ESSENCE DIGITAL COVER FEATURES ACTRESS ZAZIE BEETZ

ESSENCE’s hot new digital cover features Emmy-nominated actress Zazie Beetz who stars in the upcoming Netflix original film, The Harder They Fall. The stunning actress, who is as known for her loosely structured textured hairstyles and natural makeup as she is for playing “Domino” in Deadpool 2 and “Van” in the FX series Atlanta, looks resplendent in Versace, Giuseppe Zanotti, Alexander Wang, Lagos KSL and more. In the story, A Reluctant Star, she talks to ESSENCE’s Senior Entertainment Editor Brande Victorian about chasing excellence and not fame, choosing acting and being accepted in the entertainment industry so quickly:
  • The Rise of Her Profile“It was an adjustment in terms of what I felt I deserved and what I earned. I questioned whether I had earned my place yet. ‘Was I just lucky?’ That was very tortuous for me for a long time…”
  • On Choosing Acting“After I graduated, I was like, ‘I’ve spent so much time acting. I can’t not try it.’ I think after high school, I was like, ‘I can’t get trapped in this. What are my other things?’ And then I had an opportunity to see those other things–and I chose acting again…”
  • On Fame“The amount of people that are famous nowadays is so much more than 10 or 20 years ago, and there’s a much larger sort of gray space in terms of mid-fame, mid-level and B-list celebrity versus A-list celebrity. Sometimes I wonder, ‘Am I continuing down the path of no return?’ Like, would I want more? Would I not want more? But I’m speaking about it in terms of fame rather than artistry. What is arrival? I don’t really know, but I think there’s a lot more I want to do…”

FAMED UCLA GYMNASTS ON ESSENCE GIRLS UNITED APRIL DIGITAL COVER

ESSENCE Girls United’s April digital cover features famed University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) gymnasts Chae Campbell, Nia Dennis, Margzetta Frazier and Sekai Wright who are bringing a whole new wave of Black girl magic (and are looking stunning doing it!) In the cover story Flipping the Culture, writer D’Shonda Brown talks to these collegiate superstars who are the embodiment of Black excellence and Black representation in athleticism as they soar to chart-topping scores with cultural playlists, rhythmic floor routines and Black Lives Matter activism. The athletes talk to ESSENCE Girls United about their love for the sport, representation, elevating the culture…and even getting Janet Jackson’s attention!:
  • Margzetta Frazier, 21: [EXCERPTED]: Who else can say they woke up to a nod from their inspiration, Janet Jackson, after using choreography inspired by her hit “If” and “Nasty” music videos? That’s what happened to the three-time uneven bars All-American and 2021 Pac-12 champion after her floor routine went viral. She states: “Being in a sport like this and seeing women of color rock the world really is a dream come true. Gymnastics has consumed so much of our lives with the concept of flipping and being perfect…But being recognized by ESSENCE for bringing so much more to the table than just athletics truly is an honor…”
  • Chae Campbell, 19: “Growing up in the sport of gymnastics, I didn’t see a lot of Black people…I was the only one in my group that looked how I looked. Having more representation and seeing people thrive, not just Black gymnasts, but also other races and ethnicities, is really encouraging for the young girls out there…”
  • Nia Dennis, 22: “My main goal was to inspire people to do what they love and to have fun and be their most authentic self. So if we have done that in any way, then I would definitely say that the goal has been accomplished…”
  • Sekai Wright, 20: “We do our best to stay positive because we know what we’re representing…As young Black women, it’s so satisfying that we can express and elevate our culture through our gymnastics.”

