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PW’s provocative cover image and title for its annual African American feature stirred up plenty of controversy on Twitter and blogs yesterday – and now the book blogs at the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune are asking their readers to weigh in.
African American novelists Carleen Brice and Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant were among the first to criticize the cover for presenting the work of black authors in the context of a negative stereotype. PW editor Calvin Reid explained that he’d chosen the cover image from the book Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present, edited by Deborah Willis. “While it never occurred to me that anyone would be offended by these images, I was very wrong and I have to acknowledge that,” he wrote.