February EBONY: Barack and Michelle Obama



The propaganda campaign to lock down the black community for Obama has begun, as this February cover for EBONY magazine reveals.  For the uninitiated, EBONY magazine is a staple publication in more black households than any other magazine in America, and has a circulation of 1.6 million.  Its companion weekly counterpart, JET magazine, has a weekly circulation of nearly one million. Published by the Johnson publishing company for 60 years, these twin publications have been educating and informing the community about the seminal events in black culture and serve as unrivaled proof that one has arrived. 

These publications have been in my mother’s and grandmother’s homes for decades. I don’t remember a time when we didn’t receive these.  Most of us, with a streak of nostalgia, have a favorite issue featuring a favorite celebrity. The issues featuring the deaths of Mrs. King, Mrs. Parks, Luther Vandross, and James Brown, are particular favorites of mine.  I intend to keep these for a long time.

While there are nearly 40 million African Americans in this country, few go through the checkout counter without sneakin’ a peak at the EBONY or JET.  Don’t let those circulation numbers fool you, black folks religiously read both, without fail. The battle for the hearts and minds of black folks has begun in earnest and will probably culminate in the bulk of black support going to one candidate.  It remains to be seen which candidate shall be choosen, but rest assured, it will be somebody with Chicago area roots.

34 thoughts on “February EBONY: Barack and Michelle Obama

  1. rikyrah

    Well SB I’ll tell you this…

    It’s a damn sight better than the disgraceful Essence cover of Puffy and his No-Esteem Baby Mama.

  2. rikyrah

    Even though I stopped taking Jet a couple of years ago, I always read it at my Aunt’s house when I go visit her every week – LOL

    And, yes, I have the issues that you listed above. I knew I’d get a good one with James Brown too, and Jet didn’t disappoint. Say what you want, but because of their archive of pictures and materials, they really can do justice to ‘our’ greats when they die.

    Ebony – I’ve never stopped getting..LOL

    And maybe I find the cover refreshing, because it’s a Black couple that’s MARRIED on the cover. One of the things I’ve always taken issue with in regards to their ‘Black Love’ issue and ‘Black Power Couples’ is that it was too many entertainers, and too few had made that final commitment. Considering the state of Black America w/regards to marriage, a little positive encouragement would be nice. Hopefully next year, they’ll have Governor Patrick and his lovely wife listed 🙂

    And, SB, hee hee hee….

    Every beauty shop you know has a subscription to Ebony and Jet 🙂

  3. I hope that BO makes it to the end next year but that I think we all need to calm down. The election just a little less than 2 years away. I am starting to get burned out on it already.

  4. Obama is being set up to get torn down if he fails, I tell ya.

    I need to see him serve his term or sponsor some meaningful legislation, instead of his DLC triangulation…cause I don’t think the boy’s ready for the White House yet.

  5. CoolCat

    I’ll tell you what…My guess is that he’ll get lots of votes from black women. Of course, there are plenty of black women (such as me) following politics, who will want to know his stance on Iraq, social security, global warming, or [insert any issue here].

    But as a black woman, I can tell you that black women have elevated respect for black men in black male-female relationships. Every single black woman that I have talked to about Obama has mentioned his wife. Now that is just in my immediate circle of friends who are all black professional women. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it translates to the larger population of black women.

    I’m waiting for Essence to write about Michelle Obama. When you see that coverage, you’ll know what I mean.

    Don’t kid yourselves; he’s got a SERIOUS LOCK on the black female vote.

  6. Denise

    As for the sista factor, I don’t know Mrs. Obama from a hole in the head, but my experience working for the male half of a black power couple suggests that these wives get extremely insecure about their husband’s attention.

    Sooner or later, there’s an obsession that every sista is a closet ho’ trying to break up her marriage.

    So, no, sorry, I won’t be voting for Obama simply because he is black or because his wife is black. I’m not getting pimped like THAT gain.

    Pluse, he’s gonna have to bring more than an ambiguous message of “hope”. I can get that message any given Sunday at church.

  7. Denise

    p.s. I wonder whether he currently has any young educated and – most importantly – ATTRACTIVE black women in the inner circle of his congressional staff or political campaign.

    I’m talking from receptionist, scheduler, strategist…whatevah!

    The question then becomes: if we’re important enough to target as a voting block… why can’t a few of us benefit professionally from his exposure?

