Susan Taylor

In The Spirit…


The driving force behind Essence Magazine...


Susan Taylor is synonymous with the popular magazine, Essence, dedicated to African American women.  She became the light of Essence Communications building the empire to its present state.


At the age of 24, she found herself single, broke and with a young child to support.  A chance attendance at a church sermon about inner peace and changing your mindset changed her life forever.  And soon she was transformed.


In 1970, Taylor who was a Cosmologist and started her own company, Nequai Cosmetics.  To support her new venture she also found a part-time job as a Freelance Beauty Editor at the then fledging Essence magazine.  Soon the part-time job became full-time when she was promoted with a Fashion Editor position and a column she entitled In The Spirit. Then in 1980, due in part to the overwhelming popularity as the popular Columnist, she was promoted to Editor-In-Chief.  She held that position for almost two decades building the magazine into what it is today. 


Under Taylor’s leadership, Essence Magazine took on the hard subjects such as debt, divorce, infidelity and even rape and incest.  It became more than a beauty and fashion magazine for the Black community. And Taylor’s column In The Spirit covered topics that ranged from faith to self-esteem. It was a popular voice speaking out boldly.  Taylor’s role only grew within Essence Communications throughout its rise in the publishing world. 


Today, Taylor has authored several books including “In the Spirit” a collection of her Essence columns that became a best seller.  Also she has received two honorary doctorates.  Taylor left Essence Magazine and Essence Communications in 2007.  However, her passion lies with building the National Cares Mentoring Movement, a youth mentorship program.  Through her legacy of today’s Essence Magazine, her contribution to the publishing world shines on.




Tags: Susan Taylor, susan l taylor, Essence, essence magazine, Cares Mentoring, Essence Communications, in the spirit, beauty editor, fashion editor


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