Essence magazine criticized for hiring white Fashion Director

Essence magazine, a publication geared toward African-American fashionistas, is being criticized for recently hiring a white woman for its Fashion Director position—a job that was always held by African-American employees since the magazine’s inception 40 years ago.

A former Essence employee, Michaela Angela Davis, publicly noted her disapproval of this hiring decision on her Facebook page, where she wrote, “It’s with a heavy heart I’ve learned Essence magazine has engaged a white Fashion Director. I love Essence and I love fashion. I hate this news and this feeling. It hurts, literally.”

Despite the criticism from Davis, as well as readers of the publication, Essence editor Angela Burt-Murray, defends hiring the magazine’s first white Fashion Director, Elliana Placas.