Earlier this week, Essence, an almost 5o year old institution, announced it had been purchased by Essence ventures LLC, making it 100% Black owned once again. The purchaser is Richelieu Dennis, a Liberian, who also created Shea Moisture. Shea Moisture has been purchased by Unilever, a move which was criticized by some in the African-American community. Danielle Gray, a fashion and beauty expert from NYC, however, thinks this is a good move and can’t wait to see what is in store:

I think the news of Essence becoming Black-owned once again after 20 years is amazing and empowering especially at a time when many of our civil rights are still under attack. I love that Richelieu Dennis played a major role in making this happen. He also started a fellowship program under his Sundial Brands through the recent Unilever acquisition for minority business owners with a $50 million investment. Many wrote him off for “selling out” but I’m hoping more will understand the decisions he made. I can’t wait to see what the new Essence venture has in store.

In an interview with The Root, Michelle Ebanks, the President of Essence, says the move, “represents the beginning of an exciting transformation of our iconic brand as it evolves to serve the needs and interests of multigenerational black women around the world in an even more elevated and comprehensive way across print, digital, e-commerce and experiential platforms.”

Why is this deal awesome?

It puts Black people in charge of their own storytelling – 100%. It empowers women: Essence’s executive team is 100% female. Building Black wealth: The team also gets equity stake in the company.

Of course, the move is being celebrated, and Twitter shows you how:

Some people didn’t know Essence wasn’t 100% Black owned, others expressed apprehension (what does this mean?) while others, encouraged people to go subscribe!

As a Latina, I’ve found Essence magazine to have superb storytelling and also is a great way to learn about African American culture. I suspect we’ve just started seeing all the #BlackGirlMagic and #BlackWomenPower (Bye Roy Moore!) and Black women will only show us more and more that they are a force to be reckoned with!