This week Ebony Magazine released a powerful December cover in honor of their 70th anniversary featuring Zendaya Coleman, Harry Belafonte, and Jesse Williams. The trio is a part of Ebony’s Power 100 list that salutes the achievements of the black community. The list features black men and women from diverse backgrounds ranging from journalism to activism. Coleman, Belafonte, and Williams are all influential within the black community, calling out racism when necessary.
Zendaya Coleman, whose aunts were Black Panthers, eloquently took a stand this year when her faux locs were stereotyped on a syndicated television show. Grey’s Anatomy actor Jesse Williams has always been very vocal about police brutality against blacks and racism in general. Black Hollywood veteran, Harry Belafonte, was and still is a social activist and an advocate for civil rights. With Coleman, Williams, and Belafonte on the cover, it almost feels like we are looking at the past, present, and future of social activism.
When the 70th anniversary cover was introduced, it created a firestorm on both Twitter and Instagram. Most are thrilled about the cover and can’t wait to get their own copy. They welcome the much needed dialogue regarding the present state of race relations in this country and they are more than happy to see three vocal activists represent for the black community. However, everyone isn’t content with who Ebony chose to represent black America. Coleman, Williams, and Belafonte are all multi-racial and light in complexion. This left some wondering why there weren’t any darker hued people on the cover.
Then, there were those who couldn’t understand why it was such an issue for light skinned, multi-racial individuals to grace Ebony’s cover, if they have African roots. Somehow, President Obama even made it into the conversation.
However, there were some who saw both sides…
For reference these three women, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, are the creators of the Black Lives Matter movement.
And DeRay McKesson and Shaun King have emerged as its most vocal proponents.
Ladies, what are your thoughts on Ebony’s 70th Anniversary Cover?