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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.

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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.


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