Publishers Weekly goofs on latest cover
Publishers Weekly has kicked up some dust this week with this cover photo illustrating a story on the African-American publishing world. On Twitter, comments have ranged from "wonderful" to "offensive," with some saying: "Publishers Weekly has lost its mind."
Today, the editor in charge of the cover design, which includes the line, "Afro Picks! New Books and Trends in African-American Publishing," apologized. Senior news editor Calvin Reid wrote, "To me it is a sweet, tongue-in-cheek funny and striking image of quirky black hair power. And while it never occurred to me that anyone would be offended by these images, I was very wrong and I have to acknowledge that." Well said, if somewhat late.
The photo Reid chose is arresting -- and ironically comes from "Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present," a book celebrating the diverse beauty of black women. But PW's cover misses the mark because it turns a compelling photo into a joke with the "Afro Picks" text. Meant as an inside joke, it's subject to all sorts of misinterpretation in the larger world, Clearly, the topic of image is too sensitive to be tossed off lightly. At least the PW editors were quick to note their error in judgment.