I love this cover of writer, actress, and producer extraordinaire Lena Waithe. I bet this cover will touch many lives. Seeing a image of a beautiful talented black woman who looks real and knows who she is. Lena made history by being the first black woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series (for the Netflix hit Master of None,) creating the new Showtime hit series The Chi and co-starring in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film Ready Player One.
Lena on the cover is so refreshing. We often only see a certain kind of beauty of major magazines, but I believe this cover will be much more impactful on its readers and young people. They will see you can be who you are and be great.
Here are some excerpts for Lena Waithe:
“Growing up, I leaned into books, finding small parts of myself in the writings of Mildred Taylor, Audre Lorde, Virginia Hamilton, and Walter Dean Myers. Lena, meanwhile, found her mentors on the screen in the comedy writing of Susan Fales-Hill (A Different World, Suddenly Susan), Yvette Lee Bowser (Living Single, Lush Life, Black-ish), and Mara Brock Akil (Moesha, Girlfriends, Being Mary Jane). “They didn’t get their shine,” she says of these early black women in comedy. “They were constantly banging on the doors.” In contrast, she says, “I rolled up and all I had to do was tip it and walk through.”
“Being black and gay, having dreadlocks, having a certain kind of swag, and dressing the way I do,” she explains, she is sometimes told by certain well-meaning admirers or fashion wannabes, “ ‘That’s dope, you’re cool.’ I don’t feel validated by that. . . . I don’t want to be White. I don’t want to be straight. I don’t want to blend in. . . . I try to wear queer designers who happen to be brown and makin’ shit.”
“The hardest thing about being a black writer in this town is having to pitch your black story to white execs,” she says. “Also, most of the time when we go into rooms to pitch, there’s one token black executive that sometimes can be a friend and sometimes can be a foe. I wonder if they think it makes me more comfortable, if that makes me think that they’re a woke network or studio because they’ve got that one black exec. It feels patronizing. I’m not against a black exec. I want there to be more of them.”
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Kudos to the new editor in chief Radhika Jones for thinking and going big with Lena on the cover.
Ms. Culture Keeper-