With the black community pushing for a stop to police brutality, racism and discrimination, we are hoping for an increase in inclusion, acknowledgement and acceptance. The Black Lives Matter movement was reinvigorated after the death of George Floyd and protests having been taking place internationally. As demonstrators march in cities like New York, Atlanta and London, celebrities that are not people of color have also been speaking up and vowing to give more recognition to the plight of the Black community. One person who recently made this promise is Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.
In a note to her staff, she sent a heartfelt message to her Black employees.
“I want to start by acknowledging your feelings and expressing my empathy towards what so many of you are going through: sadness, hurt, and anger too,” Wintour wrote according to Page Six. “I want to say this especially to the Black members of our team — I can only imagine what these days have been like. But I also know that the hurt, and violence, and injustice we’re seeing and talking about have been around for a long time. Recognizing it and doing something about it is overdue.”
Wintour Admitted That Vogue Hasn’t Acknowledged Black Culture Enough
Wintour was transparent and admitted that Vogue hasn’t always been sensitive and welcoming to the Black community. Wintour also acknowledged that her publication has not given Black designers, writers and photographers enough spotlight. She also pointed out that the Black staff at Vogue is too small.
“I want to say plainly that I know Vogue has not found enough ways to elevate and give space to Black editors, writers, photographers, designers and other creators. We have made mistakes too, publishing images or stories that have been hurtful or intolerant. I take full responsibility for those mistakes. It can’t be easy to be a Black employee at Vogue, and there are too few of you. I know that it is not enough to say we will do better, but we will — and please know that I value your voices and responses as we move forward. I am listening and would like to hear your feedback and your advice if you would like to share either.”
Wintour Urged Her Staff to Come Forward & Help Her Make Things Better
Wintour also told her staff of color that she wants to work more closely with them to find ways for there to be more of a Black presence at Vogue, whether it’s with the content or the work environment.
“I am proud of the content we have published on our site over these past few days but I also know that there is much more work to do. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch with me directly. I am arranging ways we can discuss these issues together candidly, but in the meantime, I welcome your thoughts or reactions. This is a historic and heartbreaking moment for our country and it should be a time of listening, reflection, and humility for those of us in positions of privilege and authority. It should also be a time of action and commitments. On a corporate level, work is being done to support organizations in a real way. These actions will be announced as soon as possible.”