The 40 year-old African-American Womens magazine, Essence recently hired Michael Bullerdick, a white male, as its new managing editor. As the magazine prides itself on being the voice of black women, its readership is outraged about the new hire.

This is not Essence Magazine’s first bout with controversy. Time Inc. bought out Essence in 2005 making it a non-black owned publication and outraging several readers in the process.

From that time until now, there has been one controversy after another including covers of Diddy and Kim Porter and Reggie Bush (who at the time was dating Kim Kardashian) and internally, the hiring of Elliana Placas, a white Fashion Director and the unceremonious departure of Susan Taylor, Mikki Taylor (no longer Beauty Director) and finally, Editor-in-Chief, Angela Burt-Murray.

Earlier this week the new Editor-in-Chief of Essence Constance White told journalists “[Bullerdick] has no involvement in the editorial content of the black women’s publication.” Do any of you really believe this?

For Bullerdick to be at the top of the decision-making team for Essence is bound to result in some degree of change. It’s hard to say that a white man who has the number two position in the company won’t be influential in terms of editorial content. And if the magazine should be the voice for black women, can a white man lead it? That’s the question many long-time Essence readers are asking.

Last year when Ellianna Placas, a white woman, was named the Fashion Director of Essence people were NOT happy about it. The hiring of Placas, who previously worked for O: The Oprah Magazine and US Weekly, sparked a slew of angry comments and even a protest.

Judging from the reaction to Michael Bullerdick’s hiring, his position will be just as controversial.

What do you think about Essence Magazine hiring a White Managing Editor? Should his race matter?

-Krystal Holmes



  • Simone

    I don’t believe this is a good idea. Especially if he is an American white male.

  • Bronze

    No analysis here. I’ll just say in 80s negro speak….” We can’t have nuffin!”

  • ihy

    I don’t see anything wrong with it, if the man is qualified enough to do the job then let him be. It’s like saying why should Vogue US hire Andre Leon Talley?

  • A

    This would be a tough call to be against if it weren’t for the FACT that predominately everything BLACK in this country – well the decisions are made by white men (not even President Obama has a say). If the magazine really wanted to remain BLACK then why did they sell it to a “white” publication? This is the same thing as black people going to Asian hair care stores for our products, all the way to Hollywood in the movies we watch to the sitcoms on television (who are the writers? – white men and women). All I have to say is 20 years ago you could have never seen a black man like Ice T on tv with his wife – who made that decision (a white man) and guess what – the white man is paying him to do it – but he is not turning down that cash or fame – should he? It’s a job……..

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