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Iconic! New York Times Honors Veteran Black Actresses In May Issue

Iconic! New York Times Honors Veteran Black Actresses In May Issue

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As New York Times put it, the journey of black actresses in Hollywood is hard and steep, though a number of women have fought the odds to the top over long and distinguished careers. They’re not done yet.

To appreciate some of the veteran black actresses who have fought hard for the younger generation of black actresses to be noticed for their hard work and talent, T Magazine, a subsidiary of New York Times features Angela Basset, Viola Davis, Halle Berry, Lynn Whitfield, Kimberly Elise, Taraji P. Hanson and Mary J. Blige in their May Issue.

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Clockwise from left: TARAJI P. HENSON in a Givenchy dress, $8,130, Stuart Weitzman shoes, $395, and her own jewelry. MARY J. BLIGE in a Giorgio Armani jacket, $5,195, and pants, $1,195, Eres bra, $500, Misho earrings, about $200, Leigh Miller ring, $185, and Stuart Weitzman shoes, $395. ANGELA BASSETT in a Victoria Beckham dress, $1,495, Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills, (310) 550-5900, Panconesi earrings, $470, Giuseppe Zanotti shoes, $795, and her own bracelet. LYNN WHITFIELD in a Valentino dress, $5,900, Mateo earrings, $825, and Anita Ko ring, $8,000. HALLE BERRY in a Louis Vuitton dress, price on request, Tiffany earrings, $6,800, and Gianvito Rossi shoes, $995. KIMBERLY ELISE in a Proenza Schouler dress, $1,790, Mateo earrings, $1,875, Anita Ko ring (right), $8,000, stylist’s own ring (left) and Stuart Weitzman shoes, $395. Photographed at Line 204 Studios in Los Angeles on Feb. 26, 2020. Photo by Mickalene Thomas and Racquel Chevremont. Styled by Shiona Turini

According to the Writer, Brian Keith Jackson, 

When money for projects with black casts dried up in Hollywood by the end of the ’90s, these actresses carried on, forced to look farther down the thoroughfare than merely the steps they could see. To be a black woman in Hollywood is to have to be steadfast in the pursuit of one’s craft, in the search for basic opportunities. They have had to toil through the intricacies of a doubly marginalized existence — being black and being a woman — and have rarely been allowed to fully extol the complexities of their truth for the screen.


Historically in Hollywood, Black actresses have always been neglected. In 2002, Halle Berry became the first black actress to win the award for Best Actress at the Academy Awards. Almost 20 years later, no other black actress has won the award. This is symbolic of the cycle of neglect and racial bias in Hollywood that has been spoken about for many years.

One of four covers of T’s April 19 Culture issue. Clockwise from top left: MARY J. BLIGE in a Giorgio Armani jacket, $5,195, Alaïa bra, $2,880, Versace earrings, $775, and Leigh Miller ring, $185; VIOLA DAVIS in a Dior jacket, $4,700, and belt, price on request, and Anita Ko earrings, $3,265; ANGELA BASSETT in a Versace dress, $1,795, and Leigh Miller earrings, $329; HALLE BERRY in a Chanel bodysuit, $3,150, and dress, $4,400, Tiffany earrings, $6,800, and Bulgari ring, $15,700; and TARAJI P. HENSON in a Versace dress, $1,725, Bulgari ring (left), $2,400, and her own ring (right). Photos by Mickalene Thomas and Racquel Chevremont. Styled by Shiona Turini

As part of the iconic feature, the veterans also remember their first roles and their defining moments as they discuss the solidarity they feel with one another in a video shot by Scott J. Ross.

As Hollywood begins to see the need for diversity on TV and behind the camera, these same women are going from their supporting roles to becoming main casts in movies. But the battle for respect and fair rewarding of black talent is far from over. In fact, it’s only getting started. 

Read the full story here.

Photo credit: Instagram | tmagazine 


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