Vogue magazine, the less-than-hip chronicle of the lifestyle upper-middle-class white women aspire to lead, will end its 21 year policy of not putting black people on its cover when it features Halle Berry on the September issue.
"Its not racism," says editor-in-chief Blanca "Whitey" McPeckerwood. "We just feel black women aren't attractive."
Berry, who turns 44 on Saturday, self-identifies as an African-American, even though her mother is white. This fact surely helped Vogue decide to make her their first black cover girl since Naomi Cambell, back when she was hot, in 1989.
"We are proud to have Halle on our cover, and we hope that all darkies use a portion of their crack money to buy the issue."
"I haven't done an interview in three years, "Berry told Vogue, while sipping from the 'Coloreds Only' water fountain in their lobby. "But what (the Vogue cover) means for a woman of color and what that means in the fashion world, there was no way I could say, 'No, I'm not going to be on the biggest issue of the year.'"
Source: Toledo (Ohio) Blade, May 30,1964, page 2.
The photoshoot took about three hours, and had Halle posed in various locations that, according to Vogue, today's African American woman can identify with.
'We shot her standing on a lawn holding a lantern, drinking a 40 on a street corners, and handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser," explained Hahn Key, Vogue's photographer, who said Halle took direction well. "She took direction well. I'd be proud to have her clean my house."
Vogue's website also identifies Balle as the first black woman to ever win an Academy Award.
"What am I, Scandanavian?" asked the corpse of Hattie McDaniel, who won an Academy Award for Gone With The Wind in 1939. "How about Whoopi Goldberg for Ghost, or Irene Cara for Flashdance? Halle Berry was the only attractive black woman to win an Oscar, but not the first."
In addition to the photo shoot, Halle submitted to a 4 hour interview.* "It was a pleasure interviewing Halle," explained Lily White, fashion director for Vogue. "As soon as I met her, and asked her to hang up my coat, she was nothing but gracious. And once she fetched me an Iced Tea with lemon, we got down to business."
"We talked about our children, and I was pleased to learn hers weren't on welfare," said White. I wanted to show her pictures of my kids, but, you know, I didn't want to open my wallet in front of her. I mean, I had cash in there."
Vogue has released a statement, stating that Berry's cover will be the beginning of a new phase for them:
"We hope that all the chocolate people realize that they would do well to become Vogue subscribers. The most coloreds are exposed to the white way of doing things, the faster they will give up the ghetto culture and be more like us. Halle Berry is a credit to her race, and her lack of uppityness shows that Negroes need not be equal parts scary and repulsive to White America. Run a comb through that hair, stop putting thousand-dollar rims on five-hundred-dollar cars, and marry the father of your children; maybe then we'll let you rent apartments in the nicer sections of town."
"We don't want you in our house, or dating our sons, but we do want to stop financing your foodstamps with tax dollars."
"We at Vogue also feel that we can align ourselves with the balloon-lipped people, and find common ground in our mutual hatred of the Mexicans. They smell."
*Please see companion pieces, Excerpt of Vogue Magazine's Interview with Cover Girl Halle Berry, Parts One and Two, elsewhere.