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EBONY - March 2018


Mary J. Blige, the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, is having herself a grand moment in the spotlight. With two Academy Award nominations, she's proving what we've always known: MJB rules.

by Shirley Henderson
Photography: Dennis Leupold
Creative direction: Courtney Walter
Photo Production: Bianca Gray
Wardrobe: Law Roach
Makeup: D'Andre Michael
Hair: Larry Sims
Manicurist: Kimmie Keys

To millions of Mary J. Blige's fans, she is R&B royalty whose empathetic voice belting out pain and heartbreak has helped them through life's worse trials: breakup, betrayal, addiction and abuse. She presides over a music genre that has lost so many of its most talented players.

Still, there is no denying Blige's appeal. The singer songwriter actress continues to resonate with audiences in Mudbound, for which she was twice Oscar nominated — for Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Song — which allowed her to make history. The Netflix drama about family and race, directed by Dee Rees, has reinvigorated Blige's acting career. It was announced in February that she will have a co-starring role in Umbrella Academy — another Netflix project — playing a time-traveling hit woman.

Read the exclusive story in the March 2018 issue of EBONY magazine.

Behind The Scenes with Mary J Blige
Behind The Scenes with Mary J Blige

Mary J Blige behind-the-scenes during her EBONY cover shoot.

Atlanta has a Mayor Named Keisha

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms talks about her decision to run, how her spirituality factored into that choice, balancing family and what she wants for the City of Atlanta

Read her full interview
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms
Click on images to enlarge
Mary J Blige, Photography by Dennis Leupold
Mary J Blige, Photography by Dennis Leupold
Mary J Blige, Photography by Dennis Leupold
Mary J Blige, Photography by Dennis Leupold
Mary J Blige, Photography by Dennis Leupold
Mary J Blige, Photography by Dennis Leupold



I could not be prouder to bring you what I believe is a truly inspirational issue that celebrates women and the power we possess.

If you, like me, are concerned about the almost-daily accusations in the media of inequality, sexism and harassment, you will enjoy reading about women who have been through the fire and emerged as amazing examples of strength and courage.

One case in point is Queen of Hip-Hop Soul herself, Mary J. Blige, who graces our cover. Like a chameleon, she has transformed from Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter to double-Oscar nominee for her work in Mudbound. MJB relates to audiences very deeply on matters of love, heartbreak and redemption, with the ability to shape-shift from street savvy to Hollywood glam in a blink of an eye. As she makes Academy Awards history, we are overjoyed to have her be part of this women-centric issue.

We all know at least one woman who is a powerhouse and who has influenced our lives. Whether Black women are flexing their muscle at the polls as a voting bloc, helming films such as Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time or dominating music charts, as in the case of artists Lil’ Kim, Beyoncé, Missy Elliott, Cardi B and SZA, we are making a difference in politics and pop culture like never before.

Finally, EBONY could not stay silent on the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace—especially since so many brave women have risked so much by speaking out. The #MeToo movement was started by sexual-violence-survivor-turned-activist Tarana Burke and has inspired women of all races, cultures and backgrounds to speak up about abuse. We profile two of them: Monica Townson, who had a lengthy career with the St. Louis Police Department, and Suzette Wright, who worked for Ford Motor Co. in Chicago. They share their experiences with EBONY with the hope of helping others who might be going through similar abuses.

We believe these women and their stories will enlighten, inspire and help. Enjoy!

Linda Johnson Rice
—Linda Johnson Rice,
CEO of Ebony Media Operations
Linda Johnson Rice

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featuring MJBlige


Inside This Month's EBONY Magazine

10 Letters
12 CEO's Letter
14 Making the Cover
16 Contributors
20 As seen on

20 Culture
Designer Stevo Johnson Has an Oprah Encounter; Chandra Thomas Whitfield Explores the Power of Black Women as a Voting Bloc; #Goals: Jessica O. Matthews, CEO of Uncharted Power; City Spotlight: The Graceful Charm of Charleston, South Carolina

29 Fashion
Bring on the Spring Fashions; African Designers Focus on Menswear

37 Beauty
EBONY Beauty Awards: The Best Products for Hair, Makeup and Skin; Beauty Diaries: Aja Naomi King

48 Lifestyle
At Home with Demetria McKinney; Food Network’s Sunny Anderson Cooks Up Comfort Food; Travel: Spring Break Excursions for the Family; Eating Right to Reclaim Your Physical, Mental and Emotional Power; Lose Weight with Dr. Ro’s Plan; Love & Relationships: Still Not Dating Online? Click Here

62 All Eyes On Mary
Icon and hip-hop/soul royalty Mary J. Blige has transitioned into an Academy Award-nominated actress. Just how is MJB living her best life

70 Hind's Sight
Actress and storyteller Aisha Hinds, star of Fox drama 911, breathes life into an assortment of characters.

72 Having Our Say
In the wake of #MeToo and celebrities coming forward to expose sexual abuse and harassment, workplace viola

76 Entertainment
Spotlight on Rap Star Rapsody; Women Making Great Strides in Film and Television; Books That Speak to a Sister; Sports: Global Mixed Gender Basketball Enhance Your Music with These Savvy Listening Devices; The Most Anticipated Female Artists of 2018 Take Center Stage

90 Back In The Day
Lerone Bennett Jr.