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Monday, November 19, 2007

Thank You Essence! - Look Mama! (Updated w/ Blog Reactions)

One more thing before I creep out the door. I had hoped to delay saying anything until December 1st, but a press release went out this weekend and other bloggers are talking about it. Essence decided to put me on their list of "The 25 Most Influential of 2007." When they asked, I thought it was something like the "40 Under 40" list they do with ordinary folks. I didn't realize I would be on the list with famous folks.

Y'all know I criticize Essence on the regular. In fact I had just written THIS POST ("The Concubine Conspiracy")telling people to cancel their subscriptions like the day before they called:

The Concubine Conspiracy can find no greater friend than Essence Magazine. Because we're less than, we ought not to be so outrageous as to wait for an offer of marriage before popping out three kids by the same man. Oh no, we ought to rent out our wombs as part of the "concubine conspiracy" (copyright WAOD September 10,2007. Yeah, I'm claiming it!)so that Essence magazine can put us on the cover of an issue called "No Ordinary Love" waxing poetic about why you still with a man that will impregnate you repeatedly, but won't make you his wife. ( Yeah, went. there. again.) While he is running all over the place sowing his wild oats apparently impregnating other women too.

When the "ordinary love" goes *poof* as if the fiction ever existed in the first place, Essence turns around and gives you more free space to advertise the virtues of renting out your womb. As if you are victorious for having to pack up your kids AGAIN and flee your home in a clandestine operation the likes of which the CIA could not pull off with such precision. You get an entire article when y'all part ways for the 1003th time telling us all about yo baby daddy impregnating yet another girl down in Atlanta. Who cares? Really Essence WHO CARES?

I thought they were calling to chew me out so when she said they wanted to put me on some list, I was like, "You have read the blog haven't y'all. I criticize y'all on the regular. " She said it didn't matter. I said she needed to make sure folks knew I criticize the magazine first. I didn't want to tell Mama I was going to be on the list and then have them say "Never mind"

My crusade to defund THAT SHOW was what apparently drew their attention to WAOD, but one good by product of the aftermath of THAT SHOW is that Essence did a special report on Megan Williams and Dunbar Village and the lack of public outrage. It begins on page 210 of the November 2007 issue.

I had a blast. Everybody from Essence was so nice to me. I even got to wear fake eye lashes for the first time. I only wear makeup to court, so the makeup artist and I had a blast. Wassup Tina! Special shout out to Randal, the photographer. That red sweater is my part of my hobo outfit ( black tank top, leggins, and the red sweater) that I use to run errands. I actually brought a suit, but when I changed into my navy suit he was like "what happened to the red?" I was like " You want me to wear hobo outfit" Good times. Good times! Anyway, here is the press release from Essence.

NEW YORK, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- ESSENCE magazine reflects back on 2007 and recognizes 25 distinguished African-Americans who have made a difference. From triumphs on the playing field to victories in the court of public opinion, from groundbreaking moments in politics and entertainment to the hard-fought battles of everyday heroes, ESSENCE salutes those that gave everybody much to talk about in 2007. Senator Barack Obama received the most votes in an online poll on essence.com, earning recognition as the "Readers' Choice" for the year's most influential African-American.

"Some of the most poignant moments in African-American history took place in 2007, from the unified stance that was taken in support of the JENA Six and the Rutgers University Women's Basketball team to the triumphant victory made by Barry Bonds," says Angela Burt-Murray, editor-in-chief, ESSENCE. "Making their voices heard on essence.com, the overwhelmingly positive response from our 8 million readers for Senator Obama as African-American of the Year is noteworthy, as African-American women are predicted to be the tipping point for the Black vote in the 2008 election."

"I am deeply honored to be named ESSENCE Magazine's "Readers' Choice: African-American of the Year," says Senator Barack Obama. "Michelle and I have long admired ESSENCE for its invaluable role in celebrating the rich talents, beauty and spirit of African American women. It means a great deal to me to have the support of my fellow ESSENCE readers."

