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ESSENCE Celebrates #BlackGirlMagic Class of 2016 on February Cover

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Photo Credit: Dennis Leupold

In a very special Black History Month issue, ESSENCE celebrates those shaping our future by highlighting the #BlackGirlMagic Class of 2016, featuring covers of Chi-raq's Teyonah Parris, black-ish's Yara Shahidi and social activist Johnetta "Netta" Elzie.

#BlackGirlMagic: Why Black Women Have 'That Thing' And You Don't Have to Understand It

"Netta," who was one of the prominent faces of the #Ferguson uprising, is joined by other activists (such as Jessica Byrd and Bree Newsome) in the "On Our Radar" list. Other groups of young women ESSENCE salutes are emerging stars (like Zendaya and Aja Naomi King), athletes (we love you, Simone Biles!), tech stars, fashion and beauty mavens, as well as women of the arts.

Behind the Cover: Teyonah Parris Talks #BlackGirlMagic and What it Means to Her

"Being a part of this reemergence of a movement both pro-diversity and pro-woman is the best part of being a Black girl," says 16-year-old Shahidi.

Behind the Cover: Johnetta 'Netta' Elzie Talks #BlackGirlMagic, Activism and Motivation

For more #BlackGirlMagic magic, and an in-depth look at why Black History Matters, pick up the February 2016 issue of ESSENCE, on newsstands now!

MORE #BLACKGIRLMAGIC:

Behind the Cover: Yara Shahidi on Tracee Ellis Ross, #BlackGirlMagic and Being Comfortable in Your Own Skin

PHOTOS: #BlackGirlMagic: Fresh FacesTaking Over the Fashion World