First Lady Michelle Obama Graces October 2011 Cover of ESSENCE Magazine

    First Lady Michelle Obama Graces October 2011 Cover of ESSENCE Magazine

    Cover Story Spotlights First Lady Michelle Obama and ESSENCE's Shared Commitment to Women and Girls Around the World

    Annual 'Power Issue' Lists First Lady as One of the Year's Most Influential Black Women

    PR Newswire

    NEW YORK, Aug. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — ESSENCE magazine today announced that First Lady Michelle Obama will grace the cover of its October issue; with a revealing interview highlighting ESSENCE and the First Lady's shared commitment to women and girls around the world. ?For the annual October 'Power Issue,' First Lady Michelle Obama is also feted as one of the world's most influential Black women on the magazine's '2011 Power List.' ? The October issue is available on newsstands as of September 12, 2011.

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    As the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women, ESSENCE reaches 8 million readers each month. ?For the past 41 years, ESSENCE has celebrated and reflected the lives and aspirations of the broad spectrum of Black women ? providing inspiration, as well as solutions for their specific needs. ?

    "Michelle Obama is the quintessential ESSENCE woman; impressively defining herself on her own terms," commented ESSENCE Editor-in-Chief Constance C.R. White. "Opening up to ESSENCE about living her most authentic life ? by following her passions and unapologetically investing in herself and her family — Michelle Obama is embracing her purpose and channeling her power. ?She is undoubtedly poised to become one of the country's most popular and productive First Ladies."

    In the ESSENCE October cover story, entitled "The Leading Lady," Michelle Obama recounts her emotional trip to Africa, providing exclusive images for ESSENCE readers which document her various stops and what they meant to her personally: ?"One of the most beautiful aspects of my trip to Africa was the fact that there were three generations of us there. ?It was me, my two little girls and my mom…"

    The First Lady also shares her mission to impart a critical message to young women: "My story to young people around this country and around the world is, don't look at me as the First Lady first; look at me as Michelle Obama, a girl who grew up on the South Side of Chicago. ?Because I was there, and this is attainable."

    She also reflects on what she calls the "big, bright light" of her power as First Lady: "What I try to do is…stand in front of things that are more important than me, and then that light not only shines on me but on everything around me…"

    To complement the October cover story,'s comprehensive daily blog, "First Lady Diary," will continue the conversation with exclusive updates, one-of-a-kind style galleries and engaging feedback from readers and fans.

    About Essence Communications Inc.

    Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the number one media company dedicated to African-American women, with a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events, and online.? The company's flagship publication, ESSENCE magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women; generating brand extensions such as the Essence Music Festival, ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood and Black Women in Music, Window on Our Women and Smart Beauty consumer insights series, the Essence Book Club,, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD). For 41 years, ESSENCE, which has a brand reach of over 8 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information and specific solutions relating to every area of African-American women's lives.? Additional information about ECI and ESSENCE is available at