Although the list honors renowned ministers like Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton and Bishop T.D. Jakes, and famous entertainers like Beyonce Knowles and Don Cheadle, unsung heroes are included as well, such as Majora Carter, founder of Sustainable South Bronx, a community organization dedicated to environmental rejuvenation. Newark mayor Cory A. Booker is also featured for his accomplishments, including a decline in city shootings, which are down 28 percent under his leadership.

The melange of influencers, ranging from actors and advocates to moguls and students, were compiled in a compelling feature of rarely seen before photos and biographical profiles.

    25 Most Influential List
-- Senator Barack Obama
-- Gina McCauley- Blogger, whataboutourdaughters.com [LOOK MAMA! THAT'S ME RIGHT BELOW BARACK OBAMA!]
-- Tyler Perry - Writer, Producer, Director
-- Majora Carter - Environmentalist, Founder, Executive Director,
Sustainable South Bronx
-- Victoria Lanier- Former Youth Director, NAACP, Northeast Region
-- Reverend Jesse L. Jackson - Civil Rights Activist, Minister
-- Reverend Al Sharpton - Civil Rights Activist and President, National
Action Network
-- The JENA Six
-- Beyonce Knowles - Singer, Songwriter, Actress
-- Oprah Winfrey - Media Mogul, School Founder
-- Timbaland - Music Producer, Recording Artist
-- Cory A. Booker - Mayor of Newark, New Jersey
-- Lovie Smith - Head Coach, NFC Champions, Chicago Bears
-- Tony Dungy - Head Coach, Super Bowl Champions, Indianapolis Colts
-- Deval Patrick - Governor, Massachusetts
-- Don Cheadle - Actor, Activist
-- Shonda Rhimes - Creator, Executive Producer, Grey's Anatomy and Private
-- Venus Williams - Tennis Champion
-- Charles Rangel - Chairman, House Committee on Ways and Means
-- Barry Bonds - "Home Run King" [they decided the list back in August or so]
-- Cynthia Tucker - Syndicated Columnist, Editorial Page Editor, Atlanta
-- The Scarlet Knights - Rutgers University Women's Basketball Team, NCAA
-- Kiri Davis - Filmmaker, Youth Activist
-- Bishop T.D. Jakes - Founder, Senior Pastor, The Potter's House of
-- Steve Harvey - Radio Personality, Comedian, Actor

About Essence Communications Inc.:

Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the leading media and communications company dedicated to African-American women. With a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events, and online, the Essence brand is "Where Black Women Come First". The company's flagship publication, ESSENCE magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women; generating brand extensions such as the Essence Music Festival, Women Who Are Shaping the World Leadership Summit, Window on Our Women (WOW I & II) and Smart Beauty I, II & III consumer insights, the Essence Book Club, Essence.com, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD) via Essence Studios. For 37 years, ESSENCE magazine, which has a readership of 7.8 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information relating to every area of African-American women's lives. Additional information about ECI and ESSENCE is available at essence.com.

Website: http://www.essence.com//

2007 was the coming out party for Black bloggers. In 2008 we're going to be on fire! Join in on the fun at the Blogging While Brown Conference in Atlanta, GA July 25-27, 2008. It is the first international conference for bloggers of color and the readers who love to read and comment on them. See you there. History is going to be made. Don't sit on the sidelines!

Blog Reactions

Welcome EurWeb Readers. EURWEB has always given me shine, back before any of the drama with THAT SHOW popped off. Thanks Mr. Bailey! My boy Mo' from the Mo' Kelly Report had me sweating for about 15 seconds when I was reading his reaction to the folks on Essence's list over at Eurweb -"Essence Magazine- Officially Irrelevant" I shared some of his thoughts, but I think it would be tacky for me to comment on the other folks on the same list that I am on. I would sound like an ungrateful wretch Michael Bell's daddy. Yeah, I said it. I still got the pepper! *headed back on vacation now. Carry on.*