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Black. Girls. Rock.

For the upcoming October issue, Essence magazine has rounded up a crew of some of our favorite actresses who are changing the channel game. Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black), Alfre Woodard (State of Affairs), Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead) and Nicole Beharie (Sleepy Hollow), are cover costars and proof that primetime “TV is the new black.”

The issue is on stands September 5, but you can check out an excerpt from their interview below.

“It is a golden age,” explains Gurira, who plays a fierce zombie slayer, “because we’re allowed to see that more people are given a voice, and that is a beautiful thing. We know when there’s been a dearth of this type of diversity. I remember watching Orange and feeling as if something new was happening.”

“People are watching television in a different way,” adds Cox, who was nominated by the Emmys for Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. “I’ve been acting for a very long time and not getting very far, and I would say we needed some sort of systemic revolutionary change for me to have an acting career.”

Woodard, who is set to play the POTUS, takes a motherly tone when she adds: “Is it the golden age, daughters? I want you all to believe: We’re not here because somebody suddenly said, ‘Let’s have some women of color [on TV].’ We’re here because we’re brilliant at what we do. We’re persistent. You could put us at the bottom of the ocean and we’d still come to the top.”


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