White Women on the Cover of Black Women’s Magazines


Actress Jada Pinkett Smith threw out another controversial question to her Facebook followers earlier today. Jada, posting a photoshopped image of Queen Latifah on the cover of Cosmopolitan and Charlize Theron on the cover of Essence, asked “Will there ever be a day in which women will be able to see each other beyond race, class and culture?”

The question sounds harmless enough, but after reading a little more, Jada heads right for black women, wondering why we ask to be featured on the cover of white women’s magazines, but do not extend the opportunity for white women to be featured on the cover of black women’s magazines.

Jada wrote “With love and respect to all parties involved, my question is this… if we ask our white sisters, who tend to be the guardians of the covers of mainstream magazines, to consider women of color to grace these covers, should we not offer the same consideration to white women to grace our covers?” Jada goes on to ask “To my women of color, I am clear we must have something of our own, but is it possible to share in the spirit in which we ask our white sisters to share with us?”

I personally have many thoughts about what Jada said, particularly her use of the word sisters. I don’t ever remember white women having a sisterly attitude toward black women or ever fighting for our right to cover their magazines. But I will pull back on sharing my total feelings on what Jada wrote, and instead ask you, my beautiful Brown Sistas, to share your thoughts.

Should black female magazines feature white women on their covers?


  1. Such a great questions! I do think it’ll be great to see women of any race covering any magazine. If we want discrimination towards our sistas to stop, we must welcome other races just as we would like for them to welcome us.

  2. Jada wrote an article a few days ago that was considered homophobic, hence why she had to prove her loyalty to the gay white propaganda media by attacking black women and attempting to make them out to be bigots.

    The practice of keeping black women off the covers and inside pages of so called mainstream magazines has never stopped. They have simply added 2 or 3 lightskin black women whose beauty does not threaten the white woman’s feeling of superiority to a list of acceptable colored faces.

    Jada asking black women to defend the most defended, cared for and looked after women on the planet shows what a sell-out she has become. No wonder this black woman allows her black son and step son to only date white women. She is delusional and has no sense of black female self-worth.

    Time to turn our back on this chick.

  3. Yes! Yet at the same time, I believe I read someone’s comment a while ago about how white magazine’s should also allow for other black women other than Beyonce, Rihanna, and Halle Berry to be featured on the white magazine covers as well. That would be awesome! *smiles*

  4. Listen, we don’t get equality on women’s magazines as it is. How many times are black women featured on VOGUE or BAZAAR in the UNITED STATES? How many covers per year on high profile magazines (Cosmo excluded because…well, it’s Cosmo)??? It’s less than white women who cover those mags. And how is a magazine specifically about and for Black women supposed to be about and for BLACK women when there is a white woman on the cover? Share? SHARE?!?!?! How many high profile magazines share the cover with black women per year? Hmm? Vogue? Bazaar? Etc. I don’t see them sharing much of anything. And when they DO SHARE it’s the same 3/4 sistas as before and usually only when those 3/4 sistas have something to promote.

    Listen, Essence lost me way back when they suggested we single black women go to strip clubs to find men.

    I can’t…I mean… I’m gone have to come back to this one too. We could share all the day long, but will that be reciprocated? I DOUBT IT.

  5. this is completely misguided. no, we don’t need white women on our covers, they are already there in black women’s weaves, facial lightening and shrinking facial features. jada needs to put her thoughts into context. this is sad and it might be time to turn our back on her afterall.

  6. Jada, go raise your kids before they become regulars in Tabloid magazines around the world.

  7. Many people have mentioned Black women are not consistently placed on these white oriented magazine covers. The only way you can get on their cover is if you are making a cross-over impact to the majority. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud Of Beyonce, Rihanna, and a few others who made the cover but what about other Black celebrities that don’t have that cross-over success. Hell, even Jada hasn’t made the cover of ELLE, Vogue, or even Cosmo, so what is she talking about????

    Tell you what, once Jill Scott makes the cover of Vogue then we will put Charlize Theron on the cover of Essence…..

  8. I understand the struggle our ancestors had to endure and fight for, but I honestly believe we have GOT to stop making EVERRRYTHING black vs white (I see it on the blogs everyday we’re more beautiful, she wants to be white etc.). I say that because I can still sense loathe bitterness and anger which I’m sure derives from how we were treated. I fully understand racism (which is what most conversations of this type originate from, it’s the ‘heart’ that pieces it together) and the likes will unfortunately always exist and that can’t be changed but you can change YOU. One of the most (if not THE most) important lesson in life is forgiveness it’s definitely not easy but it heals, and I’m not saying forget. That’s the only way we can grow as ppl, as a country. If you believe in God then you should know we ALL need to love each other as is we’re family. I think Jada was speaking out of love. I love that we have the NAACP Awards, BET Awards, etc that celebrate us. But remember we have to learn how to let go.

  9. the answer is yes but it has to start with society…jobs, loans, ownership in real estate, businessess, indepence and equality for all and no favortism to white ppl.

