Essence in race controversy over new fashion director

Essence magazine is in the midst of an online controversy after hiring its new fashion director Ellianna Placas.

Essence magazine is in the midst of an online controversy after hiring its new fashion director Ellianna Placas.

Placas, who worked at O: The Oprah Magazine and Us Weekly, is white, a fact many Essence readers and others in the black community are bemoaning.

Michaela Angela Davis, a former Essence editor and founding fashion director for Vibe, wrote on Facebook on Friday, "It's with a heavy heart I've learned Essence Magazine has engaged a white fashion director. I hate this news and this feeling. It hurts, literally. The fashion industry's historically been so hostile to black people, especially women."

The debate continued online, on Facebook and Twitter, with both sides chiming in.

Essence editor-in-chief Angela Burt-Murray told the New York Post the magazine is aware of the controversy, but does not plan on changing course.

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