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Should black magazines consider white cover stars?

TIME FOR CHANGE: Jada Pinkett-Smith posted these photoshopped images of popular magazines Cosmopolitan and Essence to stir up debate

JADA PINKETT-Smith called for black women to evaluate themselves and consider sharing "in the spirit in which we ask our white sisters to share with us" in a lengthly Facebook post yesterday (March 19).

The actor and director, who is married to Hollywood star Will Smith, asked whether or not it’s fair for ladies of colour to ask to be considered for the cover of mainstream magazines like Cosmo, Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar, if they weren't willing to share covers of black magazines with other white stars.

Pinkett-Smith, known for her controversial and thought-provoking posts, wrote: "If we ask our white sisters, who tend to be the guardians of the covers of mainstream magazines, to consider women of color to grace these covers, should we not offer the same consideration to white women to grace our covers? Should women extend their power to other women simply because they are women? To my women of color, I am clear we must have something of our own, but is it possible to share in the spirit in which we ask our white sisters to share with us?"

Admitting she "didn't know" the answer, she called for her three million fans to help her understand the mindset.

She added: "I pose this question with the hope that it opens a discussion about how we can build a community for women based upon us all taking a deeper interest in one another. An interest where skin color, culture, and social class does not create barriers in sharing the commonality of being… women."

COMMENTS: Jada Pinkett-Smith

Facebook user Tanyah M.Ward replied: "I think if what you have displayed takes place, it would bring us together in unimaginable ways. When we stand together our POWER to affect the culture is unmeasurable. We would be able to destroy racism, sexism, the media's portrayal of women and other social ills affecting our communities."

However, user James Bowman blasted Pinkett-Smith's notion of "sharing" in his pumped-up response: "Essence magazine was created as a magazine for and about African American women (culturally, socially, and politically). Currently there are only two nationally published magazines that are Black owned, and they are Ebony and Jet… Again, it's about parity in media representation and also having the ability to have entities that express ones culture."

Kimberlee Mobley Outlaw added: This topic… I just can't! This question posed is incredibly leading, suggestive and facetiously naive. Disappointed and taken aback."

Pinkett-Smith isn’t the only one who is attempting to erase color lines. In a message to Rap Radar last month, rapper Jay-Z talked about his desire to be a part of more concerts that featured acts of different races while declaring: "There is NO such thing as BLACK music or WHITE music only GOOD or BAD music..It’s stupid cool to like things that are not like you, and that goes for outside of music.."

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