  8. denise

    Thanks for the follow-up. I’m pleased to hear this.

    I”m sure there is no shortage of white men or women on the Senator’s staff, I’m sure there’s ample room for a few more of us who are similarly poised and capable.

  9. shea

    How is this propaganda? Nothing is exaggerated, nothing is meant to persuade the reader, and the article barely mentions his political views. This is simply a positive portrayal of an African American couple in love. He’s not on the cover to “win over the black people”, he doesn’t need to. A magazine cover can not persuade a race to blindly vote for a candidate. I am voting for Obama because, as a woman of color, Barack can do more for me than any white politician who simply sympathizes with the “black struggle”. Obama recognizes America’s issues and presents innovative and feasible solutions.

    “African-American” isn’t a cult: we do not think the same, we do not act the same, and we are not connected to some hip-hop circuit that tells us what to think. “African-American” is a race, composed of individuals who are- despite what white America may think- intelligent enough to think for themselves.

  10. Gerry

    Well Brotha, I hope you hear Mr. Obama’s speech–it was hot, sizzling and forever be a stamp on my LIFE. So I hope your review your scepticism about Obama–he is a leader and visionary of the future of America. And by the way please don’t state that I am a victim of propaganda, because I am not–I just believe in HOPE and ACTION–2 things our People (BLACK FOLK) and the American people need right now.

    From one brotha to another brotha……..


  11. Gerry

    And I apologize for not proofreading my above statement. I was feeling passionate about the topic at hand and submitted my statement before checking it over.

    PS I like Hilary Clinton as well…if both her and Obama could be on the same ticket or have a joint venture on the same ticket—Our country would be (words can’t even express what our country would be like–there isn’t even a word in the dictionary to describe the profound effect of these 2 phenomenal people running our country).

    As Zora Neale Hurston penned her famous title, ‘Their Eyes were Watching God’ , so be it my eyes are watching God as well…praying for guidance and strength for a better tomorrow.


  12. I’m not american citizen…. But I’m Black. I worship Obama not only as “the skinny kid with a funny name” but this guy have vision and substance.
    His election may help turning page for US diplomacy and pledgind for a peaceful World.
    Thus, while we consider his diversity heritage I think that it can be an added value for that Cosmopolitan Humanism I stand for, aware that in a Globalize World this is what we really need as a wage to build a better world.
    More specifically, the skepticism of some afro-americans may have some justifications. Obama like anyone is not perfect and one can find many reasons to disagree with him but for once there might an “exceptional reason” refering to the “declic” for historical change to take open the foor for african american access to the gotha of US politics. It will be quite wise for some of us to claim that change.

  13. I’m not american citizen…. But I’m Black. I worship Obama not only as “the skinny kid with a funny name” but this guy have vision and substance.
    His election may help turning page for US diplomacy and pledgind for a peaceful World.
    Thus, while we consider his diversity heritage I think that it can be an added value for that Cosmopolitan Humanism I stand for, aware that in a Globalize World this is what we really need as a wage to build a better world.
    More specifically, the skepticism of some afro-americans may have some justifications. Obama like anyone is not perfect and one can find many reasons to disagree with him but for once there might an “exceptional reason” refering to the “declic” for historical change that open for african american the door of the gotha of US politics. It will be quite wise for some of us to claim that change. Give a chance.

  14. denise

    again, I hope folks don’t get so caught up in the fact that Obama is “black” that they don’t make an effort to see anything else.

    My black experience, goals, and valures are not YOURS and I’m not going to project them on Obama. His biracial heritage is not important to me.

    I want to know if he has spent his life playing it safe so as to avoid not stepping on white folks toes. For example, the “brother” I worked for refused to attend the Milliion Man March for no reason other than his ear of pissing of whitey and hurting his future earnings/job prospects. But this same “bro” can’t wait to pimp his “blackness” to us for personal gain.

    So again, I want to know more about The Obamas than a bunch of fluff that is distributed for the intellectuall lazy black masses.

    Peace Out!

  15. SiropMiel

    You guys have it all wrong. Obama is the new General Wesley Clark. He is in it to take votes away from Hilllary so that John Edwards can be our next president.

    I have inside info and that is my predicition. Wait and watch….

  16. SiropMiel

    In addition, where did the ‘Obama is not black’ thing start? I only heard it from Stanley Crouch. Black Americans love there african garb etc, it would be an oddity not to embrace a man with 50% pure African Blood!

