All Articles Tagged "writer"
Susan L. Taylor
WHY WE’RE SALUTING HER:
Susan L. Taylor put black beauty and brains on the map in the national media as editor-in-chief of Essence magazine and the mastermind behind the brand we know and love today.
Taylor’s entry into the media world started at Essence. She became a freelancer for the magazine in 1970, the same year it was founded, after a line of customized cosmetics and natural skin-care products she developed came to the attention of it’s founding editors. At the time, Taylor was a single, divorced mother without a college degree, but that didn’t stop the magazine from promoting her to beauty editor a year later, or from becoming editor-in-chief of the magazine in 1981. During the ’80s, Taylor attended night school at Fordham, and eventually earned a bachelor’s degree from the university.
While serving as EIC from 1981-2000, Taylor wrote a monthly inspirational column, “In the Spirit,” which became one of the glossy’s most popular features, and led to the publishing of three volumes of select pieces from over the years as part of Essence Books, which she started in the ’90s. Taylor was also executive producer and host of Essence, a syndicated television interview program that was broadcast on more than 50 stations from 1984-1988. Taylor also functioned as executive producer of the annually televised Essence Awards and the annual Essence Music Festival. These triumphs led to Taylor being named vice-president of Essence magazine in 1986 and senior vice-president in 1993.
In 2000, Taylor was promoted to publications director of Essence and remained in that position until she left the magazine in 2008. Because of her contributions to the magazine world, Taylor was inducted into the American Society of Magazine Editors’ Hall of Fame in 2002 .In 1999, she also became the first African American woman to receive The Henry Johnson Fisher Award, an award which recognizes people who have dedicated their lives to the magazine business and helped the industry thrive and expand, or through their editorial policies, address social, political, economic or lifestyle issues. For establishing a lane for a magazine for and by black women to flourish, we salute Susan L. Taylor.
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Say what you want about her but Ashanti (with help from her obviously amazing team) knows how to keep herself relevant and with a check coming in. It was just announced that she has been added to the cast of one of Lifetime’s most popular series, Army Wives.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ashanti will play Latasha Durant, mother of three children ages 11, 8 and 6, with the youngest suffering from Cystic Fibrosis. She’s also described as “a survivor with no self-pity who is determined to wrench all the joy out of life that she can. She’s a Hot, fun woman who knows how to keep a husband — and keep him in line.” It sounds like she landed a fairly well-rounded role on the show which will be entering its seventh season.
This is great news for Ashanti and it continues to broaden her up to a wider audience. Her past film credits include Resident Evil: Extinction, John Carter Must Die and Coach Carter. Her acting skills have been described by many as average, at best, but she clearly knows how to make people buy into everything that she wants to do. It doesn’t hurt that she also appears to have quite the pleasant demeanor.
There was talk that Army Wives was going to be canceled at the end of last season but with the addition of Ashanti and also actresses Torrey Devitto and Elle McLemore, the writers and creators are clearly prepping for some new storylines.
Do you watch the show? If not, will Ashanti make you tune in every now and then once it returns?
“Her Words Her Word as Witness: Portraits of Women Writers of the African Diaspora” is a new exhibit created by photographer Laylah Amatullah Barrayn to “pay homage” to some of the writers who she says fed her with their words. “I wanted to thank them for offering so much of themselves. I wanted to share their image with the world,” Barrayn told Loop21.
On display until March 31 at the Skylight Gallery of the Center for Arts & Culture in Brooklyn, are portraits of 36 contemporary writers, like Kierna Mayo, poet Sonia Sanchez, and novelist Edwidge Danticat. Barrayn says she took more than 400 shots to make sure her images were the perfect combination of photojournalism and portraiture.
“Writers are represented by their words, and rarely do we know how they look. We could walk past out favorite writer in the store and not know it. I wanted to focus on women writers because I found their stories and plights to be so intriguing.” she says. “Honestly, this project is deeply personal, most of the writers I chose are writers whose work I really love and admire, they’ve touched my life, validated me, educated me and I’m impressed by their brilliance and fearlessness.”
Check out a sampling of the photos and the rest of Laylah Amatullah Barrayn’s interview on Loop21.
What do you think of Barrayn’s exhibit? Are you familiar with the work of the writers in her portraits?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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