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ESSENCE isn’t tip toeing when it comes to using its voice and influence in regards to race relations. The magazine’s latest, February 2015 issue’s front cover is blacked out and dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement. 

The #BlackLivesMatter hashtag and its corresponding activism became popular in the wake of the acquittal of police officers in the killing of unarmed Black men Eric Garner and Mike Brown. The precedent set by this moment in history was no lost on the Black women’s magazine’s editorial staff.

Says ESSENCE Editor In Chief Vanessa K. De Luca in the issue’s monthly letter:

After I spoke with the editorial team—with all our souls aching for answers—we knew immediately what we had to do: Tell the story of this tipping point in our history in America. So this February we are focusing our attention on the daring modern-day civil rights movement we are all bearing witness to and making a bold move of our own: a cover blackout.

The issue contains essays from Angela Davis (yes, that Angela Davis), Melissa Harris-Perry, Isabel Wilkerson and more.

ESSENCE‘s #BlackLivesMatter issue is on newsstands January 9.


Photo: Essence