All this month, Essence.com will present TWENTY, THE REMIX—three digital exhibits I curated celebrating excellence in the worlds of acting, art, and fashion. Continuing with a theme I love, exalting Black greatness while telling our stories, these galleries showcase those who pave the way for the next generations. These are our superstars, bright lights illuminating the way for others to follow.

Art

TWENTY ICONIC ACTORS is a group of men whose work redefines the world of entertainment. Historically, the Black actor has dared to challenge the stereotypes of what it means to be a Black man in a White world. This list contains icons like Harry Belafonte, Ossie Davis, and Sidney Poitier, who heroically raised their voices in the battle for Civil Rights. It also praises the new superstars like Idris Elba, Donald Glover, and Michael B. Jordan, who are redefining the image of the Hollywood leading man.

I couldn’t be more thrilled to contribute these lists of my favorite things to a magazine as historic as ESSENCE. As a child, I read my mother’s ESSENCE magazines from cover to cover, breathing in the beauty and wonder of the Black experience. I found inspiration in the pages of ESSENCE. I hope these galleries do that for a new generation of readers.

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