It was a night to remember as socialites gathered last night at The Cecil Harlem to celebrate The Man From ESSENCE, a new business biography of how Edward Lewis and three other men successfully built America’s #1 magazine for Black women in 1969.
“Here we are 40 years later and Ed not only made things happen, but he’s the last man standing,” said Richard Parsons, former chairman and CEO of Time Warner. “That’s a function of grit, perseverance, character, resilience, integrity, hardwork and a little bit of luck.”
Ed Lewis not only served as CEO and publisher of ESSENCE Magazine, but he also spearheaded ESSENCE Festival that celebrates its 25th year next month.
“I am living the American Dream, I helped bring something into the world [that changed how] Black women are now perceived,” said Lewis to the crowd of socialites. “When I look at Lupita, Beyonce and Michelle Obama, it brings back memories of how Black women were thought of in 1970—uncouth, loud mouthed, unfeminine—and I honestly believe, in my quiet moments, that ESSENCE had a role in changing that perception.”
While at the event, Lewis thanked Audrey Edwards who co-wrote the memoir. Be sure to purchase The Man From ESSENCE (Atria, $25).