August 2014 marked the 40th anniversary of model Beverly Johnson’s 1974 cover of American VOGUE magazine. The cover cemented her as the first black model to do so, yet also in 1966, Donyale Luna, was the first black model to appear on any edition of VOGUE, hers being the British division. Since both Luna and Johnson’s iconic covers, though reports from mainstream and black-oriented publicized have researched that there remains institutionalized racism in the images of the fashion industry, models of color have made great strides however in scoring and earning coveted campaigns, walking the most revered runways, and of course gracing the cover of a major magazine. This also goes for women of color in music. In celebration of Johnson’s cover that celebrated a milestone birthday, let’s look back at this awesome yellow brick road of just a few of the iconic, memorable, and unforgettable magazine covers starring black women in entertainment and fashion as they are sexy, artistic, political, and classically glam.
UPDATED: at 55 covers