LaLa Anthony shows us why she’s a star in the September and October issue of Essence Magazine. From MTV VJ to reoccurring roles in top series like Power and The Chi, LaLa has established herself as a successful actress. Beyond acting, she has taken on the position of a producer, fashion designer, philanthropist, and best-selling author.
In her interview with Essence Magazine, LaLa dives into her career transition. “To this day, with my acting career, you’ll still have people who are like, ‘Oh, that’s LaLa from MTV.’ And it’s like, well, that was a huge part of my life, but I’ve evolved since then. I’ve moved on since then. I’ve worked really hard, but sometimes I feel like because I was known for something else, I have to prove myself in these new spaces even more than the next person.”
LaLa knew that transitioning from a MTV VJ to an actress would be a challenge. Hollywood hasn’t been too receptive to the range of Blackness and what it means to be an Afro-Latina. During her auditions, she’d find herself spending too much time explaining who she is. “‘Well, 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,’” she’d explain.
LaLa has used her platform to speak out against the injustices that happen to Black men, women, and children. Raising a Black son in America will put things into perspective for you. As Black parents, lessons you have to teach your children differ from the lessons White parents teach their kids. “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.”
Juggling motherhood, and a booming career can be challenging, but LaLa makes it look like a day in the park. “It’s definitely not easy,” she says. “Especially when you throw in a child. My son, Kiyan, is 13, and I want to be present for his life and all of his needs and his milestones.”
If you’ve ever wanted to get deeper insight into who LaLa Anthony is, this interview will give it to you. Be sure to check out the rest on the Essence website.