Nicole Beharie & Danai Gurira Cover Essence


“Sleepy Hollow” actress Nicole Beharie has landed what will hopefully be the first of many covers for Essence magazine.

Though I had hoped Nicole would grace the cover alone, she has instead been featured alongside another worthy cover star: Danai Gurira of “The Walking Dead,” Alfre Woodard, who has been featured on a solo cover in the past, and surprisingly, LaVerne Cox of “Orange is the New Black.”

Essence is known to be quite stingy when it comes to who graces their magazine. Rather than feature new faces, the magazine is known to recycle the same celebs over and over again, often giving them multiple covers in the same year; so for Cox, a transsexual, to land a cover so quickly, is to say the least… interesting.

As for Nicole and Danai, both are gearing up for the return of their hit shows this fall. Beharie’s “Sleepy Hollow” returns on September 22, while “The Walking Dead” is set to return on October 12.

Above you can check out the cover, while inside photos will be posted as soon as my digital copy is available.
For all you “Sleepyheads, check out some new promo for the show released earlier today.

Pretty nice, don’t you think?


  1. No comment to the Essence cover.

    Geeked about the return of “Sleepy Hollow”!

  2. Laverne Cox just petitioned to have a child rapist/ killer transferred to a women’s prison because he is a transsexual. Cox is a man, was born a man, has a prostate and will never be a woman no matter what he says. If he wants to self-identify as a woman fine, but don’t go asking us black women to accept him as one of us because he is not. Essence is white owned and kowtowing to white society at large that wants to effeminize black men and erase black women.

  3. If a white looking woman (Mariah Carey) can be accepted as a black woman and an Asian looking woman (Kimora Simmons) can be accepted as a black woman then why a black man with breast implants can’t be accepted as a black woman too? I mean anybody can be us right?
    *sarcasm off*
    Essence should be ashamed of themselves. Laverne Cox is not a black woman and will never know what it feels like to be a black woman. Like all users Cox will ride the black woman train to prosperity and most of us will foolishly sit back and applaud like it is something to be proud of.

    Sandra Rose said it best, the transgender equality campaign is nothing but a war against biological women and girls. Cox campaigning on behalf of a man who raped and killed a 13-year old black girl is proof of that. Listen to how these trans people talk and you will hear their hatred and jealousy of real women. No way will I support this issue or magazine in general.

  4. I’m not the least bit excited for the return of Sleepy Hollow. I remember Brown Sista and most other black female related blogs doing promo for this show last year and I of course tuned in to support it. The show started off fine but eventually Nicole’s character (Abbie) was reduced to being a sidekick and I slowly lost interest. I know folks love Ichabbie and want to support Nicole in the fandom, but the way she downplays her character at Comic Con and other events really turn me off. She is in a unique position to really represent sistas but she is too busy playing up her white co-star Katia Winter. Winter by the way is also busy playing up herself because she knows without Ichabod she has no storyline and no purpose. The public loves Tom and Nicole/Ichabod and Abbie and Nicole should run with that and use it to her advantage. This is not a position black actresses find themselves in very often and I wish Nicole would accept her position as top dog and not try to hand it over to Katia Winter who is not the lead female and as we all know will find work in Hollywood quicker than Nicole ever will. Katia can land another lead TV role tomorrow, Nicole, not so much.

  5. Danai looks amazing I hope this season gives her more shine. Michonne has been totally underutilized. She has a major role in the comic book. Should have known TV couldn’t deal with her the way she was originally written.

    Nicole is flawless. She is so gorgeous. I hope the inside pics show off her beauty. I hope this season of Sleepy Hollow focuses more on her and less on Crane and his obsession to get his mangy wife back.

    Loving the promo that features Abbie so much. She is the reason me and most black women watch this show. She rules the fandom and the fanfic world. Sleepy Hollow would die without her character.

