Black Excellence: A Year Of ESSENCE Covers In 2016

It's been a roller coaster of a year, but one thing that's never wavered is our love of amazing celebrities who remind us that black is beautiful. This year, wonderful men and women like President Barack and Michelle Obama, Gabrielle Union, Viola Davis, Denzel Washington, and Maxwell graced the cover of our magazine. So, to celebrate, here's every ESSENCE cover from 2016.

Joslyn Winkfield Dec, 20, 2016

1 of 56 GREG LOTUS

Lupita Nyong'o kicked off 2016 with an ESSENCE cover.

2 of 56 GREG LOTUS

"After 12 Years a Slave and the quote-unquote meteoric rise, I felt like there was a moment where I was suffering from whiplash. I had talked so much about who I was that I'd forgotten who I was," Lupita told ESSENCE for her January 2016 cover.

3 of 56 GREG LOTUS

Lupita Nyong'o

4 of 56 GREG LOTUS

Lupita Nyong'o

5 of 56 GREG LOTUS

Lupita Nyong'o

6 of 56 DENNIS LEUPOLD

Yara Shahidi

7 of 56 DENNIS LEUPOLD

Teyonah Parris

8 of 56 DENNIS LEUPOLD

Johnetta Elzie

9 of 56 DENNIS LEUPOLD

Yara Shahidi

10 of 56 DENNIS LEUPOLD

Teyonah Parris

11 of 56 DENNIS LEUPOLD

Johnetta Elzie

12 of 56

Johnetta Elize, Teyonah Parris and Yara Shahidi

13 of 56 Nino Munoz

Chris Rock

14 of 56 Nino Munoz

Chris Rock

15 of 56 Nino Munoz

Chris Rock

16 of 56 Nino Munoz

Chris Rock

17 of 56 DENNIS LEUPOLD

Audra McDonald

18 of 56 DENNIS LEUPOLD

Audra McDonald

19 of 56 DENNIS LEUPOLD

Audra McDonald

20 of 56 DENNIS LEUPOLD

Audra McDonald

21 of 56 DENNIS LEUPOLD

Audra McDonald

22 of 56 DENNIS LEUPOLD

Ciara

23 of 56 DENNIS LEUPOLD

Ciara

24 of 56 DENNIS LEUPOLD

Ciara

25 of 56 DENNIS LEUPOLD

Ciara

26 of 56 DENNIS LEUPOLD

May 2016

27 of 56 Nino Munoz

Andra Day

28 of 56 Nino Munoz

Andra Day

29 of 56 Nino Munoz

Andra Day

30 of 56 Nino Munoz

Andra Day

31 of 56 Warwick Saint

Maxwell

32 of 56 Warwick Saint

Maxwell

33 of 56 Warwick Saint

Maxwell

34 of 56 Warwick Saint

Omari Hardwick

35 of 56 Warwick Saint

Omari Hardwick

36 of 56 Warwick Saint

Omari Hardwick

37 of 56 Warwick Saint

Zendaya

38 of 56 Warwick Saint

39 of 56 Warwick Saint

40 of 56 Warwick Saint

41 of 56 Dennis Leupold

Uzo Aduba

42 of 56 Dennis Leupold

Uzo Aduba

43 of 56 Dennis Leupold

Uzo Aduba

44 of 56 Dennis Leupold

Uzo Aduba

45 of 56 Kwaku Alston

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama

46 of 56 Kwaku Alston

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama

47 of 56 Kwaku Alston

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama

48 of 56 Dennis Leupold

49 of 56 Dennis Leupold

Gabrielle Union

50 of 56 Dennis Leupold

Gabrielle Union

51 of 56 Dennis Leupold

Gabrielle Union

52 of 56 Dennis Leupold

Gabrielle Union

53 of 56 Kwaku Alston

Viola Davis and Denzel Washington

54 of 56 Kwaku Alston

Viola Davis and Denzel Washington

55 of 56 Kwaku Alston

Viola Davis

56 of 56 Kwaku Alston

Denzel Washington