Growing up, the pages of ESSENCE were like a how-to guide to being the woman I wanted to become when I grew up.
Month after month the magazine sat on the coffee table of my parent’s living room and served as an example of life at a certain age. It featured advice on the relationships I would come to have, style I could only envy and dreams I dared to achieve.
The publication—which was under the direction of Susan L. Taylor when I was a child—was the crowning of Black women's achievement in all facets of life. Now, as a 22 year-old young professional, with Vanessa De Luca at the helm of the ship, I still can’t believe that each morning I get to walk through the halls of the magazine that is the mecca of #BlackGirlMagic.
I graduated from college in May and spent the first six months of my post-grad life trying to figure out what was going to come next. Imagine my delight when one night I saw a posting for an editorial intern position at ESSENCE.com. I applied and waited with baited breath. Could it really happen for me? It did. Within three weeks, I left my suburban Maryland home, moved to New York City and found myself at the epicenter of the place that continuously celebrates the excellence that is Black women.
Being an intern in an environment like ESSENCE has been more than a dream realized; it’s been another part of my own personal transformation. In these halls, I feel loved, celebrated, embraced and understood. It’s been an introduction into a creative world I’ve always wanted to contribute to.
The day the February issue celebrating Black Girl Magic came out, I sat at my desk looking at all three covers in awe. A publication I once read with blanketed admiration, I was now a part of. Pinch me, somebody.
Like every issue of the past, the magazine once again captured why Black women, in a climate of brutality, confrontation and hostility are so resilient, so strong and so triumphant. And I am one of them.
Lauren Porter (@LJSP_writes) is the editorial intern for ESSENCE.com and a recent graduate of Syracuse University. She reports on entertainment and lifestyle news.