  6. Sorry, I hit enter too fast. Alfred looks good too. She is aging well.

    Like the rest of you I agree that a transgender man has no place on the cover of a magazine for women. Time is testing the waters. If we embrace this mess men with dicks will become the norm inside the pages as well. This is more erasure of the black women’s image we are seeing here.

    Don’t support this rape of the black woman’s image.

  7. I’m so tired of this creature being forced on us. “Laverne” is a self-hating mutilated man.

  8. @Wynter you are SOOOOO smart!!! It’s either a man or a transgender woman NOT a transgender man! You are all so focused on calling him a man that you can’t read or write properly.

  9. I recently just subscribed to Essence, as I figured it cheaper than buying a few copies every year. This is not to say I like who they always put on the cover of Essence. Unfortunately, Essence never thinks outside the box, and mixes the old with the new. Sista’s are on the rise in different fields who we are not aware of and would be really inspired by, like writers, directors, astronauts, activists, and Essence could even pare them with their favorite “Sista” celebrity to sell the magazine. I always see the usual suspects (Steve Harvey, Mary J. Blige, she must hold the record), but what about, Brandy, Toni Braxton, Kelly Rowland, Tika Sumpter, Nicole Beharie (Solo), Misty Copeland, T-Boz (we need to talk about Sickle Cell), JANET JACKSON, Ashanti, even Nicki Minaj (yes, I know), but anybody but Laverne Cox. WTF! I actually hope I don’t get this issue, as I don’t want to look at this woman/man. Sista’s are struggling and successful and we need affirmation and positively from a WOMAN. I will say that Laverne should be congratulated for making it so far in this industry especially being transgender. Laverne should be on the cover of OUT magazine.

    @Dana, if what you stated is accurate. That is sickening and Essence should’ve done their research on their cover subject (Laverne). I’m not homophobic; however I have never appreciated how LGBT seems to think their plight should be compared to the plight of Black people. Yes, it is a struggle for their civil rights, but its apples and chicken not even apples and oranges.

    As for the other ladies they look great, I love Alfre and I am not so aware of Danai because I don’t watch the Walking Dead, but good for them and their success. I am a fan of Sleepy Hollow and prior to last season, I learned Nicole would be in a show, so I watched and continued watching every episode because of her. To me, Nicole is the lead of the show, and people need to start giving her some recognition. To be a lead or at least the female lead on a hit t.v. show deserves our respect and admiration. Nicole deserves a solo magazine cover, particularly by her own people, but I guess she’s what?? not exciting enough, too humble, dated Fassbender, too black, what….???

  10. I am a huge fan of Nicole. Are they serious why is she sharing a cover ? She needs to be in the spotlight for herself. Nicole has done an amazing job on Sleepy Hallow! Counting down the days to Season 2.

    @kim I agree they need to have more substance on the covers real ppl and variety. Janet Jackson for starters even Toni Braxton.

    The ppl running/publishing the magazine need to change it up a bit.

    Good Job Nicole…. I hope to see her in a lot more projects, and magazine covers in the near future.

  11. @Haji
    It’s an abomination and more than likely so are you.

  12. I don’t have a problem with the cover- I got the impression it’s about fall tv, and these are the 4 big names.

  13. @Melanie
    It’s like the people at Essence have no idea about the show and how huge it is and the loyal following Nicole has amassed amongst the show’s fans, many of whom are black women who the show was targeted towards last year when it launched.

    Just like Kerry Washington who fronts her own show, Nicole is worthy of a cover and should not have to share with anyone else.

    In the meantime, we’ll get cover after cover in the next few months featuring the usual suspects: Nia Long, Gabrielle Union, Halle Berry, Queen Latifah… and so on and so on.

    And while I support these ppl, they are established already. How do they expect to cultivate a new generation of stars if they don’t give them some shine.

    It’s time and Nicole and Danai to shine on their own solo covers.

