thumbnail of In Black America; Susan L. Taylor, Editor In Chief for Essence Magazine
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
the pay fb in the sixties from the longhorn radio network the university of texas at austin this is in black america let's do it now i do and we continue the church basement two of who they are you do you know heroine and you know if you know the year that the descendents of queen of innovation if you know
that you are part of that group of people who created a high and you don't think that you know that one of you none of the year you know with the concept of one got your mother was i think that one of the large children together after school to teach the history and culture and also to teach them about drugs to let them know that yes there is a war on white people and drive of what usually you get a good education for our children and tell them to teach them the truth that they will have some kind of defense mechanism that the community can afford ms susan el taylor editor in chief of essence magazine and vice president of essence communications he says may of nineteen seventy so you know taylor has get phenomenal growth of essence magazine drew on credit <unk> grade on cosmetic company obtained a license and became very skilled cosmetologist of business as a list of ideas on health
and beauty process to the company and got the attention of the editor of essence magazine ms taylor didn't start the time she began her journalistic career as a freelance writer one year later she became the magazine's beauty editor of the following year has taken a position with expanded to include both fashion and beauty efforts have been rewarded with numerous awards and honors among the readership of almost four million people most of the man and her stewardship this magazine is also reached out to the black male with a monthly column entitled say brother in march of nineteen eighty six was taylor was elected a vice president of business communications inc i'm janet hanson's jr welcome to another edition of iraq over this week is susan mchale taylor editor in chief of essence magazine and america remain
sane malcolm x and dr martin luther king had an incredible impact on all over from twenty five years ago and i think he'll struggle and triumph into continually inspiration to me i'm very inspired by a woman like shirley chisholm age sixty five years old and it has a passionate and if that age i've committed to the fourth movement of black people as she was done thirty years ago ms susan rayl taylor is the living embodiment of the essence woman and raul malo to millions worldwide want a mistake of life exemplifies the kind of triumphant struggles as an readers know intimately determination to advance personally and professionally and desire to promote positive images and take pride in one's accomplishments our values ms taylor
shares with the readers and these are reflected in our editorials and the kind of issues rarely dealt with innocence communications in one form or another has long served as taylor's both the means and end and before the first edition of essence magazine hit newsstands back in may of nineteen seventy she had been working hard to perfect your craft as an actress as a member of her mouth negro ensemble company getting forced the doors around this tale left the theater and again working on like you're on cosmetic company in nineteen seventy one she would call your kisses magazine with her own cosmetics line ended up being hired as a part time beauty editor and i guess you could say the rest is history after eight months of trying to set up an interview if i was able to set a date to speak with or let me say that the powers would do to a very heavy schedule and the fact she was getting married i was born and raised in harlem his arm my parents came from the caribbean my father from think if my mother
from trinidad parents in barbados brother and i are first generation born in this country and down and all my education has been here in new york city and i'm in college right now at fourteen you can hear it set my own cosmetics company and what i came to the attention of the fbi to do that were few companies that were developing products for black women i bought an east in the market and began to develop a line but before that i was pursuing the korean that was great when you say it opened a cosmetic company because there was a lack of cosmetic for women of color oh whoa some nachos you had to overcome with the size of financial obstacle you really incredibly
enough credible enough people typically there's no way you can do it with that little amount of money and they had three thousand dollars to start and i just the fight them all and went ahead and put that line together for under three thousand dollars and that's it i was married to a man who is a hairdresser we opened don't want to get a call to faith placed in the bronx i made my money back within three weeks because there was an incredible need in people mind about that my door to come in and buy these products which is how i came to the attention of the fbi did you have the cosmetic specially made for woman of color or you imported from another country so the lie was that they were all natural products and i think what was in the album among black women what that each of the foundation shape the cut the makeup put them in my home on magic and perfectly weiss black entertainment television now there is a women's hair care and cosmetic program you think
as an outgrowth of of your commitment in the early days to a cosmetics for women of color oh i'd like oh i doubt it you know i think a lot of people at that time nineteen seventy nearly seventies who were recognizing the importance of celebrating the beauty of black women and two we did it like every time providing a product for black women and cake too far question what are your goals an objective as editor of essence the magazine and also the philosophy of essence the magazine well the goals of medicaid are really in line with the philosophy we have a mission and a guide to everything that we do here at the company and they died every single article that we put in a magazine that mission is to deliver two black women and thereby black people the information and inspiration that we need to live independent hurry weekly live so what we tried to do here is to make sure that every article deliver the kind
