*Long before the nation obsessed over the sleeves of its black first lady, Eunice Johnson was shining a spotlight on black beauty and style.

The wife of Ebony magazine founder John Johnson, she used her natural flair and healthy finances to create the Ebony Fashion Fair, a sepia-hued, touring fashion show that would spend 50 years bringing high fashion to generations of neglected black audiences.

Now, though, the future of the event that created pride in the black community is unsure.

Johnson Publishing Company has placed the event on hiatus, citing Johnson’s Jan. 3 death. But the indefinite break also coincides with a fashion world opening its arms to diversity through a growing crop of black models and stylemakers, bringing the relevance of Johnson’s show into question.

As the mainstream embraces consumers of color – a shift reflected in everything from magazine covers to runway show guest lists – is there still room for an event born when so few saw black as beautiful?

It’s a question even Johnson Publishing must weigh.

Read MORE of this AP report HERE.