Viola Davis takes the cover of Vanity Fair for the July/August issue with her beautiful glowing brown skin. The cover was shot by Dario Calmese, the 1st time a Black photographer has shot the cover.
Not only was the shoot a protest within itself but also comes after the actress and Oscar winner exercised her right to protest during the fight against systemic racism.
“My entire life has been a protest. My production company is my protest. Me not wearing a wig at the Oscars in 2012 was my protest. It is a part of my voice,” says Davis
Editor-in-chief, Radhika Jones, stated about Vanity Fair that “they’ve had a problem in the past with putting Black women on the covers.”
She also mentioned that she counted “only about 17 we count 17 Black people on the cover of Vanity Fair in the 35 years between 1983 and 2017.” She was determined to change that when she took on this role.
Not only was she determined to make room for others like Viola Davis, but also to hire more diverse creatives as well. Jones says, “it is my job, and the magazine’s job, to center people who are visionaries, who are moving the culture forward.”
This shoot also features the first black photographer (that she’s aware of) used for a Vanity Cover shoot. Photographer, Dario Calmese has previously photographer Billy Porter, George McKay, and Adrienne Warren.
Calmese said he based the cover on an 1863 photo of an enslaved person.
“I wanted to rewrite the white gaze on Black bodies, into something of elegance and beauty and power.”
We’re loving the power Queen Davis exuded with this fierce midnight blue cover shoot giving us all the feels!
Let us know what you think in the comments!