Beyoncé Vogue cover to make history

According to the Huffington Post, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour has given Beyoncé "unprecedented control" for the September cover of Vogue, which the singer used to hire its first black cover photographer in the magazine's 126-year history.

Posted: Aug 1, 2018 5:14 AM
Updated: Aug 1, 2018 5:14 AM

Next month, Vogue's cover image is reportedly to be the magazine's first shot by a black photographer. Yes, the year is 2018, and never before has an image taken by a black person gotten cover billing in the nation's premier fashion magazine -- a publication that has been around for 126 years.

We can't say that this is finally changing because higher-ups saw the light or even became embarrassed enough to shift course. The reason appears to lie elsewhere.

It's thanks to Beyoncé.

Beyoncé is the cover girl for Vogue's 2018 September issue, the most important book put out all year. And Bey, bless her, reportedly requested that her cover photo be taken by Tyler Mitchell, a 23-year-old Atlanta artist who told the New York Times that he "depict[s] black people and people of color in a really real and pure way." He brings, he said, "an honest gaze to my photos."

This is the power of diversity and representation: In the best of circumstances, it begets not just more diversity, but more creativity and innovation; it widens the perspective for all of us.

When most of the cultural kingmakers come from the same backgrounds, live in the same cities, run in the same crowds, and consume the same art and cultural artifacts, their own vision narrows. It becomes self-perpetuating. This trickles down to all the rest of us who rely on venerable, authoritative (we think) publications to highlight the best in fashion, culture and aesthetics.

When we widen the aperture, we grow.

Of course, members of racial and other minorities are not obligated to be perfect representations of their group, nor to use their positions to elevate others who have been similarly excluded or pushed to the margins. But it's great when they do.

Mitchell was hardly a nobody. He has a long list of fashion, art and branding shoots under his belt. This is not a case -- as some might assume -- of elevating a member of a marginalized group to give a leg up to the less qualified. In reality, it is about giving under-recognized talent space to shine. The fact is, until now, Mitchell may well not have been on the radar of those at the tippy-top of Vogue.

Beyoncé, we know, is not a woman who tolerates mediocrity, least of all with her own image. It took someone who sees the world from a different vantage point than, say, Anna Wintour to get an eminently qualified and gifted artist like Mitchell behind the cover.

Publications and organizations should represent a cross section of the population, simply because that is the fair and right thing to do. Those of us who have been traditionally excluded from the halls of power and influence shouldn't have to prove that we're better than the dominant group to be welcomed into the fold. And the few who do manage to break through shouldn't face the tremendous and often impossible expectation of fundamentally changing a biased system. It should not be the obligation of the already-marginalized to lift all boats.

It shouldn't require a superstar like Beyoncé to flex her star power to break this longstanding barrier. But we should all be glad she did.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313166

Reported Deaths: 7228
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21496257
Hinds20294414
Harrison17814309
Rankin13573278
Jackson13411246
Madison10066217
Lee9962173
Jones8364163
Forrest7649152
Lauderdale7181240
Lowndes6370145
Lamar621686
Lafayette6171118
Washington5323133
Bolivar4797132
Oktibbeha461498
Panola4561105
Pearl River4499145
Marshall4397103
Warren4380121
Pontotoc419572
Monroe4100133
Union409076
Neshoba4026176
Lincoln3950110
Hancock377786
Leflore3487125
Sunflower335790
Tate332484
Pike3301105
Scott315373
Alcorn311968
Yazoo310769
Itawamba299477
Copiah296465
Simpson294788
Coahoma294379
Tippah287768
Prentiss279560
Adams269582
Marion268880
Leake266273
Wayne262341
Grenada260386
Covington256381
George246848
Newton246061
Winston226881
Tishomingo225967
Jasper220848
Attala214173
Chickasaw207157
Holmes188673
Clay184754
Stone182033
Tallahatchie178140
Clarke177879
Calhoun170132
Yalobusha163337
Smith162234
Walthall133845
Greene130333
Lawrence128323
Montgomery126742
Noxubee126734
Perry125938
Amite122842
Carroll121728
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis106932
Tunica104826
Claiborne102230
Benton99125
Humphreys96133
Kemper95428
Franklin83623
Quitman80216
Choctaw76118
Wilkinson66930
Jefferson65428
Sharkey50317
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 530988

Reported Deaths: 10978
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson765291522
Mobile40971804
Madison34751503
Tuscaloosa25775452
Montgomery24329589
Shelby23431249
Baldwin21131308
Lee15884171
Calhoun14501314
Morgan14293279
Etowah13831353
Marshall12222223
Houston10567281
Elmore10061205
Limestone9960151
Cullman9664193
St. Clair9655243
Lauderdale9424241
DeKalb8830186
Talladega8223176
Walker7235277
Autauga6920108
Jackson6810112
Blount6660137
Colbert6298134
Coffee5511119
Dale4831111
Russell441138
Chilton4290112
Franklin425782
Covington4121118
Tallapoosa4027152
Escambia393376
Chambers3563123
Dallas3551151
Clarke351061
Marion3118101
Pike310877
Lawrence300298
Winston274472
Bibb260764
Geneva249977
Marengo249764
Pickens234461
Barbour230857
Hale222977
Butler215969
Fayette212362
Henry188744
Cherokee184845
Randolph180241
Monroe177440
Washington167339
Macon159150
Clay156256
Crenshaw152257
Cleburne148941
Lamar142535
Lowndes138853
Wilcox127130
Bullock123041
Conecuh110529
Perry107726
Coosa107228
Sumter104532
Greene92334
Choctaw60624
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