  14. Besides Alfre I don’t know who anyone else is. I hope there are some good articles inside.

  15. I think it is very important to acknowledge the difference between sex and gender. sex, is commonly considered the sexual designation you are born with. Gender is how you identify. An individual’s identity (gender) does not always match with their sex and its important to acknowledge the difference. Beyond that, both binaries (sex and gender) are wholly inadequate in describing the full spectrum of both traits. Individuals can be born and develop partial or complete components of BOTH sets of genitalia, and people can identify as a whole host of things between male and female, including intersex, genderqueer, etc.. These self selected designations are equally valid because no one is truly capable of defining an individual’s self-perception other than them. Within the black community we are sadly the last to recognize the truth of so many of these nuances in identity and it keeps our community divided. The most vulnerable population in America (to physical violence, blatant discrimination, etc.) are trans women of color and we would do well to rally behind them instead of debate the validity of their identity, which frankly, is well established in mainstream society.

  16. Nothing but propaganda.
    Trans women are men. Laverne Cox is man, with a prostate and the nature and strength of a man.
    He just does not want to be a man so he calls himself a woman and surgically has his body altered to resemble one.
    We black women are not going to rally behind black men who want to be women. If anything, you should accept your place as a man and rally behind your TRUE women who are being abused at an alarming rate by not only black men, but more and more, white men with power.
    There is a campaign going on to feminize black men, while simultaneously trying to make black women out to be masculine. This is the white male racist propaganda machine at war. All that double talk about sex and gender is just that: double talk. If you are born with a prostate and a dick you are man and no amount of titties and Ruby Woo will change that.

  17. At some point enough is enough. If you don’t like something about yourself, try to improve yourself within reason.

    To totally change your GENDER/SEX, which (scientifically speaking) are decided by biology, is asinine. Everything needs a limit. As someone who was born a woman, NOT by choice, but factors out of my control, I don’t want “Laverne” in my sector.

    He has a form of mental illness, and with that I do sympathize. But a woman he is not, and I will not accept it.

    Please recognize the attack on the black man. For everyone not killed, there is an attempt to put him in jail. For everyone not in jail, there is an attempt to portray him as effeminate or even better gay/trans.

    Tell me, why do the white gays in forefront of the media look like Andy Cohen or Anderson Cooper? Tastefully dressed, highly educated, articulate. But the black gays look like Miss Lawrence (RHOA), Derek J (RHOA), or “Laverne”? It’s all an agenda.

    Please stop stanning for this creature.

  18. If Laverne has a vagina now, then she is biologically a woman. Its a result of medical advance that all have not begun to see the depths of yet… so get ready. It is also courageous for her to act unabashed in defending the rights of the transgendered -we cannot accept discrimination within any boundary… stand up for a fellow human being!

  19. Laverne cannot change her chromosomes. A vagina alone does not make a woman.

    This isn’t about discrimination. This is about concepts that certain people, including myself, feel are adverse to humanity being forced on us.

    He is not a woman.

  20. I agree that Nicole and Danai need their own SEPARATE covers of Essence.

  21. @Renee
    I do not agree with you. Medically being given something that resembles a a vagina does make you a woman. White folks tanning will not make then black and putting on a dildo will not make a woman a man. Chromosomes and genetics cannot be changed. You can add on or have anything removed from your body you want, but that won’t change who you are and what you were born as, it will only change your outward appearance.

  22. So i missed a lot and I just got annoyed so I’m going to educate ya’ll basics. There are people with XX XY XYY chromosomes. their are people with XY chromosomes who still develop vaginas. ya’ll understanding of science is too basic and “asinine” to try to use that argument so I reject it outright. Yay for narrowmindedness. Ya’ll win, peace.

  23. You are right. Laverne is a man! That’s right. Straight and narrow. Common sense.

    Anyone with those chromosomes you mentioned have that combination for reasons OUT OF THEIR CONTROL. This is not a criticism of them.

    This is about a man who thinks because he “feels” like a woman he is a woman. That is asinine and a form of mental illness.