14TH ANNUAL ESSENCE BLACK WOMEN IN HOLLYWOOD AWARDS AND 2ND ANNUAL ESSENCE HOLLYWOOD HOUSE

Building on its years of providing platforms to ensure Black creatives “receive their flowers” for their contributions to Hollywood and global culture, ESSENCE, the leading and only 100% Black-owned media, technology and commerce company at scale dedicated to Black women and communities, today announced the honorees for its highly-anticipated 14th annual Black Women in Hollywood and feature programming for its 2nd annual Hollywood House. As the yearly can’t-miss event for Black Hollywood taking place during Oscars Week since 2008, the Black Women in Hollywood experience spotlights some of the most renowned and accomplished women leading at the forefront of the film, television and creative industry and has now honored 65 Black actresses, directors, producers, writers, costume designers and more. This year’s stellar roster of honorees include EGOT winner, producer and entrepreneur Whoopi Goldberg (The View, The Stand); GRAMMY, EMMY and TONY Award-winning and OSCAR-nominated actress, singer and producer Cynthia Erivo  (Genius: Aretha, Harriet); EMMY Award-winning actress/producer Zendaya (Malcolm and Marie, Euphoria); writer, actress and showrunner Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You); and Golden Globe winner, Oscar-nominated actress and GRAMMY-nominated singer Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), who will also perform. The event will be hosted by actress and producer Laverne Cox (Promising Young Woman and Disclosure). Presenters will be announced at a later date.

Previously produced as an invite-only luncheon, this year’s ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood will be streamed as a virtual experience for the first time and will air Thursday, April 22, 2021 from 7-10 P.M. (ET) on ESSENCEStudios.com and ESSENCE.com. The theme, “Mastering Our Stories,” will focus on the resiliency of Black women in Hollywood through the years—including during the unprecedented pandemic.

“ESSENCE has demonstrated our commitment to highlighting the power and resiliency of Black women for 50 years, and part of that has included creating opportunities to uplift and recognize each other when no one else would,” said Latraviette D. Smith-Wilson, ESSENCE Chief Strategy & Engagement Officer. “In a world where finally the needs and contributions of Black women are increasingly – though not always sustainably – being acknowledged in new ways, ESSENCE’s platforms such as Black Women in Hollywood remain unparalleled cultural forums that uniquely convene us in celebration and encouragement of each other and in recognition of the perseverance, fortitude, grace and innovation that have been required on our journeys. ESSENCE is incredibly proud to celebrate all our Black Women in Hollywood honorees for their immense talent and achievements, as well as for being a voice for Black women everywhere in ways that may not always be apparent and in rooms where we may not always be present. We see you. We hear you. We honor you.”

“Every year, we start our planning for ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood with one important question: What stories amplified Black women’s experiences?” said Cori Murray, ESSENCE Deputy Editor and co-producer of Black Women in Hollywood since its inception. “This year’s honorees and their individual projects have helped reframe and expand the narrative of Black women’s joy, pain, challenges and triumphs on screen that have allowed so many of us to see pieces of our own lives within. With the added layer of the pandemic, these master storytellers have kept us sane and more importantly, seen.”

In addition, ESSENCE’s Oscar week activities will culminate with its second annual ESSENCE Hollywood House, which will be held on Friday, April 23rd. Hosted by actress Storm Reid (A Wrinkle in Time, The Invisible Man), ESSENCE Hollywood House was developed to provide compelling and engaging live content aimed at sparking meaningful conversation and action to drive more inclusion in Hollywood, as well as to provide an opportunity for Black creatives – aspiring and established – to educate, collaborate and empower one another with a purpose. The experience features thought leaders, industry stakeholders and members of the creative community including actors, directors, writers, showrunners, studio heads and others who will lead a curated schedule of interactive conversations, virtual panels, masterclasses, fireside chats and more. (Reid will also host the Black Women in Hollywood red carpet pre-show.) Presenters will be announced at a later date. To register or for more details, visit ESSENCE.com.

ESSENCE’s upcoming May/June 2021 issue (on newsstands in April) will feature its annual Black Women in Hollywood package highlighting each honoree. Stay tuned to ESSENCE.com for highlights and behind-the-scenes access to the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards and ESSENCE Hollywood House. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @essence #BlackWomeninHollywood. Join in the discussion on Facebook.

ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood and ESSENCE Hollywood House are presented by Ford and sponsored by L’Oréal Paris.

For more details on the 2021 ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards, visit ESSENCE.com/BWIH. ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood and ESSENCE Hollywood House are produced by ESSENCE Communications, Inc.

EDDIE MURPHY, ARSENIO HALL AND ALL-STAR CAST ON ESSENCE’S “COMING 2 AMERICA” TRIPLE COVERS

Prepare the royal jet! Coming 2 America is finally arriving, with Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall and an all-star cast of returning and new faces—including Jermaine Fowler, KiKi Layne and Bella Murphy. It’s been more than three decades since the beloved original Coming to America hit theaters and became a true cult classic that has spanned multiple generations and demographics. Now, in the ESSENCEMarch/April issue triple cover article, The Fresh Princes of Zamunda, Regina R. Robertson talks to the cast about why this was the right time to do the sequel, their fave moments and what the film means to the culture:

  • EDDIE MURPHY ON WHAT THE FILM MEANS TO THE CULTURE: “Coming to America is one of my films that has really worked its way into the culture. People get dressed up as the characters for Halloween, and they still walk around saying catchphrases like ‘Sexual Chocolate.’ So many people grew up with Coming to America and have a lot invested in it, so I didn’t want to taint that…Once the ideas started coming together, it took about four or five years to get the script all the way right. Once we got it right, I knew it was time…”

  • ARSENIO HALL ON DOING THE SEQUEL: “A lot of people have posted about Coming to America and said things like, ‘Please don’t mess with my movie’ or ‘I don’t want no sequel!’ We’ve been pitched all kinds of ideas, but I remember reading the script in Eddie’s backyard and it was all making sense. That’s when I knew that this was going to be the sequel…”

  • KIKI LAYNE ON PLAYING MEEKA: “Meeka is loyal to her family. I’m interested in showcasing strong Black women— and being a part of this film was an opportunity to play in such a classic world and also to work with straight-up legends, all the way around…”

  • BELLA MURPHY ON PLAYING OMMA AND WORKING WITH HER DAD: “Omma is super-smart, a little bit of a badass, and she’s super-cool. Being able to do my first film with my dad is really special…I’m over the moon…”
  • JERMAINE ON PLAYING LAVELLE—AND WATCHING HIS DREAM COME TRUE: “In some ways, Lavelle reminds me a lot of myself when I was growing up and trying to figure out life. As a fan of the original film, I was honored to be a part of this whole world—but when they told me how Lavelle becomes part of the story, I just laughed my ass off and thought, All right, let’s do it…”  
  • SHARI HEADLEY ON WHAT AUDIENCES WILL LOVE: “I’m as excited as the audience and have no doubt that this will be a film that people will love. I’ll venture to say they’ll love it even more than the first one…”

  • WESLEY SNIPES ON JOINING THE FILM: “I was like, ‘Whatever the role is, I want to be in it.’ Later, I was told that I was going to be a General—but really, I could have played a zebra and been just fine…”

GLOBAL FASHION AND BEAUTY FOUNDER RIHANNA AND RENOWNED ARTIST LORNA SIMPSON COLLABORATE FOR ESSENCE’S JANUARY+FEBRUARY 2021: THE ISSUE CELEBRATES VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT KAMALA HARRIS’ HISTORIC WIN

ESSENCE, the leading media, technology and commerce company serving Black women, kicks off 2021 with a stunning January + February cover art exclusive. Legendary artist Lorna Simpson collaborates with global fashion and beauty founder Robyn Rihanna Fenty (who recently launched Fenty Skin globally in stores in the U.S. and the U.K.) to reinterpret the narrative of modern-day beauty in the gorgeous photographic cover collage, Of Earth & Sky, and in images comprising a 12-page portfolio feature inside the January + February issue. Over the past 15 years of her acclaimed three-decade career, Simpson has created collages that recontextualize images of Black women from vintage pages of Ebony and Jet magazines. Like all of Simpson’s celebrated works, these original pieces are more than what meets the eye.

