4 Black Men That Should Be On The Cover of Essence Instead of The Rock

Essence Magazine has landed itself in another pit of controversy thanks to their latest cover star.

From Clutch Magazine:

Since he burst on the scene, The Rock has not been spotted with a black woman. And while he very well may have dated sistas in the past, his ex-wife, former girlfriends, and all of the women we’ve seen him in public with thus far, including his current boo Lauren Hashian, have not been black.

Kind of feels like the Reggie Bush debacle all over again, doesn’t it?

While The Rock is certainly free to date whomever he chooses, should he be celebrated on a magazine that is specifically for black women, the very women we’ve yet to see on his arm?

(And if we ARE cool with giving props to men who regularly sidestep us, what does that say about us?)

I admit, when I laid my eyes on the cover I was a bit skeptical for the reasons stated above. I don’t have any issues with interracial relationships because love is love. However, Essence has been one of many magazines that has speculated over the supposed black marriage crisis and whether or not black women are considered marriageable. The Rock and Reggie Bush are definitely gorgeous but if the magazine wants to promote black love like it says it does, put black men on the cover that love black women and have been seen with black women. Having a black parent or relatives isn’t enough. There are plenty of prominent black men that love black women that would have been a nice fit for the cover. Here are a few of my personal choices:


Although Mr. Harris has his problematic moments, it’s clear he loves him some Tiny. His love for black women extends past his wife and onto his daughters including Zonique, who isn’t his biological daughter. I would love to hear his opinions when it comes to interacting with and loving black women as a father, husband and former knucklehead.

Chris Rock

Rock is outnumbered three to one by his wife and daughters. In addition to being hilarious, he is a visibly dedicated husband and father. His 2009 film Good Hair was inspired by conversations with his daughters about their self-image. I would love to see follow-up on that in addition to insight about his life with a house full of women.

Lamar Tyler


Mr. Tyler is one-half of the power couple behind BlackAndMarriedWithKids.com, a site dedicated to promoting positive images of black love. Need I say more? He isn’t as famous as the other guys on this list but he is just as deserving of a cover. Not to mention, it’d be a breath of fresh air to see him on the cover since Essence has a tendency to repeat cover stars.

Carmelo Anthony

Let’s face it, basketball players have a reputation for not having black mates so it’s nice to see him with Lala. Like T.I., Anthony is featured in a reality show but his is a man of few words. I love to see a full interview from him to check out his views on love and his life with his wife. I would also like to hear about the values he is instilling into his son about love and black women.

That concludes my list. What are your suggestions? How do you feel about The Rock being on the cover? 


11 thoughts on “4 Black Men That Should Be On The Cover of Essence Instead of The Rock

  1. Courtney A. says:

    I love LaLa! But, she’s Puerto Rican. She’s been featured on Latina mag covers time and time again. Other than that, I think your suggestions are great picks! I don’t read Essence at all anymore, and maybe this is one of the reasons why. I can’t identify.

    • Ashleigh L.A. says:

      Puerto Rican is a nationality and Latina(o) isn’t a race so she can be a boricua and be black.

  2. blackmediawatcher says:

    I love your article but I feel like magazines have more of an interest in making sales than geniunely promoting healthy black love. On the Rock’s part it’s just business as usual. He is trying to expand his clout as a moviestar by tapping into black women and black culture which we all know he is very much removed from.
    I say let him and let the insecure black women pat themselves on the back because even The Rock kind of sort of acknowlegde them. If he wants to earn the cover than he should wait until Why did I get married 3 comes out and promote then but building now isn’t a dumb idea either.

    • nononsense57 says:

      @blackmediawatcher, OF COURSE it is in the interest of a magazine (especially a corporate-run one like Essence) to make sales and therefore, money. It’s about the bottom line, which is part of why this whole so-called controversy about having The Rock on the cover of Essence is a non-issue.

      To clarify facts about the publishing business, it’s rarely the celebrity who begs a publication to be on the cover; that’s typically between the publication and the celebrity’s publicist/management. Be assured that The Rock didn’t ask Essence to be on the cover. What likely occured is the Essence had its “Sexiest Brotha” poll and he may or may not have come out on top. However, he has many movies coming out this year and next, he’s Hollywood-hot right now. To use your words, that is what landed him the cover because his popularity is what Essence’s sales team uses to sell advertising into the issue, and what will also ideally sell at the newsstands, the two ways a magazine makes money.

      Whether The Rock dates black woman or not is irrelevant in this context. I’m pretty sure that Essence’s criteria for this sexiest poll was based more on race than on who the man dates. The Rock is half-black (as is Boris Kodjoe) which qualified his as a “brotha”. Essence Magazine is the problem, not The Rock, so your ire is misplaced. We need to stop looking to Essence to validate us, because as it’s shown time and time again, you’re bound to be disapppointed.

