According to Radar’s snarky “inside” source, “Bey had no idea that she was the second choice for the issue,” gleefully adding that “everyone at Condé Nast began gossiping as soon as the new Duchess of Sussex ‘passed.’”


While if this were true, it would mean there would’ve been a black woman on the cover of the September issue regardless, the rumor has since been quashed by Vogue. But given the other rhetoric floating around, it begs the question: Why was it even necessary? Was this supposed “leak” in fact another subversive move on the part of Vogue’s PR machine to diminish Beyoncé’s power; in effect saying, “she ain’t all that”?

These are questions we shouldn’t have to ask. We shouldn’t be forced to question Vogue’s motives, and we certainly shouldn’t be weighing the relevance or desirability of one black female celebrity versus another—or the hiring of a black photographer, or the output of a black writer—all of whom converged to make this moment one for the history books.


We should have the luxury of sitting back with our collector’s item Vogue September issues and just basking in the beautiful black glory of it all, without question; and with Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September” on repeat in the background.

But it seems Vogue won’t let us be great. They can’t let us have anything.