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Constance C.R. White Says She Was Fired Over Clashes with Time Inc. Editor

Constance C.R. White, Essence’s editor-in-chief until she was fired early last month, has some strong words for Time Inc.’s editor, Martha Nelson. White told Journal-isms that she was forced out because she wanted black women to be central to Essence, but Nelson did not.

White claims that she wasn’t given any explanation for being fired, but the main problem was that she wouldn’t tolerate what she considered the minimization of black women in Essence:

When was the last time you saw Essence in the community advocating for or talking with black women? No more T-shirts with a male employee’s face on it being distributed at the [Essence] Festival.

I had a certain point of view about black women being central to this magazine. The boss didn’t agree with me, and the president [Michelle Ebanks, president of Essence Communications] didn’t agree with me. It became an untenable situation.

White is busy contemplating her next move. She felt she needed to speak out because she wants Essence to be the magazine that black women deserve:

Essence needs stability and the brand needs a leader with a vision. Black women are social leaders, cultural leaders, we are aspirational and spiritual. Black women deserve the best. Essence is the last place where black women should be demeaned and diminished.

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