Georgia NeSmith
2 min readJan 5, 2022


Something of which a whole lot of people are unaware is central to the interpretation of Time Magazine's "Person of the Year." They really ought to change that title to make it better reflect their intent with this award.

It's not necessarily about celebrating someone's choices of action. Indeed, in 1938, HITLER was named Times' Man of the Year.,9171,760539,00.html

And it wasn't at all to flatter him with praise.

A more accurate title would be "Most Influential Person of the Year" ... or something like that. It is supposed to be someone the editors decide have had the greatest impact on the world and is expected to have even more as time goes on. In that respect, Hitler most certainly fits the bill.

I haven't read the article on Musk -- he's not exactly someone in whom I have a lot of interest, positive or negative. Frankly I think that in addition to being the world's richest person he is the world's biggest, crazily narcissistic hole with an ass in front of it.

And definitely black women AND black men AND people of color have been given short shrift in being given this "honor" that isn't necessarily an honor at all.

Both wonderfully amazing people with great love in their hearts AND abominably evil people seeking to spread hate can receive this award from Time.

Here is the list of Time's awardees since 1927, when it started.

Note that in 1979 the winner was The Ayatollah Khomeini.

Joseph Stalin was the "winner" in 1942.

Aside from the title given the award, the majority of the winners, like, eg. Greta Thurnburg (2019) are winners because of their GOOD WORKS, not because of their power to influence. So that can be confusing when someone we don't believe to be a good person wins the award.

Yes, there are very few black people or people of color that have made it into the mix, either for good deeds or for bad.

If Time Magazine won't remedy that, perhaps it can be remedied by a black centered publication. I know it shouldn't require a specialized publication, but in the history of marginalized people it seems to be the only option that at least BEGINS providing the appropriate recognition.

Just to be clear, I didn't know this either until Newt Gingrich received it in 1995. That was the year of the first massive government shutdown.

I wish Time would explain that at the very beginning of every "Man/Person of the Year" award article.

Oh, alsto BTW, some years it was won by inanimate objects, like the 1992 "Machine of the Year," The Computer. OR a GROUP of people, such as Middle Americans, in 1969.

It IS tokenism, but at least they did acknowledge the influence of MLK in their 1963 "Man of the Year."

Sorry for the length here. My comments are NOT intended as criticism but rather an offering of information that a whole lot people don't know.



Georgia NeSmith

Retired professor, feminist, writer, photographer, activist, grandmother of 5, overall Wise Woman. Phd UIA School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 1994.