Although we are currently in the year 2020, we are still at a time where we are still using the term, “the first black…” Nonetheless, it continues to show that times are changing, and our people are finally getting the opportunities and recognition they deserve. On Tuesday, Vanity Fair released their July/ August cover, which features none other than Viola Davis. The cover was shot by Dario Calmese, who has become the first black photographer to shoot a Vanity Fair cover.
The photo of Viola shows her wearing a gorgeous blue dress that shows her bare back. According to The Hill, the image is meant to channel the slave portraits taken by Louis Agassiz in the 1880s, in which they were photographed with their backs towards the camera showing off their scars.
Calmese said, “This image reclaims that narrative, transmuting the white gaze on Black suffering into the Black gaze of grace, elegance, and beauty.”
He took to social media to share his gratitude for the opportunity to shoot the cover, and also shared a reference photo and said, “Thank you to every black woman who’s felt invisible despite being on the front line of every fight. We see you. You are loved, you are powerful, and you are beautiful. This is for you.”
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Welcome to my protest. . . . Thank you @violadavis for being my co-conspirator. Thank you @vanityfair @kirapollack @_tara_johnson @michaeljkramer @radhikajones and art director @natmatsky for this opportunity & for believing in my vision. Thank you to every black woman who’s felt invisible despite being on the front line of every fight. We see you. You are loved, you are powerful, and you are beautiful. This is for you. . . Hair @jamikawilson MUA @autumnmoultriebeauty Set: @lizzielang . #violadavis #vanityfair #blacklivesmatter
In her interview for the magazine, Viola talked about her experience as a Black woman in Hollywood, as well as the U.S. given the current climate following the killing of George Floyd.
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TSR STAFF: Jade Ashley @Jade_Ashley94