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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.

Confirmed Cases: 94021

Reported Deaths: 2846
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7017157
DeSoto544859
Harrison378073
Jackson341869
Madison321886
Rankin320276
Lee263368
Jones243878
Forrest240971
Washington218671
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Panola144927
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Warren138250
Leflore137781
Pontotoc124116
Pike121749
Monroe119966
Scott116825
Copiah116433
Coahoma113627
Holmes109458
Marshall108015
Lincoln107353
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Newton76123
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Tippah65017
Attala64325
Walthall59525
Clay58217
Hancock56921
Clarke56342
Jasper55915
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Smith52614
Calhoun50712
Tunica48113
Montgomery45821
Claiborne45616
Lawrence42712
Yalobusha41914
Perry41318
Quitman3755
Humphreys37415
Stone36012
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Webster33213
Jefferson Davis32911
Amite31410
Carroll31412
Wilkinson30118
Kemper28615
Sharkey26313
Jefferson2439
Benton2232
Franklin1913
Choctaw1806
Issaquena1033
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 132452

Reported Deaths: 2335
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19230342
Mobile13192291
Montgomery8711175
Madison767475
Tuscaloosa7355114
Lee576560
Shelby576550
Baldwin512449
Marshall388943
Calhoun339040
Etowah338447
Morgan322626
Houston275322
Elmore258647
DeKalb237519
St. Clair225535
Walker225080
Talladega209927
Limestone202119
Cullman186819
Dallas176226
Franklin174828
Russell17302
Autauga171425
Lauderdale166233
Colbert162126
Blount157314
Escambia157325
Jackson152711
Chilton151328
Dale134143
Covington133427
Coffee12898
Pike11729
Chambers114042
Tallapoosa113984
Clarke106317
Marion95228
Butler91138
Barbour8487
Winston71812
Marengo70219
Lowndes65127
Pickens63914
Bibb63510
Randolph62413
Hale61628
Lawrence60320
Bullock59314
Geneva5844
Monroe5798
Cherokee57516
Clay5537
Washington54913
Perry5396
Conecuh53011
Wilcox53011
Crenshaw52532
Henry4805
Macon47920
Fayette4299
Sumter42319
Lamar3552
Choctaw34612
Cleburne3346
Greene30215
Coosa1673
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