NeNe Leakes on the cover of Ebony:A new low in advocacy journalism

Ruby Dee, Michelle Obama, Sade, Shirley Chisholm, Lena Horne, Aretha Franklin, Nene Leakes. Those are the names of women who been on the cover of Ebony Magazine in the past.

I should not have to tell you which name does not belong.

If you want to be hard-headed, I will give you a quote from the person:

“I’d date Donald Trump. He has that swagger."

Does that sound like someone who should be on the cover of such as stalwart as Ebony Magazine?? Especially someone who sees redeeming qualities in a person who won’t let go of where President Obama was born.

At first look, it does not.

These days, it is.

Reality TV personality NeNe Leakes is on the December/January cover of Ebony Magazine. This has to be a new low in advocacy journalism. I can name several women who deserve to be on that cover.

As someone who grew up reading Ebony, I always saw the best and the brightest from the African-American community in the pages of the magazine.  I saw how many blacks played in Major League Baseball, the newest HBCU queens, and most importantly, I got to see the achievements of black people in every field of  human endeavor.

Does this look like a traditional cover person for a magazine that advocates for African-Americans to you??

I get that the publishers at Ebony have magazines to sell and do not want to go only online like Newsweek. But to have someone with so much baggage on the cover sends the wrong message to their readers.

I have a suggestion; maybe next month they can put Rhiana Gunn-Wright on the cover. She is the young lady who was one of 32 people chosen for the latest class of American Rhodes Scholars. She is going to study at the University of Oxford in England (I wonder what Cecil Rhodes would have to say about that.)

This is someone who is clearly an upgrade over Ms. Leakes, who appears to warmfully embrace negative stereotypes.

Instead of putting the least among us on the cover, why not shine a spotlight on the cream of the crop.



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