“Thoughts have power; thoughts are energy. And you can make your world or break it by your own thinking.” – Susan L. Taylor
Born on this date in 1946, Taylor is a writer and editor who helped grow the African-American magazine Essence into a force in American journalism. During her tenure as editor-in-chief (from 1981-2000) she was called “the most influential black woman in journalism” by American Libraries magazine.
After starting at Essence as a freelance fashion and beauty editor, she simultaneously raised a family and went to night school at Fordham University where she earned her Bachelor's degree. At the same time she helped produce the magazine's national television program and started Essence Books. Her monthly inspirational column, "In the Spirit,” was one of the magazine’s most popular features, leading to 3 volumes of selected columns, all national bestsellers.
Among Taylor’s many awards are the Candace Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women; the Matrix Award from New York Women in Communication; and the Henry Johnson Fisher Award from The Magazine Publishers of America – the industry’s highest honor. She was the first African-American woman to earn that honor. In 2002, Taylor was inducted into the American Society of Magazine Editors’ Hall of Fame
“We need quiet time to examine our lives openly and honestly,” Taylor said. “Spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create order.”