Happy International Women’s Day!
My mother was the first woman and “source” of life that I ever met. Her name is Lois Reid McMillan and her passing in 1990 was the most painful loss in my life, to this very day. She was the epitome of strength and ambition, while also being a loving example of kindness and charity. Her life modeled the pursuit of excellence, self-reliance and empowerment; she was driven, had the biggest impact on my life and helped shape me into the man that I am.
So, saying that I owe everything to a woman is not mere hyperbole, I am truly grateful.
I try to show my gratitude to my mother by treating women with respect and honor. As an attorney and manager, I’ve represented many brilliant, creative and enterprising women who gave me an opportunity to serve them with dignity and honor — women like Roberta Flack, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Ambassador Attallah Shabazz, Lynn Whitfield, Dawn Staley, Lisa Leslie, Joi Lee, Zhane, Voletta Wallace, Faith Evans, Lil’ Kim, Total, Joyce Tolbert, Yo Yo, DJ Beverly Bond, Ciara, Zendaya, Ester Dean and more… thank you for believing in me and trusting me with your life’s work and gifts. I pride myself as an advocate of women and work to create an environment that is not only supportive and inclusive for them, but also empowering. As the chairman of The NorthStar Group, this media effort is manifested in two editorial platforms: Jones Magazine and HERSource (a division of The Source Magazine). These two platforms belong to you— and we strive to make sure that they are not just beautiful editorial spaces but reflect the myriad of voices of women within the community.
Jones Magazine allows you to aspire and affirms the beauty, sophistication and luxury of women like Chanel Iman, Joan Smalls and Michelle Obama, while HERSource affords you the Hip-Hop experience from the radical soul of a B-girl…
What is a radical soul of a B-girl? I believe that she defines her identity, fights against injustice and triumphs despite obstacle. There is a common international struggle that all women have. Whether it is pay inequity, job discrimination, sexual harassment, and other social and cultural defects in our society, women no matter where they live, wake up each day with a love and determination to push through the messy walls for their children, for their families and for their community. Women, you deserve a daily salute from every man walking.
Not only should men salute you for your fortitude, they should be committed to your causes, as they are our causes. I value the dear women who nurtured me and I value the women that I counsel, hire, mentor and have represented. As a man, how could I sit back, observe and not provide alliance to my sisters (whatever color) that I see being victimized by a chauvinistic industry? As a media owner, I most certainly can participate in promoting positive images and accomplishments of women. This will explain why The Source magazine, the Bible of Hip Hop, reflects a more responsible and honorable portrayal of women under my ownership. Indeed, it is my honor to stand with and support women, professionally and personally, to bring us to a better place.
And while none of us are perfect, we all should seek and aspire to protect and champion the rights of women around the world. Women are powerful. Women in power, with support of strong men, may just save this society. On this International Women’s Day, during these exciting times of profound women leadership, I encourage all women to celebrate themselves and ask men, particularly those in Hip-Hop culture, to evaluate how their words, lyrics and actions affect girls and women— and ask themselves what are they doing to fix it and make the world a better place. To the predators, TIME IS UP and never again!
“The woman power of this nation can be the power which makes us whole and heals the rotten community, now so shattered by war, poverty and racism. I have great faith in the power of women who will dedicate themselves whole-heartedlyof remaking society” – Coretta Scott King
The Source Owner/Publisher L. Londell McMillan