ESSENCE magazine called on some of our favorites Hollywood starlets for their latest cover. In their October issue, appropriately titled “Channel Changers,” Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead), Laverne Cox (Orange Is the New Black), Nicole Beharie (Sleepy Hollow) and Alfre Woodward (State of Affairs) prove that it’s a new day for Black women in prime time television.
Since the success of Scandal and the Internet brilliance of Orange Is The New Black, we could say that the doors that were once locked have opened slightly and Black women seem to be barging into our living rooms. There are nearly nearly 30 new shows premiering this fall and 11 of them will have a Black actress featured prominently. Go us!
“At one point I looked around and I said, ‘I don’t think anybody is going to go for this, but this is wonderful,'” Laverne tells ESSENCE. “It felt so good. Lo and behold, people really did go for it in a really big way.”
For these actresses, change is happening and it’s nothing short of amazing.
“The people who have traditionally made the decisions make them in a tower on the coast,” Woodward says in the magazine. “They have no idea what America wants to see because they have no idea who America is. America is all of us who show up.”
The October issue of ESSENCE hits newsstands on 9/5.
1. Uzo Aduba
For a subtle yet memorable pop of color, add a purple lip to an all-gold outfit like Uzo Aduba.
2. Taylor Schilling
A little white dress gives you the opportunity to go wild with colorful accessories. Taylor spices up her LWD with a red lip, printed clutch and pink pumps.
3. Laverne Cox
Ditch the simple black heels. Sometimes, a bold dress requires an equally bold shoe like with Laverne Cox's Herve Leger frock and Valentino rockstud pumps.
4. Danielle Brooks
This summer is all about accessories in contrasting colors. Danielle Brooks' bold orange shoes bring new life to her white and blue sundress.
5. Taryn Manning
A dress as eye-catching as Taryn Manning's can afford to stand alone. By pairing black peep toe sandals and slicking her hair back, Taryn lets her dress do all the talking.
6. Samira Wiley
This season is all about contrasting rather than matching. Samira Wiley nails the look with a yellow crop top and skirt offset by a pink clutch.
7. Laura Prepon
Laura Prepon knows the right gown is all about proportions: she balances the revealing low-cut and cut-out bodice with a flowy pleated skirt. Perfection.
8. Vicky Jeudy
Vicky Jeudy cleverly wore an orange jumpsuit as an ode to her prison-based show #OINB. But the smartest part about this look is the fit: the cinched waist and low-cut top make this jumpsuit anything but frumpy.
9. Yael Stone
Want to dress your curls up for a formal event? Take a cue from Yael Stone and sleek them to one side. Just remember to keep the neckline simple so it doesn't compete.
10. Selenis Leyva
Don't be afraid to go for the bold this summer with a vibrant color like Selenis Leyva's purple gown. Soft makeup and subtle accessories are your best options for rounding out this look.
11. Dascha Polanco
This Summer, commit to your look from head-to-toe like Dascha Polanco. She wholeheartedly embraces the boho theme with a sweeping maxi dress, soft waves and a crown braid. Flawless.
12. Natasha Lyonne
If color is not your thing, look no further than Natasha Lyonne's look for inspiration. She keeps an all black outfit from looking boring by throwing on the boldest shoes she can find. Well-played.