of information that black people need to move my life forward undoubtedly a philosophy guy what we do and you actually about ian well the first set you know i really probably have dedicated my life personally and nineteen thirty and barricaded to the empowerment and the appointment of a black women and iowa faith and thereby black people because we know that if we improve the lives of black women that we improve the lives of the black family yellow monthly column and tyler in the spirit what do you try to bring to the readers in their communication spirit in the mini in many ways is really a very personal contacts began writing for myself because i became editor in chief of a definitive really believed that i had the talent to write a monthly editorial the public employees cannot do we know he could be the editor at the magazine you have to write a column every month
i care enough about and really know enough about to write about every month with a measure of intelligence it's really that incredible fourth within if we might interest you know if it if what i'm speaking to know most in my life and that it had a hat and you've got pat and i began writing about spiritual thing to do with him leaving to me the number of people who invaded but what i was writing about what inspired me to write it's really the kind of thing that i'm trying to borrow through but i might say rather than what i'm going through and also the principal of what i'm striving to live by i'm not having a journalistic per se background why don't you leave you qualified to become unhinged when i we were you know twenty three twenty four when you believe you can do anything on the ticket i was the manager
and chief officer i listen i think give me a chance at that time i only had i've never written anything beyond high school competition and forgive me you can't i know i can do it and much to my surprise and delight to be given an opportunity i began developing no theological began writing with a lot of help from people here african putting those pieces together one i've kept up ten years later editor in chief position that we need to carry really began to eat away at me and honestly it's one american school right now i don't think i have everything i need to do the best job i can for black people and they're flying pickle is a real big you know that for me to walk and to find out then and to be in a classroom with people who we look up to me and believe it so i know if you need to grow yet the humble yourself and that's what i've done today as election day in new york city has as we speed on this interview what is the
chance that president of the bro thing goes whoa well over american catch he is a winner i'm only stating that even cast a shadow of doubt now david dinkins on that may be that you know people should be committed to right and justice you have an opportunity to travel around america quite a bit in europe a new ways to state of black america as we know it in nineteen eighty nine suffering all over the country and we have a small and i'm not at a very very small group of black people who were making you know money in doing well in the most part who've moved away from the masses of black people who really suffering and i think what's really important that we have to remember that you know we are one people that we are in this together and that we need a
middle class and affluent black people to build bridges between himself and a poor black people who feel as though they're you know locked out of that in many ways you know it's really difficult children it's difficult to be on a political activist when you were in that we can actually tonight i think that those of us who manage to be somewhat empowered have to remember that our strength and the people have always been in a number of our strength and the people has always been based on the newly unified and either we you know come together under our common agenda over to the parish do you think there's a crisis basically force the blackmail war against the black males in this country and if that historical want black man in america and you go back you know as far as our coming out of flavor you can see how effortlessly after reconstruction all of the forces has been
mined out to be a raid against black men and even though a lot of that howard gleckman of black people and i'm watching it and i'm not any longer going to get to point the finger the government appointed you and me and are kind of the link on the end game really it's really you just wrong a powerful new york protect her when you're the mother or father of the elevation you can do i mean we have to agree he did agree on for provide and prevent that united front and begin to heal the wounds among that and kick you in the past presidential election there was a lot of racial undertones do you think black americans sit still look at the two
party system or contemplate form his own party outside of the the touareg requires that we have today i think that you know black people have to feel comfortable holding the two political parties fanfare most visible today you can tell them responsible for delivering to black people like people see that so you know on the democratic line with the democrats are not sensitive to the issues surrounding our need i think that either we hold the democratic and the republican party is accountable for delivering the fifteen foot in need in our community or we would hold out votes to begin to move along with some other people who believe that they should be a third party you think the president plan which she announced last week will address the problem basically you know i think that what it's going to do of course even with education because i think you know part of that plan call for more prudent and they called for harsher punishment you know to drugs and drug dealers i think is going
