There are special issues of magazines, and then there are special issues of magazines. But has any recent special issue of any magazine, anywhere, been as ambitious, as big, and as compelling as the Vanity Fair special section on Africa?
Having U2′s Bono as a guest editor may be a small concession to celebritydom, but the fact that a mainstream magazine has the courage to devote page after page, and many thousand dollars, on such a seemingly “boring” topic is a tribute to the magazine’s vision.
Among the many features it runs is one on how DNA research confirms that every human on earth has African origins. Including, of course, VF editor Graydon Carter (map above), whose “maternal ancestors were part of the second wave of migration out of Africa and into the Middle East, some 45,000 or 50,000 years ago. Perhaps 10,000 years ago, the members of this group were among the first agriculturalists in the Middle East’s Fertile Crescent. As the population grew, Carter’s ancestors branched out in several directions, with his dominant ancestral strain coming from northeastern Europe.”
Read the full section here: The Africa Issue