ESSENCE magazine becomes 100% black-owned company

The motto of ESSENCE is “Black women come first,” but was majorly owned by White before Jan. 2018.

Time Inc. sold its stake in the ESSENCE Venture back to its founder, Richelieu Dennis, on Wednesday, January 3, 2018. This deal is coming after two decades of White owned organisations are major stakeholder in the organisation. With this deal, the beloved black women's magazine is now to be 100 percent black-owned.

ESSENCE was established in 1970 and has since become a platform for celebrating diverse images of women of colour. In addition, the 48-year-old monthly lifestyle magazine has a majority-black readership and focuses on fashion, pop culture, music and black life.

According to Michelle Ebanks, President of ESSENCE venture, the deal is part of the planned transformation of the company.


“This acquisition of ESSENCE represents the beginning of an exciting transformation of our iconic brand as it evolves to serve the needs and interests of multigenerational Black women around the world in an even more elevated and comprehensive way across print, digital, e-commerce and experiential platforms,” said Ebanks.

“In addition, it represents a critical recognition, centring and elevation of the Black women running the business from solely a leadership position to a co-ownership position.”

Richelieu Dennis remarked that it is a great joy that the company has returned to its cultural origin.

“We are excited to be able to return this culturally relevant and historically significant platform to ownership by the people and the consumers whom it serves.”

The motto of ESSENCE is “Black women come first,” and Mr Dennis promised he intends to live up to it.


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