to think it's unfair in fact drug abuse the people who are addicted to drugs are you are you know they have a chemical addiction treated that way and not them have we gotten beyond the lights light skinned dark skinned black americans african americans in the schedule than it still an issue you know black folks are underrated and we have till i came for alone won't look at it the very entity that tries to empower us as the most beautiful you know example of what we aspire to be in that unfortunate for a lot of people being like to let you know they'll be ideal and i think that you know most likely regime against him if he did it activated evidence was probably the first place we ever read about that is you may be six years ago by alice walker
brown mm i can have each of these women you know was treated differently because of their defection of much of the government in the ferment of money and that's unfortunate how much what we look like physically have difficulty have been you know really if it's based on a european and i know we have to begin to change that we have to put black black people would go oh god knows all fall on you know on the walls of our home for unpaid or children wow look at that person even keel isn't she beautiful is it time for african americans to look beyond the north american continent as far as opportunity and growth is concerned i think it's real important fact is the issue we have a wonderful thirteen page spread on the pop way we just came back from there a couple of
opportunities for african americans throughout the motherland throughout the caribbean that they need the skills that we have you know i think if they feel important right now for black people to look beyond the you know the physical borders of the united states well now wife have to come here to watch over that day here are better because i'm comfortable explaining why in every day because i looked in my abortion debate i'm looking in my own face you know because i'm dealing with one of the ones left problem that idea within the workforce and they're terrific and as i once had a television program when it you are discontinued production of the program we had to discontinue production because we did not get the kind that we needed a country to stay on the air the show is down to around the table at one o'clock in the morning in the market eleven thirty you know in the on monday afternoon black folks are in church eight o'clock in the morning in the morning get down
to the roundabout at the conference began to say we cannot continue to support a show that doesn't get regular time slot and that is not all one when the majority of people are up and away game and in the mood that i think that what it really delivered to a powerful message and the black community have to mobilize and we've got two television because we do watched thirty three percent more television than any other group in the nation if the cheapest form of television of our entertainment television that really did from any way negate that were with me think something's wrong with us usually when we look at the news we feel like oh my god he go for more of a few vivid examples of black people who live on television know what the evidence shows the mind and support for the importance of writing and polling stations and they are collectively can be heard when we get like the way we're being portrayed and the one we like the way were being portrayed in that we had then that show would be on day
and threaten patient not a watch we're not going to lend you were not about of products we call manufacturing to play without a bar just got one you know black people or sell slaves ongoing seven segments of the essence magazine which rules say we cannot know what now weekend we cobbled less than a month of that will deftly be a part of the structure we know one of the most one of the most popular of them at a private college he had a column written by a black man and what it could still powerful about and why people respond to it sold so well that if the only national forum for black men and america the only place you can turn to monthly and hear and read about what it feel like really i mean if the mating p the quality of the writing is wonderful and then are driving really personal professional and very deep issues one of the other parts of the mediterranean
and really very pleased with hiv infection that we're with delivery and which happened in fiction writing that again isn't it really usually rejection of black characters and then you can turn to monthly the information it would deliver your health section is really ever improving but we have a new health care they're on board and doing an incredible job and what i'm doing with covering i find an addict to that we're trying to stay as we always have been even in a more glowing in graphic and better way that made a rainbow of black beauty and wouldn't prevent anti rainbow jackie joyner kersee on a cutter when alice walker when i travel i met alice walker is implemented and watch it on the cover now you can think of three women who look different so free to each one and it's the hole and our challenges may be at each one of a face that only one of a few in your opinion has black americans realizes
the verge of the aids epidemic i don't think that we have you know and it's really you know it's very hard to pinpoint that we those of us who are communicated the virgin media and black media use every report possible to let our children know the danger of promiscuous jack had unprotected sex and you know that we are both ok is there an average reader questions arising they're in an average reader you know what's interesting about the book too is that we have people reading this book who are clearly and ed me the winner the miners because they're from provocative information you know in essence we dealing with sexuality and down some of the reviews are in effect the end of our four million readers a full twenty percent army but we have an incredible cross section of black people predicted but what i think really cold or have that common thread that unified our readers is that
we are i think reaching the most hypothetical concept of black americans killed people were passionate about black hole with movement or committed civil right struggle because again mr gray struggling for a civil right we're passionate about building by people for it so that i've read by a unified than treaties set images in sixty there was julia now they're more black women on television you believe black women have a better because a self image of themselves today oh no question you know there's no question the testes are reveling in our duty we are you know and it's a beautiful thing to see an actor working on an article right now thats going to look at some of the things about health that we feel ashamed of like home lipton broad nose is your beat behind it we're going to photograph those women in all their glory with a large behind the mythical notion of a broad lipton and show pictures of them when they were little you know and they didn't talk about how you feel and how now they
