Cast of 'The Woman King' Covers Essence's September Issue
On September 16, audiences will witness the story of the Agojie, the all-female warrior unit who protected the African kingdom of Dahomey from its enemies in the 19th century. Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and starring Viola Davis, Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, Adrienne Warren, and Thuso Mbedu, The Woman King not only uncovers and reframes a significant chapter in West African history. It renews a sense of pride and purpose for Black women of all walks of life across the diaspora.
The film follows General Nanisca, played by Davis, as she trains the next generation of recruits with the blessing of King Ghezo, played by John Boyega. The concept was first presented to Davis in 2015, but the idea that a project like this could actually happen took years for the Academy Award winner to grasp.
Writer: Brande Victorian
Brande Victorian is a writer and savvy editorial leader with 15 years of experience in print and digital media. Known for authentic storytelling and viral, human-centered celebrity interviews, as the head of Entertainment at ESSENCE magazine, Brande has covered red carpet premieres from Los Angeles to London, offered commentary on Good Morning America and AP News, and been featured in Forbes.
Photographer: Lelanie Foster
Lelanie Foster is a photographer from The Bronx, NY, whose work is centered in honoring the strength and beauty of black and brown people while encompassing themes of identity, sisterhood, beauty, and community. Lelanie’s unique perspective and sensitive approach to her subjects allows for imagery that reflects intimately warm and organic moments in a most delicate human way.
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