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Zendaya pays homage to her fellow young Black creatives in ‘Essence’s November/December issue


AB+DM Zendaya isn’t letting her recent Best Actress Emmy win go to her head.  In the new issue of Essence magazine, she thanks those who came before her and helped open the doors for her success.

“I’m honored to have that support, especially from my fellow young Black creatives,” Zendaya says. “Through this Emmys 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,” she continues. “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.”

Zendaya’s also paying homage to Donyale Luna, the first Black supermodel, with her Essence cover curated by celeb stylist Law Roach. She explains that when it comes to her fashion, it’s often “a tribute to fashion icons who came before [her] — many of whom are Black women.”

“I love the way it turned out,” she says of her black-and-white spread. “I’m very proud of it. It’s one of my favorite cover shoots I’ve ever done.”

Looking ahead to the new year, the Emmy-winning actress and activist shares her hopes for the future of Black women, which she says includes realizing “our power and harness[ing] it to do great things.”

“Because we are incredibly powerful,” she says. “We’re often convinced that we’re not, and taught to shrink — but we have to believe in our collective power. I always think of that Beyoncé song, ‘They’ll never take my power…Let’s take that energy into the new year…”

By Candice Williams
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