    I wonder if Stanley Crouch is some sort of paid operative of sorts.

  17. denise

    This so-called “issue” surrounding Senator Obama’s racial identity was best summed up by Rev. Jackson on Saturday during the Convenant conference.

    Jackson reminded the audience about our own legacy of “biracialilty” that evovled from slavery. Most of us can point to at least one (if not more) black mother/white father pairings in our lineage.

    He is absolutely right. Again, my concerns about Senator Obama revolve around his direct conduct with other black people and whether he is yet another example of a black man desparately seeking validation from whites.

  18. Syreeta

    Hey guys,

    I’d suggest that if you were really interested in learning about Obama that you start looking at his history of voting in the Senate as well as start reading (if you haven’t already) some of the books that he’s published. Both are inspiring and encourage a better America.

    I’m not about voting for someone just b/c they are Black. I am however about voting for someone that demonstrates integrity, shares similar values as I do. There are several Blacks in power or that have access to the ears of the powerful that I wouldn’t support if my life depended on them.

    It’s sad that the minute a Black man comes forward to do something great, people already start making assumptions that they’re a sell out, that their wife is jealous, or insinuating that they are sleeping around with their campaign assistants, Be serious. Give someone an opportunity to show what they’re about before making judgement calls. Who cares if he has young women on his staff. If he had all young men on his staff we’d be having all kinds of other issues…I’m not even going to go there.

    What I’ve seen/read so far is a man who despite not having an active father and not being raised with wealth studied hard and got himself enrolled in Columbia and Harvard Law. He’s a smart guy..no doubt. Instead of taiking a cushy corporate law he became a civil rights attorney in a poor neighborhood. He’s been consistent with his message on the war in IRAQ: it is and was a bad idea and believes that the issues of global warming must be addressed before we’re all floating in water or dead for that matter. While he doesn’t support gay marriage he does believe in civil unions. I haven’t heard anything about social security…but I’m looking forward to hearing about it.

    I think it’s great that he’s running for President. I’m proud of him. Hilary I’m a little skeptical about. Yes, she has more experience in the Senate but her position tends to waiver with the weather. I think that her lobbyist connections tend to motivate her more so than her integrity or political agenda.

    With that said..it’s great that this discussion is going on. We all have a right to an opinion. I’m just praying that we’re not divided at election time. We don’t need another Bush in office!

  19. denise

    Well, I can assure you that I will be voting for whichever candidate shows support for the interests of black community.

    Education, experience, and campaign promises being equal, if the campaign comes down to a choice between white candidate with a proven track record of creating professional opporunities that empowers blacks or black man who – for whatever reason (insecure wifey included) – is poised to use his moment in history to prop up more white folks (and anyone over the age of 25 who has held a job has seen this), guess who’s getting my vote.

  20. buena williams

    Mark my words, this is going to be one of the most exciting presidential campagins we have seen in a long time. The challenge will be, for Black America especially, to make sure our children are in the “home classroom” when the presidential debates begin and to research Senator Obama’s roots and his congressional voting record in both the United States Senate and the Illinois state senate. There is a wealth of information at barackobama.com.

    As for the February issue of Ebony magazine, I thought the photograph/cover of Mr. and Mrs. Obama was beautiful! The actual article however was “content needy” (smile). I wanted more!

    Finally Skeptical Brotha, I am sure we can agree to disagree. Your assessment does not appreciate the diversity of thought and opinions that exist within our culture. And keep in mind, that the final decision on who will be the Democratic candidate for president of the United States will be decided at the 2008 national democratic convention. So until then, lets enjoy the exchange of ideas, the challenge and discussion of issues that impact us all, and quite possibly in the process inspire our young people to become interested in the concept of “service for others”, getting involved, and making a positive difference in our communities and the greater community at large.

  21. ChicaWest

    All I have to say is OBAMA 08. Bump what you self-hating, excuse making defeatist attitude have Negros are talking about. For what Senator Barack Obama lacks in politics he makes up with experience in dealing with the people.

    What is with black people and their love affair with the “Clinton” administration anyway? I hear people proclaiming Bill Clinton did great things while in office but no one can actually point out the key points of the issues that he kept his promises on… and please spare me the economy spill too because if our economy was so great while he was in office, where were all those same jobs he help create a year later after he was out of office?