Simpson channels Rihanna as her muse throughout the spectacular artistic rendering—reimagining the artist in a way that has neverbeenseen before. Rihanna looks ethereal in designer piecesincluding from her signature Savage X Fenty line as well as Prada, Givenchy, Hood by Air, Thelma West, Rick Owens and more.Simpson states:“…I needed to create images of Rihanna to place within the environments of source materials from my archive. For the project to have the same kind of dramatic visual intensity as my collage work to date, I had to consider the atmosphere and lighting of specific source materials before arriving to set. Knowing Rihanna’s charisma and commanding presence, my effort was then to be as present and prepared as possible to capture her exquisite performance for the camera…”

The package also features the piece, Anthems of Possibility, written by Simpson’s daughter, writer and actor Zora Simpson Casebere. She weighs in on how Rihanna helped shape her womanhood at an early age and how serving as a stand-in model on set for her mother was a full-circle moment. She muses:“…At 13, I was deeply grateful that at a formative time in my life, it was Rihanna’s voice and art that became my portals to so many questions about sexuality, sexual exploration and sexual autonomy. Now, on set, I assisted my mother as a model as she explored how she might later place Rihanna within the visual contexts she’d selected from vintage Ebony magazines, old Associated Press photographs and 19th-century lithographs of mineral specimens. When Rihanna arrived at the set—my first time seeing her in real life—I was mesmerized. She was the very definition of grace, charisma and influence. Wearing a magnificent Maximilian black headdress, she requested the song ‘Thick’ by DJ Chose, then met the camera with power and possibility—power in how she moved her body through space, and possibility in how she dismantled and moved beyond institutional boundaries…”

The gorgeous issue will also pay homage to Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris’ historic win with reflections by five influential Black women: Donna Brazile, Leah Daughtry, Karen Finney, Star Jones and Minyon Moore. In addition, the issue features an interview with Barack Obama talking about his new book and journey as the nation’s first Black president. Plus, iconic actress Cicely Tyson shares an eye-opening excerpt from her new memoir.

For more on this issue, visit ESSENCE.com or pick up the January + February 2021 issue on newsstands next week. (Photographic Collages, Lorna Simpson)

ESSENCE.COM’S DIGITAL COVER FEATURES “SYLVIE’S LOVE” STARS TESSA THOMPSON + NNAMDI ASOMUGHA!

ESSENCE‘s newest digital cover features Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha, the stars of the movie, Sylvie’s Love. The two portray Sylvie and Robert–an aspiring producer and successful saxophonist in the 1960’s whose deep love never seems to be perfectly timed. The beautiful and sensual homage to Hollywood’s golden era by writer-director Eugene Ashe–set against the backdrop of both the civil rights and women’s rights movements–will begin streaming on Amazon Prime Video on December 23. In the ESSENCE digital cover story, Falling In (Sylvie’s) Love, Asomugha (who’s married to Kerry Washington) and Thompson talk to writer Joi-Marie McKenzie about:
  • NNAMDI ON SYLVIE AND ROBERT’S LOVE CHALLENGES: “None of it is simple. None of it is one-sided. Love and life are complex, no matter which lens you’re looking at it through…” 
  • TESSA ON WHY THE TIMING OF “SYLVIE’S LOVE” COULDN’T BE SWEETER: “At a time when we’re talking about the value and dignity of Black life…it’s really great to have a [love] story that offers some escapism for audiences, and that feels sweeping and beautiful and hopeful about love. We really need those kinds of narratives…” 
  • NNAMDI ON SHOWCASING BLACK MALE VULNERABILITY: “That was important for us to show, especially during that time when there was a hypermasculinity that said, ‘I’m immovable…'”
  • TESSA ON HOW SHE’S SIMILAR TO SYLVIE: Certainly women like Sylvie existed during the time, but those stories aren’t told…I’m in a period in my career, personally, where I’m launching my own production company. I’m working as a producer, and I… stand on the shoulders of women like Sylvie who came before me—career women who were [pioneers] in a time when it was hard enough to be that as a woman, never mind as a Black woman…” 
  • WRITER-DIRECTOR EUGENE ASHE ON SYLVIE+ROBERT’S LIFE-CHANGING LOVE: “Even Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. still had a bunch of babies and fell in love…It’s really important to show that we existed in the past [beyond] the ‘struggle culture’—that Black folks were still falling in love. I think not showing that is a way of erasing us…”  
In addition, ESSENCE will kick off its “Behind the Scenes Look on Sylvie’s Love” this Monday, 12/14, on ESSENCE STUDIOS. Join us for a series of conversations with the cast and crew of this incredible film throughout the week. For more on this digital cover story, visit ESSENCE.com. (Cover attached, photo credit, J.D. Barnes.)