      @Ashleigh, your choices are interesting. You correctly pointed out that TI has been in some trouble, which would probably make his cover controversial, too. As ideal as Lamar Tyler is, he won’t sell as he’s not as well-known. It’s the off-season, so Carmelo wouldn’t work time-wise (though La-La has the new season of her show coming up, but this is sexiest brothas so she doesn’t work here, either). Among your choices, Chris Rock is by-far the best. I think he’s attractive, but he’s not seen as typically sexy.

  3. Wilborn says:

    I love it! I do like The Rock as an actor, but these choices would have been highly praised for Essence!

  4. Courtney A. says:

    You’re right! Puerto Rican is a nationality, like American, and yes, she can be both Latina and Black. What nerves me about the controversy of his responses in the interview is that he was chosen for the “Your Sexiest Brothers” cover, not because he actually appreciates/loves Black women, CLEARLY. And just as nononsense57 said, “Whether The Rock dates black woman or not is irrelevant in this context. I’m pretty sure that Essence’s criteria for this sexiest poll was based more on race than on who the man dates. The Rock is half-black (as is Boris Kodjoe) which qualified his as a “brotha”.”

  5. blackmediawatcher says:

    @nononsense57 Um you kinda took what I said the wrong way and basically restated what I said but in a condescending no nonsense manner. I didn’t mention anything anything about his romantic life. I just said the man was postioning himself to be a common name in black households perhaps in a play to get more “black” roles. I’m sure The Rock didn’t persue Essence but at the same time he didn’t say no. To try to flip that into something dark is just um “beat” on your part. I suggest you make your comment on the article and let the author take issue with me if something I say is out of line.

  6. nononsense57 says:

    @blackmediawatcher: I didn’t take what you said the wrong way. You feel magazines put sales over promoting black love, I merely clarified that your feeling was a fact and expanded upon it. I also clarified that earning the cover has little to do with The Rock and more with his backers and Essence Magazine, both of whom see the dollar signs.

    My comments about his dating choices being was in response to the article, as you suggested, and then I ended with a direct response to Ashleigh.

    In short, nothing I said in response to you was condescending. I would argue that calling out “insecure black women” in your original post was more condescending than anything I stated. But there was no disrespect to you; I’m sorry you feel that way.

    • Anjell says:

      I totally agree…is it insecurity or do we fear the “uncle tom ” syndrome. Many brothas are voicing the quote “flaws” of black women as an excuse to why their dating whites….my point again, if it were love there wouldn’t be such an imbalance of brothas dating white women versus just dating all women…the self hatred has to stop..and let’s start with brothas STOPPING the blame game as we have allowed brothas to blast us sistas through media specifically Hip Hop and R&B music…of which date back to the late 1970 and then 1980 when gansta rap was formed and now made main stream and acceptable to hate black women

  7. candy says:

    i really could care less.dam if he do ,and dam him if he dont my son iz almost 40 and i have never been concerned about what race he date and i seen them all ,u think johnson gives a f%&*k about what the nay sayer think?! plz.

  8. Anjell says:

    Hmmm…Essence and or Ebony seem to gone far off the grid when speaking to what Black woman want or to our objective. The Rock or any celebrity in that manner should reflect His love, loyalty, and respect to black women sense this is the target group these magazines are focused too. As far as interracial dating goes, I ponder why their isn’t more brothas dating women who are of color? Moreover why is interracial dating only displayed or defined when (mainly) brothas choose to date white women? The so called interracial “boom” is overrated and falsely represented in the media especially since only a mere 15% of brothas are dating outside their race according to Dr.Oz show 2012 on interracial dating. The part that offends me is when you have brothas making “excuses” to date white woman placing the blame on sistas and then broadcasting it openly that sistas have attitudes etc etc making them “un-datable”. Thus applying stigmas to gazillions of sistas all over the world (of which include african women as well) when many brothas haven’t even come in contact with not even a percentage of sistas represented around the globe. Why not date an Asian woman, Mexican, Samoan, Fiji etc.
    The fact that for many brothas who interracial date believe that “white is right” makes me feel like we’re back on the plantation and brothas are “uncle tom-ing” their way to establish themselves as the new racist against their own kind. Sistas we’ve dealt with the HIV crisis, the “down low” crisis, the black on black crime, the imprisonment, the drug addiction and etc. Therefore we need to publicize brothas wh are loyal and loving to their communities and their people/culture and Essence and Ebony need to reflect this PERIOD> To hear and see brothas “uncle tom-ing ” to me this is the greatest outrage and biggest betrayal. Funny that sistas aren’t comparing black men to white men…cause we now through the control and devastation of racism white men in almost every category WILL ALWAYS COME OUT ON TOP!!! Self Hate and genocide reflected in the media need to STOP


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