    We are so quick to shoot down the idea of a black man running for office and actually winning and the sad thing about it is… it’s not the white people who are resisting the change, its black people’s failure to embrace something so original, unilateral and unattached to the church.

    What are we afraid of? This word change evokes fear in the hearts of millions, yet it has been the very thing for decades we have cried and prayed for and now because people aren’t ready to embrace that change we want to say ignorant things like, “Obama can’t win anyways.”, “He’s not Black enough” or “He will bring down the Democratic ticket.”

    We’re damned if we do and damn if we don’t, but it will be our own people that damn us to hell because they can’t get with the program. Well the fact of the matter is that even without the support and vote of the Black people, white America has embraced Senator Obama.

    No, it’s not about him being accepted by white America, it just so happen that they know that his heart is in the right place and that his one and only agenda has always been to take care of the people whether they are Black, White, Asian, Latino, Indian… whatever.

    However, we can’t seem to see passed our woes of discord to see the shaded areas of gray amidst the elusive political black and white montage of self doubt. His issues teeter on the political pendulum from left to right touching on social problematic issues that affect everyone from the poor to the working class. He wants to rebuild and heal this nation by restoring accountability, ethics, moral and responsibility to our government and I think it’s something we all should want if we HOPE to every bridge the gap between young and old, rich and poor, black and white.

    Out of all the presidential hopefuls that are seeking to secure the ticket and win the people votes and the election in November, Barack is by far is the one person who I believe is willed and ordained by not only his consciousness but his undeniable commitment to the people to make change so that everyone may enjoy the fruits of their labor without the corruption, malice or manipulation of the very government that was created and designed to protect and work for it’s citizens.

    Peace & Blessings 2 You All,

    Chica supports Obama!!!!!

  22. Katrina

    THANK YOU CHICAWEST!!!! I can admire the Clintn’s for some reasons, but the reality is that they did NOTHING for America but sling us into a mess! 8 years of gooy smiling and sax playing. I thought things were great while he was in office, and while I’m no Bush fan, the obvious truth is that Bush didnt run into office and ruin it. He was handed nothing and made it worse. For those of you who don’t know anything about him, I suggest grabbing a book-he has two great ones or check out http://www.barackobama.com. What he says abuot divisions and the falsehood of them is s true. Ive heard whites say hes not black enough for the black vote (though his families charity work and the simplicity of BREATHING or the old chick clutching her purse say otherwise) and Ive heard black people say he’s too white because he’s EDUCATED. What does that say about black America? When did we stop caring abut education? If I hear one more person say that… The man is just phenomnal and so is his wife. If America was ever looking for another Kennedy royalty (sans the affairs) look no further. While I definitely won’t be voting for Obama because he’s black, I will most definitely be voting for him!!

    Obama ’08

  23. George Muchuga

    Well, i honestly think that the Obama would provided the much needed leadership given the diverse mix of bringing. Besides being a visionary and articulate, the issue of black or otherwise may not be central to his job than to serve all the Americans and the world at large. It would also be naive to assume that he may not have the inclination depending on the black weight in him.

  24. Denise

    Did you know that Senator Obama attended a Madrassa school in Indoesia? Did you know that his brother is a practising Muslim? Although I know that he has no chance at winning his party’s nomination, I hope that Americans wake up to the reality that he is a poor choice for the Oval Office. Oh, his middle name is Hussein. If you consider the way that Africans in African nations are brutalized by the practitioners of ISLAM, I hope you will conclude that this is far more important that a beauty contest .

  25. (House Slave) Denise

    I don’t agree with your reasons for dismissing the Senator. I’m one of the “house slaves” :: tee hee :: whose concerns are (1) the Senator’s willingness to publicly distance himself from black voters (and recently his spiritual advisor); and, (2) the amount of diversity on his campaign AND Senate staff.

    Anyhoo, I best be gittin’ cuz Massa be lookin’ fah me soon!

  26. dedamol

    Barack and Michelle Obama are excellent role models and embody what is sorely missing among the majority of our black youth i.e. the drive and appreciation for excellence and success. And as for Denise and her “Madrassa” comment, I only say dump foxnews and look for credible sources of information!

  27. Twan O' Herold

    Barak is the Best canidate for the Job and not because he is black. He just so Happen to part of the Beautiful Race.

  28. Home Slice

    Please brothers and sisters, vote your hearts, not your race. Look at the issues and who will help America. You know as well as I do that sometimes the hard road benefits us more than a handout.

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