The Face That Changed It All

The Face That Changed It All
A Memoir

by Beverly Johnson

Foreword by Andre Leon Talley

Hardcover, $28.00

268 pages, Illustrated

ISBN: 978-1-4767-7441-1

Book Review by Kam Williams

“Beverly Johnson made history in 1974… [as] the first African-American woman… whose face appeared on the cover of the world’s most prestigious fashion magazine… Vogue. Beverly shattered the ideological standards of beauty in a commercial domain,
The Face That Changed It All, A Memoir by Beverly Johnson, Book Review, Vogue Magazine, Bill Cosbyintroducing a whole new paradigm not only for black women, but for the world… as a whole. Beverly should be considered among the most important faces to alter the image of fashion, and the entire cultural dynamic, over the last century…

This is the story of an American, a role model, and a mentor… More than just a face, Beverly is a bona fide living legend… She has lived through it all: adversity, fame, fortune, love, marriage, divorce, marriage again, divorce again, addiction, renewal of spirit, and just plain life in general. [This] is not just a chronological tale about her rise to the top of the world of fashion, it’s also the story of a woman who refused to give up even when the world seemed to turn against her. ”

— Excerpted from the Foreword (pages vii-ix)

Beverly Johnson was born in Buffalo, New York on October 13, 1952, back when African-Americans still were being denied the right to vote or permission to sit in the front of a bus. Black folks also had very limited career options, especially in the field of modeling where a narrowly-defined standard of beauty meant the catwalks and mainstream magazine pages were pretty much restricted to whites.

The summer after her freshman year of college at Northeastern University, Beverly was hired to work as a swimming instructor at the Roxbury YMCA in Boston. But when that job fell through due to budget cuts, she decided to follow a friend’s suggestion and take a shot at modeling.

Accompanied by her mother, she ventured to New York City where she was grateful just to land enough assignments to make the ambitious effort worth its while. Nevertheless, she returned to school for the fall semester, though not for long.

That winter, at the tender age of 19, she took the calculated risk of  leaving school to pursue her dream. Back in the Big Apple, she

The Face That Changed It All, A Memoir by Beverly Johnson, Book Review, Vogue Magazine, Bill Cosby

Beverly at 18 with her mother

found a part-time gig at a high-end boutique called Jax Fifth Avenue, which proved to be the perfect complement to an aspiring model’s fledgling career.

Soon, Beverly was signed by the Ford agency which, in turn, led to her meteoric transformation into the first black supermodel. Her face would eventually grace the cover of over 500 magazines, including Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Elle, Essence Ebony and Harper’s Bazaar, to name a few.  By 1975, she’d paved the way for models of every hue, inspiring editors and fashion designers to adopt colorblind hiring practices.

The Face That Changed It All is a touching, warts-and-all autobiography in which Beverly recounts not only her considerable professional achievements but also reveals the litany of challenges she’s had to surmount in her personal life. Of topical interest, undoubtedly, is the chapter devoted to Bill Cosby, since Beverly was the most famous female and the first African-American to publicly accuse him of drugging and assaulting her with intent to rape.

But make no mistake, the real reason to peruse this moving memoir is the revered icon’s riveting account of her rise, fall and ultimate redemption.

To order a copy of The Face That Changed It All, visit:     


For movies opening October 28, 2016

  OPENING THIS WEEK Kam's Kapsules Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun by Kam Williams For movies opening October 28, 2016 BIG BUDGET FILMS Inferno (PG-13 for action, violence, profanity, disturbing images, mature themes and brief sensuality) Third installment of The Da Vinci Code franchise finds symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) suffering from amnesia and on the run with his physician (Felicity Jones) from a billionaire geneticist (Ben Foster) with a … [Read More its Good for You...]



PEEP AND EGG: I’M NOT TRICK-OR-TREATING...TWO SIBLING CHICKS, ONE GREAT HALLOWEEN DEBATE Peep can’t wait for Halloween to start, but the younger Egg has a long list of reasons to wish it would not. In a scene familiar to many families, the prospect of trick-or-treating conjures costumes and candy for some, while others are haunted by thoughts of vampires, mummies, witches and ghosts, real or imagined. Peep and Egg, two delightful sibling characters introduced this spring … [Read More its Good for You...]


ART EXHIBITION: 150 Years After The Civil War

  Cynthia Groya 150 Years After The Civil War: A Contemporary Perspective January 10 - March 6, 2016 Artist's Reception: Sunday, January 24, 3:00 - 5:00 pm Nassau Club 6 Mercer Street  Princeton, NJ 08540 The ideas reflected in Groya's paintings express a conversation about struggle for equal rights in our culture, in our time. The origin of this struggle can be traced to The Civil War in our country, which ended 150 years ago. The … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Castles in America

  Castles in America by Amy Lignor   Robin Leach and his “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” taught us all long ago that we absolutely love to sit and view ridiculous luxury (usually owned by people who inherited all of it and didn’t work a day in their lives). See that? We had to complain about something as we were beguiled by the amount of money people would send to own or create the “best of the best.” Even though some things were referred to as the “gaudiest of … [Read More its Good for You...]


It’s Not Your “Grandma’s” Pumpkin Anymore

  It’s Not Your “Grandma’s” Pumpkin Anymore by Amy Lignor   As times move forward, technology expands. However, so does the imagination. No, I’m not talking about a new cell phone or animatronic device that creates pumpkins; I’m talking about some seriously cool ways to carve pumpkins that are popping up all over the internet. Unique, awesome, colorful – people across the U.S. have used their imaginations during the 21st century to create some of the most stunning … [Read More it Good for You...]


Finally, a Boat Shoe You Can Get Wet

  Finally, a boat shoe you can get wet   By Craig Lamb   I am happiest with wet feet. For me, that means wading a shallow saltwater flat, casting for tailing redfish. Or paddling aboard my sit-on-top kayak, cruising a river in search of smallmouth bass. Not my favorite, but when the fish are biting, fishing in the rain.   Yep, I do like getting my feet wet, but it can get downright annoying when my shoes stay wet. Footing is a challenge when shoes … [Read More its Good for You...]


Saying Goodbye to Legends…

    Saying Goodbye to Legends… by Amy Lignor   When someone you admire departs the Earth, it is extremely sad to come to terms with. In the days just passed, people and fans had to deal with the departure of two men from the world of sports. Although one perhaps was not a surprise, seeing as that the gentleman lived a good, long life, the other departure was shocking. One was a legend, while the other was on the road to becoming just that.    When … [Read More its Good for You...]


The Business of “Fear” Brings in $8 Billion a Year

  The Business of “Fear” Brings in $8 Billion a Year by Amy Lignor   There are aspects of Halloween everyone knows about. From the scary boogeyman to the haunted houses set up in cities and counties from sea to shining sea, the world certainly understands that the “frightening” is also the “entertaining” when it comes to All Hallows Eve. What most may not know, however, is the fact that Halloween is a billion (yes, BILLION) dollar industry. People are more than … [Read More its Good for You...]


I Double Dare You!

  I Double Dare You! by Amy Lignor   Haunted houses, zombie-filled corn fields, small towns that like to get together and light up the night with scary-faced pumpkins – there are all different types of Halloween events and haunts you can take the kids to and have a good time. And we’ve researched and reported on the best of them. But if you’re one of those…those who like the macabre…there are places around the globe that offer far more than just a “spooky” … [Read More its Good for You...]