 40 singles during his career. Prince founded his own recording studio and label; writing, self-producing and playing most, or all, of...
, Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige
Mary Jane Blige is an American singer-songwriter, record producer and occasional actress. She is a recipient of nine Grammy Awards and four American Music Awards, and has recorded eight multi-platinum albums. She is the only artist with Grammy Award wins in Pop, Rap, Gospel, and R&B. Blige has...
, Lionel Richie
Lionel Brockman Richie, Jr. , is an American singer-songwriter, musician and record producer. Since 1968, he has been a member of the musical group Commodores signed to Motown Records...
and others. The festival brings more than 200,000 attendees to New Orleans.
In 2007, presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton made special appearances at the Music Festival. In 2008, after partnering with Essence to develop and tape a cobranded special presentation Black in America: Reclaiming the Dream
, CNN reported live on-site throughout the Music Festival weekend.
In January 2005 Essence launched a twelvemonth initiative to combat misogyny in hip hop culture
Misogyny in hip hop culture refers to lyrics, videos or other aspects of hip hop culture that support, glorify, justify, or normalize the objectification, exploitation, or victimization of women. Misogyny in rap music instills and perpetuates negative stereotypes about women. It can range from...
. The campaign entitled "Take Back the Music" was intended to inspire public dialogue about the portrayal of black women in rap music.
Black Women In Hollywood
Essence Magazine holds an award ceremony annually to honor black women who have achieved success in Hollywood.
Essence Literary Awards
magazine hosted the first-annual Essence
Literary Awards in New York City on 7 February 2008. The awards were created to celebrate both emerging and established African-American authors in nine categories: Fiction, Memoir, Inspiration, Non-fiction, Current Affairs, Photography, Children’s Books, Poetry and Storyteller of the Year.
- Ruth Ross (1970)
- Ida Lewis (1970–1971)
- Marcia Ann Gillespie (1971–1980)
- Susan L. Taylor
Susan L. Taylor is an American editor, writer, and journalist. She served as editor-in-chief of Essence from 1981 through 2000. In 1994, American Libraries referred to Taylor as "the most influential black woman in journalism today".-Early life:Taylor was born in the Harlem neighborhood of New...
- Monique Greenwood (2000)
- Diane Weathers (2000–2005)
- Angela Burt-Murray
Angela Burt-Murray was the Editor-in-Chief of Essence Magazine from 2005 to 2010. From 2003 to 2005 she was the Executive Editor for Teen People Magazine. From 2001 to 2003 she was Executive Editor for Honey Magazine....
- Constance C. R. White (2011-present)