When I was a child, I grew up with Essence Magazine in the house. Covers featuring beautiful Black celebrities, models and politicians and leaders graced the covers as it gave me a sense of belonging in the world. Essence Magazine also focused on important issues in the Black community. It screamed to the world, ‘We are here, and we shine just as bright.’
Today, Essence Magazine continues that mission and is the premiere lifestyle, fashion and beauty magazine for African American women. With its motivating message, intimate girlfriend-to-girlfriend tone, compelling and engaging editorial lineup and vibrant and modern design, Essence is the definitive voice of today’s dynamic African American woman. Essence speaks directly to a Black woman’s spirit, her heart and her unique concerns. Their editorial content is designed to help women move their lives forward personally, professionally, intellectually and spiritually. Sections such as Work & Wealth, Healthy Living, and Looks We Love cover topics that focus on career and finance, health and lifestyle, and fashion and beauty.
Now the importance of Essence Magazine is being explored in a new original documentary series, Time of Essence. Debuting on Friday, August 18th at 9 pm ET/PT. The five-part, one-hour series is a celebration of the trailblazing magazine that reaches a global community of over 20 million Black women and has revealed some of the most captivating and influential covers of the past half-century.
From OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Time of Essence will tell the story of how ESSENCE has informed and reflected Black culture in America for over 50 years. Each episode explores a different decade – from the ’70s to today – and features first-hand commentary on that era’s biggest moments from the icons, trailblazers, staffers and leaders who lived and defined them. This candid commentary is coupled with never-before-seen footage and exclusive behind-the-scenes moments from the worlds of entertainment, sports, politics, fashion and beauty.
Previously announced trailblazers featured in the series include fashion model and icon Beverly Johnson, Johnson’s daughter Anansa Sims, Oscar winning actresses Halle Berry and Whoopi Goldberg, Emmy winning actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, Regina Hall and Taye Diggs. Iconic ESSENCE Magazine editor Mikki Taylor, long-time Editor and Chief Susan L. Taylor, and current President and CEO Caroline Wanga are also prominently highlighted in the series.
They will also be joined by – Golden Globe winning actress Taraji P. Henson, Gabrielle Union-Wade, singer and actress Vanessa Williams, Sunny Hostin and producer and former president of Motown Productions Suzanne de Passe.
Time of Essence is produced by 51 Minds and ESSENCE Studios LLC for OWN. Executive producers are Christian Sarabia and Nicole Elliott for 51 Minds, Raymond Garcia for Major TV, and Emmet Dennis, Sidra Smith, Stephanie “NöNe” Dunivan and Barkue Tubman-Zawolo for ESSENCE Studios LLC.