Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which Americans set aside to honor the man who used civil disobedience to advance the rights of black Americans. King, of course, worked as a pastor before and during his years as an activist. And that got us thinking about the “day jobs” of other major figures in the Civil Rights movement. We remember them now for their lasting achievements, but they also had to earn a living, often under extraordinarily difficult circumstances. Here are five Civil Rights leaders, and the day jobs that kept them going. More
Topic: black women
Keija Minor was just named the editor-in-chief of Brides.com and Bridesmagazine. This makes her the first black EIC in Condé Nast history, a publication company that has been in business for 103 years. Condé Nast has some big name publications under their belt, including Vogue, The New Yorker, and Glamour. Minor has been executive editor of Brides since late last year.
Anne Fulenwider became EIC of Brides just last year, and previously served as executive editor from 2009 to 2011. She is now moving to Marie Claire where she will replace longtime editor-in-chief, Johanna Coles, who is now moving to Cosmo. Sounds a bit like musical chairs, no? More
Bobbie Steele grew up in Cleveland, Mississippi, in the 1940s and 1950s. It was hardly inevitable that she would end up with a decades-long career in Chicago city politics. But a few years after her retirement, Steele has an impressive career to look back on, with stints as a teacher, a member of the county Board of Commissioners, and the first woman to hold the title of Cook County President.
Steele moved to Chicago one summer while she was in college to raise money for her next year of school. There she met a man named Robert Steele, who she says “came on to me like he was meant to be in my life.” They married six months after they met, and Steele continued her studies in Chicago, eventually earning a Master’s degree. From there, she built her career in teaching and then in city politics. She retired a few years ago, she recently published Woman of Steele, a book about her life. She spoke with me last week about her advice for young women interested in public service, what it was like to be one of only a few black women in the room, and the one election she’s glad she lost. More
More than two thirds of black women say that having a successful career is very important to them, yet they also worry more about paying their bills and losing their jobs. That’s according to new nationwide survey of 800 black women conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and The Washington Post, which calls it “the most extensive exploration of the lives and views of African American women in decades.” Overall, it paints an encouraging, nuanced picture of black women in America. More
Black men faced a particularly tough time during the recent recession: They faced disproportionately high unemployment rates and discrimination, and they were hit particularly hard by the loss of good manufacturing jobs. One columnist called the economic downturn a “Black Mancession.” But a new report suggests that as the economy slowly inches toward recovery, it’s black women that are really suffering. More
BET has long received criticism that its content is demeaning to its audience, particularly black women. Those critics have included prominent voices from Spike Lee and the network’s cofounder, Sheila Jackson. But the network’s new CEO, Debra Lee, tells Forbes writer Jenna Goudreau that BET has a “new brand strategy: We respect, reflect and elevate our audience. They want to be entertained, but they also want to be inspired.” More