Less than two months ago Melissa Harris-Perry told the world she’s nobody’s “token, mammy, or little brown bobble head” and walked away from her self-titled MSNBC show in a blaze of glory. Now the professor and Founding Director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center at Wake Forest University is taking her talents to Elle.com to right some of the magazine’s editorial wrongs regarding race as Editor-at-Large.
Elle.com Editorial Director Leah Chernikoff wrote in a post announcing the appointment:
“I could not be more thrilled to announce that Melissa Harris-Perry has joined ELLE.com as editor-at-large. In this role, Harris-Perry will focus on the intersection of race, gender, politics, and yes, even fashion, telling the often-overlooked stories of women and girls of color right here on ELLE.com and across ELLE’s social platforms.”
That’s welcome news given some of the mag’s missteps regarding women of color in recent months. In January, writer Linda Chavers’ “Here’s My Problem With Black Girl Magic” essay set the Internet on fire with disgust and few took to kindly to the glossy’s attempt at rediscovering the dashiki last fall either. We have a feeling with Harris-Perry at the helm, Elle.com’s racial sensitivity quotient will increase exponentially. In a statement about her new position, she stated:
“Joining ELLE.com is an opportunity to combine my expertise as a scholar, my commitments as a public intellectual, and my interests as a woman. Politics, economics, and inequality will be important to the stories we tell, but so too will culture, community, family, and even fashion. I am thrilled to tell my loyal television audience where they can find me and to introduce myself to brand new audiences, all while telling the stories of extraordinary women and girls.”
We’re anxious to see the fruits of this labor.