ESSENCE PRESENTS THE LEVEL UP & THRIVE VIRTUAL EVENT SERIES

ESSENCE closes out 2020 with two free virtual events to help entrepreneurs and business professionals put those 2021 career goals in motion with the launch of the ESSENCE Level Up & Thrive Virtual Event Series!

The first part of the series kicks off today, Thursday, December 3, with ESSENCE E-Suite: The Art of the Pivot, presented in part by Chase, Walmart and Shea Moisture. Streaming on ESSENCE.com beginning at 7PM EST, this latest virtual edition of the ESSENCE E-Suite will host some of the most brilliant minds in the corporate space who will talk us through what’s ahead for business professionals planning for career changes in 2021. Whether you’ll be venturing into a new industry, getting back into the workforce after spending several months on unemployment or just looking to level up on your current job, this event is sure to have something for every business professional.

The second part of the series will feature the return of the virtual ESSENCE Entrepreneur Summit on Wednesday, December 9, where you’ll have the opportunity to access unforgettable conversations, interactive sessions and more. Together with Chase, Aveeno and Microsoft, ESSENCE will unite business owners of all ages to weigh in on what their plans are for carrying their brands to higher success in 2021 despite coming off of a difficult year. It will stream on ESSENCEStudios.com.

For more information and to register for both events, visit our official ESSENCE Level Up & Thrive virtual series event page HERE 

EMMY-WINNING ACTRESS+ACTIVIST ZENDAYA ON ESSENCE’S NOV/DEC COVER

Zendaya is undoubtedly one of Hollywood’s brightest young stars – and one of Black Hollywood’s wildest dreams. At just 24 years old, the actress has led two successful series on two of the biggest networks in TV land; costarred in a huge blockbuster Marvel film; and become the youngest woman ever to win the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama, Euphoria. As much as the actress and activist has broken barriers in her past, it’s her present and future in Hollywood that’s winning.

For ESSENCE’s November + December issue, Zendaya graces the cover with stunning and picturesque black and white imagery that pays tribute to icons of the past while squarely establishing her as a leading force in the present and an icon of the future. The special issue is part of the brand’s ongoing 50th anniversary celebration and also features Zendaya on three bonus digital covers (with fashion styling and creative direction led by renowned celeb stylist Law Roach.) In her cover story, A Work of Art, Zendaya talks to writer Sylvia Obell about everything from her historic Emmy win, speaking truth to power and carrying our legacy forward. She tells ESSENCE:

ON WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH HER MIND RIGHT BEFORE HER HISTORIC EMMY WINNING: “There’s a video of me that a family friend took while I was waiting, and you can see my leg shaking. In my head I was like, ‘Dude, just chill out. What will be, will be.’ I remember taking a deep breath, and then hearing my name, and then my family screamed. I was worried that if they kept screaming for too long, I wouldn’t have any time to actually say anything—but I didn’t want to stop them, because they were having a great time. It was a very special night. I’ll definitely remember that one forever…”

