Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Degree Level





Lucy Brown

Committee Member/Reader

Ignatius Fosu

Committee Member/Second Reader

Brian Rickard

Committee Member/Third Reader

Ravi Damodar Barabote


This comparative content analysis will investigate how African American women are depicted in Essence magazine advertisements and seeks to answer the research question: Are the characteristics of advertisements in Essence magazines significantly different when under complete corporate ownership compared to being under primarily African American ownership? The specific goal is to examine the extent to which Afrocentric or Eurocentric depictions are being reinforced, if at all, and to observe if depictions of African American women are shifting or are immobile. To do this, the study will compare advertisements in Essence magazines in 2001, when the magazine was 51 percent Black-owned, with advertisements in 2016, when the magazine was under the full ownership of Time Incorporated.

Following is a review of the representation of people of color literature. It examines relevant theories such as cultivation theory and research conducted on advancing knowledge about stereotypes in mass media, representation of African American women, and beauty and sexuality depictions.


African American women, magazine, mainstream media