  10. Well, speaking as a male, to answer Jada`s question about people being able to look beyond race, class and culture, I submit, the answer is, a RESOUNDING, NO. America has made race an overarching aspect of our identity and I don`t forsee that changing anytime soon. However, on another level, we, as blacks, have already been stripped of our names, language, culture, mores, etc. For us to say, “we will look beyond race”, etc., is, in a way, to deny our being. Why would I want to deny my African ancestry, in order, to partake in the DELUSION of a post racial America simply because a black family resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue??? We, as a people, are still, crawling on our hands and knees at the feet of white America, BEGGING them to accept and love us as, would, a hungry, stray, cat…how pathetic. Where is our self worth? We try everything at our disposal, including interracial dating and marriage, to fulfill our desire to integrate into mainstream America. It`s a subconscious effort to try and escape from who we are. Hence, we have weaves, extensions, relaxers, etc.

    Proposing the question of having white women on black female magazines is, only, another attempt to try and build interracial solidarity, by fawning, in an attempt to have others validate your humanity. Jada`s question, in and of itself, about sistas gracing the covers of mainstream magazines and white women gracing black ones is inconsistent with her notion of looking beyond race. Did she not mentally compart race as the genesis for her aformentioned proposal?? We can never, truly, share in the spirit because we come from two, totally, different cultures. No two cultures are alike. True, we can say,”we are all of the same species” but that still doesn`t make us alike. If that were true, then our structural features would coincide and our DNA would not be able to distinguish racial identity.

    I can think of NO other racial group who seeks approval from white America as do we. All others take pride in their culture and it is that pride that gives them a sense of unity among their own kind. And it is also their essence in the most profound way. They love being who they are and don`t seek to lose their identity. Loving oneself is the path to contentment and mental health. And to love yourself you can`t measure yourself by others standards. It has to come from within. And this love knows no boundaries.

    MJ & The GOLDEN 80s 4ever!!


  11. we will never get beyond race , because white women won’t allow that to happened. white women just like their white men control the media, if they were so much for the uplifting black women to an equal playing field, why aren’t they doing more? they control hollywood, but i don’t see them, creating positive images for black women, i don’t see directors, casting directors, scriiptwriters, producers that are white females, making it better for black women. perfect example, why a white latina woman cythinia mort, decided to cast zoe as nina simone, if white women were down for our behalf, wouldn’t they want our stories that involved more than just the mammy, and if it something different like nina simone, fit into their desired asthetics? it is my opinion that white women have always been more cruel and evil and racist than their white male counterparts when it came to black women.

  12. How can we learn to let go, jewish people make sure their children and community remember anti-semitism and the holocaust, but we should forget about how we are treated in this country? Sorry. Until, there is an equal playing field, than we should continue with speaking out on racism. funny, how minorities spend the most money , pay the most in taxes, our countries have the most resources, but for some reason people of color feel the need to always accomodate white people. please, and for Jada to even ask that question, when black models are still struggling to get the cover of magazines, or the fact that kerry washington can’t get a magazine cover, even though scandal is a top rated show and popular, or django was an international success, proves that we should promote own hollywood, cuz white folks ain’t doing it. Jada won’t attack hollywood, but will attack black folks. come on, be like eartha kitt and call a spade a spade, and don’t try to make black women feel bad. black women can’t be racist because we don’t have the power nor the resources. she made the statement but won’t continue with her statements, don’t back off,

  13. If I ever see a white lady on the cover of Essence, it will be a sad day. The magazine playing field is not even as it is. Let us have something to ourselves. They have shown us time and time again that they do not want us on their covers. Putting an african american women on the cover once a year does not count. Especially of it’s the same stars over and over.

  14. “Tell you what, once Jill Scott makes the cover of Vogue then we will put Charlize Theron on the cover of Essence…..”

    You better say that, OldPopEyeSalt. Seems to me like Jada needs a crash course in history about why black magazines were created in the first place. And if she thinks time has brought on changes, then she’s delusional. We’re dealing with the same problems, just in different packages and forms.

    Anyway, instead of drumming up phoney controversy, what Jada needs to be doing is focusing on her family who by the way is making an ass of her all over Hollywood. From her potty-mouth son, to her too-grown daughter to her husband’s questionable and frequent rendez-vous with Duane Martin, you’d think she’d have her hands full.

  15. I will have to agree with the majority & say NO. White people have the MOST power in this country & in many cases in the world. Due to this, White Women have & ALWAYS will have FAR more opportunities than women of color, especially in the entertainment field. They will ALWAYS be considered FIRST when magazine editors try to figure out who to put on the cover. Heck when they do magazine covers ABOUT the Black Woman, what do they do? Run to the White Woman & paint her face black & put her in traditional African dress & slap her on the cover! And when they DO decide to use a REAL Black Woman, they use the same ones over & over *enters Halle Berry, Beyonce, Rhianna, & swing vote Jennifer Hudson*. Face it, they have no love for us. For those reasons alone WE need our own magazines to celebrate all the things that make us us. White people own everything, for Pete’s sake let minorities have something!

