essenceblm-resizeToday Essence magazine made history with the release of their February issue cover, the first cover in the magazine’s 45-year history to not feature a cover model. Instead, the editorial team at Essence turned their complete attention to “Black Lives Matter” the predominating topic in the black community and beyond since last year’s non-indictments in the cases of Mike Brown and Eric Garner, two of almost countless young black people gunned down by white police officers. “After I spoke with the editorial team—with all our souls aching for answers—we knew immediately what we had to do: Tell the story of this tipping point in our history in America,” said Vanessa K De Luca, editor in chief of Essence magazine. The special collector’s edition magazine features reflections from activists, authors, thought leaders, and cultural figures on the “Black Lives Matters” movement and what we must do next.

The February 2015 issue of Essence will hit newsstands on Friday.

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