ESSENCE will present in the next two weeks TWENTY– Three digital exhibits that I curated to celebrate excellence in acting, art, and fashion. These galleries tell the stories of people with color who stepped out of the faith and paved the way for the next generations of artists and creators. I believe only when we acknowledge our triumphs do we see what is possible and dream of what is next. Success is an inspiration that drives us forward.

In my bestseller Supreme Models: Iconic black women who revolutionized fashionI propose that black models are the forerunners of social change. Every time a color model breaks through, it redefines the standards of beauty. Everyone knows Iman, Naomi and Tyra, but what about activist Bethann Hardison, trailblazer Helen Williams, and eternal muse Karen Alexander? Or the new “It Girls” Adut Akech, Imaan Hammam and Dilone, who set international catwalks and the pages of top fashion magazines on fire with their modern, multicultural beauty. I’d like to present you Twenty models you should know.

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Twenty legendary actresses is a group of women whose work continues to redefine the worlds of cinema, television and theater. It’s not about who is the best. We’ll leave that to the Academy Awards, the Emmys, and the Tonys. It’s about the lasting impact of these women. This list of icons like Josephine Baker, Dorothy Dandridge and Cicely Tyson, as well as young legends Halle Berry, Viola Davis and Regina King are women who have had an indelible impact on the world through their talent and the use of their voices in social change.

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And finally, with temperatures plummeting, the ongoing need for social distancing, and the holidays ahead, I’m about to present the chicest list of books ever! 20 HAVE TO OWN ART BOOKS FROM A – Z lists books that celebrate every area of ​​excellence in the black diaspora. From visual celebrations of the life and work of celebrities Pharrell Williams and Rihanna to a celebration of the black style in Brown bohemia and Dandy Lion. From the work of legendary photographers like Kwame Brathwaite, Gordon Parks and Kehinde Wiley and beautiful depictions of blacks in art and fashion in Highest models, The new black avant-garde to Ebony: Covering Black America. These books celebrate the beauty and diversity of the black race. They are the gifts that keep giving!

I couldn’t be more excited to put these lists of my favorite things down in a magazine as historic as ESSENCE. As a kid, I read my mother’s ESSENCE magazines from start to finish and breathed in the beauty and wonder of the black experience. I found inspiration on the ESSENCE website. I hope these galleries do the same for a new generation of readers too.

Below is my second curated digital exhibition:

Twenty legendary actresses