    Also NO this country will NEVER look past race, culture, & class… sorry Jada but that ain’t happening sweetie. Prejudice of any kind has been around since the days that Jesus walked the earth. if it didn’t end then, with the person who could end it, what makes you think it will end now? People will always be prejudice on some level & there’s not much you can do. Jada can say these things because thru her HUSBAND(yea I said it), she has gain loved from White followers. I think in this instance she has let the Hollywood go to her head & she has forgotten how it is in the REAL WORLD.

  16. I think the brother SMOOTHCRIMINAL gave the absolutely most perfect and eloquent response!

    We really need to stop living in this black world where we compare everything to white and white is even a factor. We need to start evaluating and scrutinizing our community from our own standards and context not some white standard context that wasn’t intended to apply to us originally and shouldn’t apply to us now. In all honesty, a white woman should have absolutely no relevance to and no place in our magazines. And maybe we don’t belong in theirs either. So if that means we should stop expecting to see black faces in white magazines, shows, institutions, etc. well that’s fine by me. I can totally understand them wanting to see someone who looks like them because I want to see someone who looks like me!

  17. There would be no need for African American magazines if AA in this country were given fair oppurtunities to cover “mainstream” magazines. This is not new!!..lol
    Black people in Hollyweird are so lame. You re rich and privileged! everyone (blk person) in this country is NOT!! Not to mention…Jada herself has very strong Euro features…an actual black person would never make Elle, Vogue or Cosmo once a year…let along more than once…k.i.r!
    Stay on your cloud and have a sandwich Jada…js

  18. Just get rid of the black magazines, BET etc….LMAO

    What’s the purpose right? Jada is on one. All that privilege has gotten to her. Not to mention…once Fotus is out of the white house…which actual black female do you expect to see on a magazine? inter racial people and their nonsense kill me. js

  19. NOOOO! I would love for every woman to be seen as equal but thats just not the case! The white magazine do not feature black woman as they come naturally. They feature ppl like Rihanna and Beyonce etc. whom have all seemed to be lightened and specifically accepted in the white community. Not your everyday brown sistas that may have an afro or hips and thighs.

    I think for now we have to rely on our magazines…

  20. it is my opinion that white women have always been more cruel and evil and racist than their white male counterparts when it came to black women.

    Thank you, it is a known fact that white women hates to see a beautiful black woman on the cover of anything, including being leading ladies in film and tv shows, esp if a white man is fawned of bw. People don’t know that the media has been taken over by them anyway. All of that botox has gotten to Jada’s head now till the point that she has lost prospective.

    I bet you wont see a latin actress, asking about a white woman covering latina magazine, esp if she’s not mixed with such. They’ll put a black/latina woman on it like Zoe, Lala, Christina Millian etc.

  21. Jada poses a great question…a thought provoking one. With that being said, how many White women are vying to be on the cover of Essence, Jet, Ebony, Sister 2 Sister, etc? Naturally the same courtesy we want extended towards us we should extend the same courtesy as well but I can’t think of any White celebrities who want to be on our covers. As she stated, the reason these magazines were created was because our race was and are still being ignored. Thus you have TV shows, movies, magazines that are geared specifically to us.

    I guess the same question can be presented to other races as well. When will the time come when we have to stop “lobbying” to get the recognition we deserve. There are still Black entertainers who still don’t get the same recognition as their White counterparts.

    We, not just Black people, but people as a whole still have work to do when it comes to embracing all races without prejudice.

  22. Jada…You are right to have a progressive mind on race relations…I agree with you that we should move forward…you are up against people who have not yet evolved to this level and so you are faced with resistance and opposition to your proposal…History has only moved forward by someone looking further than their nose. Keep up the good work in all the battles fought…you are my inspiration…

  23. No! White women have no problems being on the cover of many magazines and there are some magazine companies such as (Vogue) who rarely ever have a black woman on the cover. Yes I am being selfish and I want Essence to continue to feature Black women on the cover. Sorry I refuse to share!

  24. No woman of other ethnicity argues or fights the point yet Jada is, such a dumb woman.

  25. Jada-Jada-Jada, tend to your family and leave the rest of us alone. Just because you’re rich doesn’t give you the right to dictate to the rest of us. Tend to your daughter who appears to be lost and looking for an identity…teach your rude, belligerent son some manners and etiquette before someone else does with their fists to his face…and mind your marriage to Will, who seems to be spending lots of time with Duane Martin’s down-low ass!!

  26. Not if the magazine’s motto is “The Magazine for Today’s Black Woman”.

  27. No we should not allow white women on our covers, there are only a handful of black operated magazines but thousands of white operate magazines and we can count on one hand how many of them consistently put a black woman on the cover by herself. so the question Jada asked she should ask her white friends to ask those thousands of magazines to cut the black women some slack. we don’t even get put on for black history month. and look at sports illustrated how many black women have graced their swimsuit edition. looking for a show of hands, if there were five i would be amazed. i know of only two. so i rest my case.

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