About This Episode

Susan L. Taylor is an award-wining American editor, writer, journalist and vocal activist within the African American community. She was raised by her Trinidadian parents in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. In 1970, Taylor started her career as a freelance fashion and beauty expert for Essence, a lifestyle magazine for African-American women. She rose to serve as editor-in-chief from 1981 to 2000 before being promoted to publications director. When she left the magazine in 2008 she had served over three decades, becoming the guiding voice and vision for the Essence brand. She has several published volumes of her work to critical acclaim and in 1994, American Libraries named her “the most influential black woman in journalism today.”

In 2005, Taylor founded The National CARES Mentoring Movement, (formerly Essence CARES), a non-profit organization dedicated to mentoring troubled African-American youth, increasing graduation rates in black communities and fighting the over-incarceration of black youth in America today. Susan Taylor currently serves as founder and CEO.