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Exclusive: Essence’s ‘A Toast To Prime Time’ With Laverne Cox And Danai Gurira



Essence magazine celebrated their October issue on Thursday with a special soiree celebrating Black women on prime time television.

Some of Hollywood’s leading women have broken barriers and have led the way to what is now being called the golden era. From Kerry Washington to Laverne Cox, there has been a seismic shift in programming and the publication is acknowledging the women in their latest issue.

For the cover page, Cox, who is known for her role on Netflix’s original series, Orange is the New Black poses alongside the stunning Alfre Woodard (NBC’s State of Affairs), Nicole Beharie (FOX’s Sleepy Hollow) and Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead).

“There’s a cover of Essence magazine that I’m on that I still can’t believe it. It’s so weird. I just take these kind of moments in,” Cox told us while on the red carpet for the “A Toast To Prime Time” celebration.

Gurira also expressed her excitement with HipHollywood about the gorgeous cover. “It was such a beautiful experience,” she explained. “It was just us saying ‘we are going to feel each other out and just enjoy each other.'”

While on the red carpet, we also talked with some of the attendees about the New York Times article that called How To Get Away With Murder’s Viola Davis “less classically beautiful than Mrs. [Kerry] Washington, or for that matter Halle Berry.”

“I think we are always going to have people who don’t get it and don’t get it quick enough,” Danai said. “We always rise above it and that’s the beauty of it all. We rise above it, we keep striving and we keep doing amazing things.”

Essence Atkins, who recently officiated Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union’s wedding, also chimed in. “We need to stop waiting for other people to validate us. We need to start a movement amongst ourselves,” she said.

Be sure to pic up the latest issue on news stands now.

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