ON RECEIVING SUPPORT FROM OTHER BLACK WOMEN AFTER HER EMMY WIN: “I’m honored to have that support, especially from my fellow young Black creatives. Through this Emmy’s period, especially, I felt a strong sense of support within our community, which I’m really grateful for. I think what’s slowly starting to happen is, artists like Issa Rae and Lena Waithe have created opportunities that have resulted in more of us being in these rooms. That’s such a special feeling, and I think it’s definitely changing the idea that there can only be “one at a time,” which is false. I love to see that genuine love and respect for each other’s work. I hope that we continue to expand that in all kinds of beautiful ways, because I think we’re on a really good path…”

ON LAW ROACH’S CREATIVE + FASHION DIRECTION: “I also felt very excited that ESSENCE allowed Law [Roach] and me to be a part of the creative team and do something a little bit different. I had so much fun on this shoot paying homage to Donyale Luna, the first Black supermodel. A lot of what I do, specifically within fashion, is a tribute to fashion icons who came before me—many of whom are Black women. I love the way it turned out. I’m very proud of it. It’s one of my favorite cover shoots I’ve ever done.”

ON FILMING “MALCOLM & MARIE” WHEN THE PANDEMIC FIRST SHUT DOWN: “It was a dream, because I’ve always wanted to be able to just strip everything away. I love what I do—and like most people, I was finding ways to stay inspired and stay creative, and luckily I know people who are the same way. It was great sitting in a room with John David Washington, Marcell Rév and Sam [Levinson], literally writing scenes as we went, coming up with ideas as we moved through the characters, and finding new things every day. That was the coolest part. That is why I do this.”

HER NEW YEAR’S WISH FOR BLACK WOMEN: “For us to continue to fully realize our power and harness it to do great things, because we are incredibly powerful. We’re often convinced that we’re not, and taught to shrink—but we have to believe in our collective power. I always think of that Beyoncé song, ‘They’ll never take my power, my power, my power.’ Let’s take that energy into the new year…”

ESSENCE’s November + December issue also includes a special Election 2020 package featuring a History Maker profile on Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris and her historic run for the White House. In the piece, News & Politics editor Tanya Christian details her year-plus coverage of the Senator—including her live appearance at the 2019 ESSENCE Festival of Culture in New Orleans during her presidential run. The issue also features The Black Women Behind the Biden-Harris Campaign, an article showcasing key movers and shakers who helped drive the campaign to victory.

ESSENCE’s November + December issue hits newsstands on November 24th. For more on this issue, visit ESSENCE.com. (Photo, AB+DM) Also join the conversation @Essence. 

 

ESSENCE DEDICATES 2020 ELECTION PACKAGE TO VICE-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE KAMALA HARRIS’S HISTORIC WHITE HOUSE RUN

ESSENCE, the number one, technology and commerce company dedicated to Black women, is dedicating its 2020 Election special coverage to vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris’s historic run for the White House, featuring Harris on the cover of its Election 2020 digital package and the stories of the Black women leading the campaign.

For more than a year, ESSENCE has documented Harris’s groundbreaking run for the White House. In the midst of what many perceive to be multiple pandemics affecting the African-American community—from the unprecedented coronavirus, social unrest, police brutality, economic instability, incendiary rhetoric on the political stage, and more—ESSENCE continues its multi-platform coverage at the cusp of one of the most historic elections in our lifetime.

In the piece, History Maker, News & Politics editor Tanya Christian details her coverage of the Senator—including her live appearance at the 2019 ESSENCE Festival of Culture in New Orleans during her presidential run last year. Now more than a year later, Harris weighs in on a number of topics including:

  • ON THE BIDEN-HARRIS AGENDA: “There’s no question that we need immediate change and drastic change, and that’s so much of what the Biden-Harris platform and what the Biden-Harris administration will be about. It’s about saying, ‘We need to immediately address a number of issues that demand priority….’ And that relates to getting people back to work. It means investing in infrastructure and creating millions of new jobs. It means fighting for health care for all people…”
  • ON SOCIAL UNREST AND POLICE BRUTALITY: “I have seen too many cases of not only unarmed Black folks being killed, but women, and we need to speak their names and understand that we have to have justice…”

