• The QWoC MBA

Today I Read National Geographic was racist

In advance of their April issue on race, National Geographic reflected back on their 130 year racist history.

Quick Summary: Taking an unsparing look at their past, National Geographic has admitted to perpetuating racial stereotypes and a racial hierarchy in their photo coverage. The main reason for the acknowledgement is to rise above their past and work to improve future representations of all people. University of Virginia professor of African history and photography, John Edwin Mason, noted that up until the 1970s the magazine's readers (mostly white and middle class) were only presented images of primitive, savage and unclothed, black people which undoubtedly shaped perception.

Big Takeaway: Although admitting you have a problem is the first step towards recovery, the irony is that the cover of the race issue was shot by a white photographer as Brent Lewis, of ESPN’s The Undefeated points out.

Something I did not know: In 2004 Kentucky's Lexington Herald-Leader acknowledged: “It has come to the editor’s attention that The Herald-Leader neglected to cover the civil rights movement,” it read. “We regret the omission.”

Makes me feel/think about: Much like Brent Lewis, I too am disappointed that National Geographic failed to ensure a minority photographer was featured on the cover of the race issue. Given the magazine's intent, more of an effort should have gone towards ensuring the entire issue represented the underrepresented. Actions always speak louder than words. My hope is that future businesses and organizations work to rectify their racist- or sexist- or homophobic- past through concrete actions going forward.

1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Now that we’re officially in a recession and news of the $1 Trillion bailout proposal from the Trump Administration is set to include a $50 Billion bailout to the airline industry as well as a check m

The last thing I wanted to do was turn this into a coronavirus blog, but I guess we’re here. Within the last 24 hours: -Colleges have canceled classes, with some, such as Harvard, going so far as to k

I have leadership on my mind today. In part because it’s an election year. In part because we’re in the middle of a global health crisis which requires clear and frequent communication from our leader