  24. @shea, you realize they used to consider blackness a mental illness too right. #wordsoftheoppressor #reasonswewillneverbefree #usinghashtagscuzyallcannotbeserious

    so much of your behavior is determined by things outside of your chromosomes. Your DNA is not the end of what is genetics. there are levels to this shit. Your experiences in life can control how your genes are expressed. If you weren’t so inflexible I would try to explain to you in detail the relation between behavior and genetics but honestly, you simply aren’t worth my time. Please do no that the presence of a Y or not isn’t the sole determinant of even genital development. There are literally hundreds of genes that control that. And hundreds more that contribute to the development of secondary sex characteristics. but go ahead and rest easy in your inaccurate, and hateful understanding.

    also fyi, i have a degree from harvard in genetics so i know my sh*t boo.

  25. Congrats on your degree!

    Yes, I know blackness was considered a mental illness. They were wrong too.

    My comment was about DNA being out of a person’s control at their birth. I said that my post was not a criticism of anyone’s particular genetic composition. I know that some people are not born in the traditional gender categories. That is an entirely separate experience from being born a male and deciding you feel like a woman and decide to “become” one.

    Laverne is a man. I do not have a problem with him. I feel sorry for him. I do not feel he should be mistreated, ostracized, or even isolated for the decision he has made.

    My issue from the jump is that Essence for years has gained the trust NATURAL-BORN black women to be our monthly narrative.

    Regardless of what Laverne perceives himself as, he can never relate to once being queens in your homeland to be savagely taken forced to cater to a white woman for centuries.

    He can never relate to being considered ugly for generations for having full lips/full bottoms, only for the 21st century to come and Iggy Azalea and Angelina Jolie be praised for it.

    Does Laverne have a story? He does. I have no problem with him expressing it. But to force it on a lineage of people–black women–who have been historically and presently misrepresented is appalling.

    If all of those life experiences you speak of that influences one’s gender can’t allow Laverne to grasp this, he certainly is not a black woman.

  26. What you are failing to recognize is that those same genetics could very well inform the mental state of being transgender…. that is my point. Even if someone is born and looks PERFECTLY male (as you would call it), their can be a discontinuity with that and self-perception due partly or even wholly to genetics. But yeah, I think you are more intent on excluding LaVerne Cox from the black woman experience than including her. And I think that she would agree that being a transgender woman of color is distinct from being a black woman. The latter, has inherited the product of years and centuries of discrimination, the former is more likely to walk down a street and be beat death on sight.

  27. Exactly! So Laverne needs to tell his narrative elsewhere. Not attempt to streamline it into the narrative of a group of natural-born black women. We started our own story. He should do the same.

    Also, I don’t use the terms like “perfectly” when describing humans. But that would be really going off topic. Just like we already have when I mentioned genetics as a sub point, not the overall theme of this discussion. 😉

  28. shea, it didn’t sound like a sub point it sounded like your thesis. and yes she should totally turndown an interview with Essence that they request. And please read at least two of her interviews because she most definitely establishes her own narrative. Expertly. If you want to claim that the experiences by a transgender woman of color are different than that of a woman or a woman of color then I would have to degree. But to say her claim to womanhood is less valid than any of the others is where I take pause. Just like the negro was wrongfully denied his/her/their right to humanity, denying someone who is a woman by gender (because sex is the biologically determined component and I can provide you with literature that shows it as such), and not by birth presentation is wrong.

  29. Then we’ll just disagree.

    He’ll live. He has obviously made it all this time without me validating him. I have made it without calling him a woman. I just hope he has peace.

    He is a man in my eyes. His humanity is not my any less valid to me. I just don’t accept the notion he is a woman.

    We’ll all be fine.

  30. that moment when the point still flies over the other persons head and you just give up… if you saw the parallels between yourself and generations of oppressors i’m sure you would cringe. I for one, will not be okay in a world in which we are all just “Making it”. but yeah, it’s been absolutely spectacular discussing this with you and I hope to never have to do it again :).

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