ESSENCE’s Election 2020 digital package also includes The Black Women Behind the Biden-Harris Campaign, which features key movers and shakers such as Senior Advisor Symone Sanders; Vice-Presidential Nominee Chief of Staff Karine Jean-Pierre; National Coalitions Director Ashley Allison; Senior Advisor for Strategic Planning Ashley Etienne; National Director for State Coalition Outreach Sherice Perry; National Political Director Erin Wilson; National Women’s Vote Director Carissa Smith and more.

ESSENCE has also partnered with Higher Heights for America to live stream the vice-presidential debate. Tune in tonight at 7:45 PM (ET) via ESSENCE’s Facebook page. In addition, ESSENCE.com will feature the results of the ESSENCE + Black Women’s Roundtable “Power of the Sister Vote” poll next week. The sixth annual survey gauges the political concerns, attitudes, and opinions of Black women across the country.

ESSENCE’s Election 2020 digital package is available now. For more on this issue, visit ESSENCE.com or pick up next month’s November/December issue. Also, join the conversation @Essence.

(PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Rowe)

 

LALA ANTHONY STUNS ON ESSENCE SEPT/OCT COVER

In the September-October issue of ESSENCE, La La Anthony — best-selling author, actress, designer, producer, and multihyphenate maven — graces the cover and provides perspective on the often-discussed issue of Black women and identity. In the cover story, Finding Success on Her Own Terms, Anthony talks candidly with ESSENCE Deputy Editor Allison McGevna about everything from co-parenting, raising and protecting her Black son in America, celebrating her Afro-Latina identity and the importance of telling Cyntoia Brown’s story.

 

She shares with ESSENCE:

  • ON PROUDLY BEING AFRO-LATINA: “I’m Afro-Latina: I’m Black, I’m Puerto Rican, I’m all of it. I’m proud of it.’ But no one really understood that. They were like, ‘You’re one or the other, and that’s it…”
  • RAISING A BLACK SON IN AMERICA: “I always talk to him about how he needs to deal with police. It’s sad that these are the conversations we have to have with our children, but this is the world we live in. I make sure he knows that and understands the seriousness of it. I’m not trying to scare him in any way, but I want him to live in reality.”
  • HER APPROACH TO CO-PARENTING WITH CARMELO ANTHONY: “My son is at the center of everything… he is watching us, so if we’re out here being reckless or not leading with love, then what kind of example are we setting for him about how he should treat women or how people treat and love each other? … A lot of times, people forget that, and I understand, because you get emotional when you’re going through different things in relationships. But I always want my son to be able to say, ‘No matter what, my parents loved each other. My parents loved me.”
  • ON BRINGING CYNTOIA BROWN’S STORY TO THE SCREEN: “For her to trust me with this story, after everything she’s been through, it’s not something I take lightly.”

Timed with its cover launch, also ESSENCE announces the newly launched online hub titled “Protect Black Women and Girls.” As the leading media, technology and commerce company serving Black women and their communities for 50 years, the hub was created to help provide more persistent visibility of systemic racism, racial inequities, and police misconduct today with particular attention to justice yet seen for the Black women of the movement like Breonna Taylor and Toyin Salau. The hub includes a series of essays and op-eds from Black women activists, academics, and thought-leaders including Tarana Burke, Kimberlé Crenshaw, LaTosha Brown, and more. As Kimberle Crenshaw says in her original essay for the hub, “If we are ever to truly protect young Black women like Toyin Salau or Breonna Taylor, we must first tell their stories.”  For more on ESSENCE’s Protect Black Women and Girls Hub, visit ESSENCE.com.

The September-October issue of ESSENCE hits newsstands on Tuesday, August 25. For more on this month’s issue, visit ESSENCE.com.