Playboy had its first black cover star three years ahead of American Vogue

Playboy October 1971 (R) American Vogue August 1974

Hugh Hefner, the editor-in-chief of Playboy put a black woman on the cover of his magazine, three years before American Vogue.

In October 1971, Darine Stern was the first black woman to appear by herself on the cover of Playboy.

In March 2009, the iconic cover image was mimicked in the issue that featured fictional character Marge Simpson on the cover.

Prior to this, the magazine had already features two black 'playmates', Jennifer Jackson in March 1965 and Jean Bell in October 1969.

Jean Bell was the first black woman to appear on the cover in January 1970, but she had appeared alongside four other models.

In addition to putting black women on the cover of his magazines, Hefner was also a prominent supporter of civil rights.

In 1959 he helped organise the Playboy Jazz Festival, the gross receipts for which funded the civil rights organisation NAACP.

The first interview in Playboy was with Miles Davis, interviewed by black journalist Alex Hayley, and the magazine subsequently interviewed leading civil rights figures such as Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, and Martin Luther King Jr.

In venues under the Playboy franchise, Hefner reportedly bought back the franchise rights when he discovered the venue owners in clubs in Miami and New Oreleans were operating a segregated bar.

American Vogue

American Vogue did not feature a solo black model on its cover until 1974.

Beverly Johnson was photographed by Francesco Scavullo for the magazine's August issue.

Sports Illustrated - 25 years later

In 1997 Tyra Banks became the first black female model alone on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Banks was previously on the cover in January 1996 alongside another super model from South Africa.

HT Quartz

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