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Ebony disses Black folks

By A. Peter Bailey
Trice EdneyNews Wire

Reading Ebony Magazine’s feature article “100 Most Influential African Americans” in its December 2012-January 2013 issue, was very revealing on the low opinion the publication has of its readers in particular and of the larger Black community in general. A brief statement before the listing proclaims, among other things, “In this issue EBONY selects the 100 primary influencers and game changers who have made vital accomplishments during the past year.”

During a year of a presidential election, of continued economic dislocation, of the continued problem of dealing with Black-on-Black homicide among low-income Black males, the list published by the most widely distributed general interest Black magazine in the country includes a 16-year old-gymnast, Gabby Douglas, and 19-year-old pro basketball player, Anthony Davis.

It also includes “Influential African Americans” such as recording artists Rihanna and CeeLo Green, NBA forwards Le Bron James and Kevin Durant, entertainer Nicki Minaj, actor Jesse Williams, celebrity stylist June Ambrose, actress/activist Jurnee Smollen, artist/musician/activist Theaster Gates, actor/radio and talk show host Steve Harvey, comedian/actor Kevin Hart, Boston Globe film critic Wesley Morris and gospel artists Mary Mary.

Further listees as most influential African Americans are event designer Diann Valentine, authors Ashley and Je Quavis, entertainment moguls Beyoncé and Jay-Z, singer and pianist Alice Hall Moran and Jason Moran, director TJ Martin, actor/publisher Zane, tennis player Serena Williams, television personality/author Wendy Williams, NFL quarterback Cam Newton and The Style Network President Salaam Coleman Sanith. The job titles are presented here just as they appear in the article.

I am sure that all of the above are talented individuals. But there is no way, considering the times in which we are living, that they could be the year’s “primary influencers and game changers” among African Americans.

It is next to impossible to believe they are more influential than Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who all year long has been delivering powerful, perceptive, solutions-oriented speeches and sermons at churches throughout the country, or than attorney Faya Rose Sanders, founder of the National Black Voting Rights Museum in Selma, Ala. and leader of a campaign against honoring with a statue Nathan Bedford Forrest, the former Confederate general who ordered the cold-blooded murder of 300 captured Black Union soldiers during the Civil War and who also founded the Klu Klux Klan, a terrorist organization.

They are also not more influential than George Fraser, whose FraserNet continued in 2012 being the “largest network of Black professionals in the world” or than former Essence editor-in-chief Susan Taylor, director of the National CARES Mentoring Movement, which advances educational opportunities for many Black youngsters.

There are numerous other Black folks who made major contributions in 2012. I once heard Ebony’s founder, the late John H. Johnson, whom I considered to be one of the major game-changers of the 20th century, say that his magazine basically reflects where Black folks are at any given time. If that’s still the case, this article is graphic evidence that today’s Ebony believes that many, if not most of us, are living in some kind of economic and cultural never-never land. Ebony should be ashamed of itself.

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