Marcia Ann Gillespie became managing editor of Essence magazine at the age of twenty-six, in 1970. A year later, Gillespie became its editor-in-chief and transformed Essence into one of the fastest-growing magazines in the country. Gillespie became editor-in-chief of Ms. magazine in 1992, making her the first Black woman editor-in-chief of a major publication in the US. Ms. reached its most diverse readership in its history under Gillespie’s leadership.


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Woman, “New Image for Black Women” Edited version of interview with Marcia Ann Gillespie of Essence magazine. Jan 16, 1976. Permission has been granted for educational purposes only, courtesy of WNED via American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and Library of Congress)