coping how important do you believe that african americans from this country to go back to the caribbean to go to africa to get a better perspective of where they've come you know exactly the ball important value to come from a long line of glorious and majestic looking down the road says oh what are some of the goals that you have set for yourself well you know i just recently got married i want to you to union and to promote this union and to celebrate this union particularly be unfair to our people and i think that's one of the reasons that people come together and family unit for that we can you know be part of a strong network that uplift and move forward our community family also be a better educated and the better informed person what i'm trying to carve timeout to do more time to read more time to think more time for my congregation
a challenge me intellectually and i really would be even better editor in chief of times trying to do a better job with an even more meaningful for black people to be closer to the heart of black women and black man you know so it forces as you have a job where the hours are somewhat flexible and a new kid more or less set your own schedule was a difficult been a single parent in america you know a job that really begins in the morning at five thirty and then the end you know midnight want to the threat of danger we provided a lot of yeah much like the ball and i can make it flexible and that the great black thank you know for me when i was raising my daughter my daughter is now nineteen years old was raising her might get a one likeable of political leverage he didn't always make good money and didn't have the money or you know a baby that kind of thing had to be home everyday cook for her couldn't even go live you know that you just call out my mother has always been
a great support for me and helped me you know to raise my daughter but i'm like a very blessed ok enough aisle amanda what would you tell a young black americans and this country is far is realizing their full potential i would take my attitude to delay your child bearing delay childbearing until you have your education so you have an advanced degree if possible you know and to be sure that you have money in the bank save enough to live for two years without working before you begin to think about bearing a child and the narrative no guarantee that their relationship is going to stay together the money that should be the bank under your own name you know it also to my young brothers you to my umbrella delay your child bearing that men and women are equally responsible for the lives that we created we don't bring an intellectual and there's more that we can take care of education is the key to our town that the only thing that separates the haves and have not and america information
and education i can't stress that enough even if you're reading on grade below level seeing in there if they would get involved in math and reading programs you can read the new organization we have to be computer literate i would ask are young by people to be reminded that there's nothing great anarchy in the work of a computer in our mind that if the incredible mind that we had that we only use about ten percent of the creative computers in additional information out that are filtered graded enough to hear the youth but the opportunity to get that information and to read into their computers and the marital history and to stay in school ms susan el taylor editor in chief of essence magazine and vice president of essence communications inc you have a question or comment riders remember views and opinions expressed on his probe are not necessarily those of the station or the universe your taxes and austin until we meet again for production assistant betty rodriguez and technical
producer hargrove i'm john l hansen jr please join us again next week cassette copies of this program are available and maybe purchased by writing ian black america cassettes longhorn radio network communication building the ut austin austin texas seventy seven one tune that's in black america cassettes longhorn radio network communication building the ut austin austin texas seventy seven want to just from the centre for telecommunication services the university of texas at austin this is the longhorn radio network fb
In Black America
Susan L. Taylor, Editor In Chief for Essence Magazine
Producing Organization
KUT Radio
Contributing Organization
KUT Radio (Austin, Texas)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/529-086348hj46).
Episode Description
This episode of In Black America provides a profile of and interview with Susan L. Taylor, Editor in Chief for Essence Magazine. She discusses her education, career, and personal and professional advancement for not only herself, but the black community as a whole. She discusses the role of positive images for black people, and how they can help uplift those in need.
Created Date
Asset type
Social Issues
Race and Ethnicity
University of Texas at Austin
Media type
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Copyright Holder: KUT
Guest: Taylor, Susan L.
Host: Hanson, John L.
Producing Organization: KUT Radio
AAPB Contributor Holdings
KUT Radio
Identifier: IBA47-89 (KUT Radio)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 0:28:00
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “In Black America; Susan L. Taylor, Editor In Chief for Essence Magazine,” 1989-10-01, KUT Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 22, 2023,
MLA: “In Black America; Susan L. Taylor, Editor In Chief for Essence Magazine.” 1989-10-01. KUT Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 22, 2023. <>.
APA: In Black America; Susan L. Taylor, Editor In Chief for Essence Magazine. Boston, MA: KUT Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from