Essence Came All The Way Through With Their Dec/Jan Covers
If you’re tired of seeing the same selection of Black celebs grace the covers of magazines, you’ll be delightfully surprised by the cover stars of Essence‘s December/January issue. For an end of the year feature on “everyone who gave us life in 2017,” the mag appropriately chose Maxine Waters and Kofi Siriboe to represent on newsstands. Though, with a list that also includes Sza, Issa Rae, Kamala Harris and more, we imagine that decision wasn’t easy.
During the past year, Waters has not only demanded government accountability for the citizens she represents as a Congresswoman, she’s also shown other women — particularly Black women –how to take action, demand respect, and, of course, reclaim their time.
“One of the things I discovered a long time ago was that I make people uncomfortable and that my advocacy goes beyond what politicians normally do,” she told Essence. “I have a strong sense of what’s fair and what’s not fair, and for vulnerable people who are being taken advantage of, or who are being bullied or intimidated, I tend to want to be protective or to fight for them.”
That, she most certainly has done with unapologetic fervor, much like her cover counterpart, Siriboe, who is shifting the image of Black men, both with his “Queen Sugar” character Ralph Angel and his true self. At 23, Siriboe may be early on in his journey of manhood and self-actualization but he’s most certainly stepping into his true self day by day, starting with an acceptance and appreciation of his name.
“In first grade I was asked ‘What’s your favorite food?’ I said, ‘Fufu,’ and everybody laughed,” he told Essence. “I also remember asking my teacher not to say my full name, Nana-Kofi [Nana means ‘son of kings’]. Last year I went to Kumasi, in Ghana, for the first time and met the king, whose real name is Nana.I didn’t always understand the roots that are woven into my name, but that realization is happening now.”
The Dec/Jan issue of Essence hits newsstands this week.