Zendaya Pays Tribute to Icons of the Past for Essence Magazine

Posted on November 18, 2020

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.

 

 

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…”

 

ESSENCE’s November + December issue hits newsstands on November 24th.

 

[Photo Credit: AB+DM for Essence Magazine]

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