by ALICIA QUARLES
Photography: GAVIN BOND
Creative Direction: COURTNEY WALTER
Hanging on top with Dwayne Johnson for his EBONY Power 100 cover shoot.
HOMETOWN: Hayward, Calif.
The photo shoot took place in the penthouse and on the roof of the Shangri-La Hotel in Vancouver, B.C. The Shangri-La is the city’s tallest building— 62 stories high and 646 feet tall—and the EBONY team was the first to shoot on its rooftop. Our fearless photographer, Gavin Bond, braved the heights to get these amazing shots.
The crew noshed on albacore niçoise salad and an assortment of artisanal sandwiches. For dessert, they had the classic Canadian treat Nanaimo bars. Dwayne Johnson (DJ) kept it simple with roasted chicken and veggies.
DJ has been filming in British Columbia's largest metropolis since last summer, and his film created about 3,000 local jobs. The City of Vancouver proclaimed Oct. 19 as Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Day.
The star is currently working on Skyscraper, about an FBI agent who is framed for the destruction of the tallest building in the world, which is slated for release in July 2018. Next up in theaters is Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which will arrive just in time for Christmas.
With over 95 million followers on Instagram, DJ is known for his positive and motivational posts such as this: "Consistent hard work gains success and just because something's never been done, doesn't mean it can't be done. #RaiseTheBar #YOUvsYOU"
Read the exclusive story in full by Alicia Quarles, in the December 2017 issue of EBONY magazine.
When EBONY launched the 100 Most Influential Black Amer-icans in April 1971, my dad, John H. Johnson, wanted to highlight and celebrate the most outstanding African-Americans for their contributions across multiple disciplines. Today, I say with equal parts love, pride and respect, that my dad was exactly the kind of individual the list was established to recognize.
Over the years, that list has evolved into what is now our EBONY Power 100, which continues to serve as a barometer of success, both to the Black middle-schooler struggling to find his or her place in the world and to those who know where they want to go but need shining examples to show them how to get there. The list is more important now than ever.
This year's honorees are truly impressive. They include Community Crusaders, Entre-preneurs, Power Players and others. Perhaps what's most gratifying about them is that they also use their individual power to uplift and to ignite the spark of possibility in the next generation.
Additionally, we are saluting the incomparable U.S Rep. Maxine Waters with the prestigious Icon Award for her 37-year commitment to public service and for being the voice of the many who are voiceless.
I am especially proud to acknowledge Vista Equity Partners Founder, Chairman and CEO Robert F. Smith as the recipient of the inaugural John H. Johnson Award. The astute leader also is a visionary businessman who has signed the Giving Pledge, a commitment to donate most of his wealth to philanthropic causes—and I can think of no one more deserving to receive this extraordinary honor.
Keeping with the theme of high achievement, we catch up with our cover star, Dwayne Johnson—currently one of the world’s highest-paid actors—while filming in Vancouver, B.C. He discusses his meteoric career trajectory and his plans for the future.
This issue is also jam-packed with articles designed with you in mind: In Culture, the Rev. Jesse Jackson offers the final word on the "Take a Knee" peaceful protest movement.
Our Beauty & Style editor showcases hot outerwear to keep you warm this season and some fabulous new product lines. Plus, in Lifestyle, author and food blogger Joycelyn Delk Adams shares tempting holiday cake recipes. But don't worry, the section also includes fitness ideas and healthy seasonal eating tips to get you to the New Year without too much damage to your waistline.
Going forward into 2018, we'll continue to present the major players, trends and issues that matter to you. So please, come along for the ride.
Odds are you have a young adult or two on your gift list. This generation of music lovers, tech geeks and bookish types is sure to appreciate one of the items from our roundup, created especially for them. Take a look at the latest devices that aim to enhance the music-listening experience. Connect to the technology with gadgets that others will covet. And take note of these coffee-table books. Load one onto a tablet or Kindle to make someone’s season merry and bright.
by THEO DANIELS
Fossil Gen 3 Smartwatch
Amazon Echo (2nd Generation)
LG Stylo™ 3
Available in Rose Gold and Titan Gray
Roku Streaming Stick+
Beats by Dre Solo3
Wireless On-Ear Headphones
by JORIAN SEAY
by THEO DANIELS
Chasing Light: Michelle Obama Through the Lens of a White House Photographer
By Amanda Lucidon
Mother, wife, humanitarian—the many facets of First Lady Michelle Obama are captured in this photographic essay that depicts her promoting girls’ education and supporting military families. There are 150 photos paired with personal reflections from Lucidon, the former official White House photographer.
Bob Marley and the Golden Age of Reggae 1975-1976
By Kim Gottlieb-Walker
If you are a fan of reggae, photographer Gottlieb-Walker will take you on a journey of the genre’s most famous son with exclusive photos of performances and key moments, such as Marley’s first U.S. television appearance and the Wonder Dream Concert with Stevie Wonder in Jamaica.
Chuck D Presents This Day in Rap and Hip-Hop History
By Chuck D with foreword by Shepard Fairey
Even if you don’t actually remember some of the early rap acts—Kurtis Blow, Sugarhill Gang and Grandmaster Flash—don’t stress. Chuck D, one of the most influential rappers, drops insider knowledge into this urban music retrospective, and he gives props to contemporary artists such as Kanye and Kendrick Lamar.
$15.99, Kindle; $19.49 amazon.com
By Bill Duke
with interviews by Shelia P. Moses
You can almost hear India.Arie singing “Brown Skin” every time you swipe your tablet or turn a page of this lovely photographic homage to sisters with mocha, bronze and mahogany skin tones. Filmmaker Duke, who brought audiences the documentary of the same name, showcases his appreciation for Black women.
$10.49, Kindle; $25.11 amazon.com
Afros: A Celebration of Natural Hair
By Michael July
Whether you wear a fro, locs, twists or some other natural style, you’ll appreciate the artistry and history of the Afro in this 450-page book. Power to the peeps!
Holiday magic happens with this multitasking marvel.
Keep up with the holday hustle with the LG Stylo™ 3. Plans start at $30/mo with no annual contracts.
See cricketwireless.com for more offers.
LG Stylo™ 3 available in Rose Gold and Titan Grey
14 CEO's Letter
16 The Insiders
18 Making the Cover
Colin Kaepernick’s Silent Protest Speaks Volumes; Philanthropist and Film Producer Kimberly Steward; #Goals: A Chat with George Cleveland, VP of Channel Operations for Cricket Wireless; Travel: Sights, Eats and Lodging in Vancouver, B.C.
’Tis the Season to Give Like a Baller: A Luxury Gift Guide; Winter WORKbook: The Warmest and Most Stylish Office Gear
New Beauty Lines We Covet; Men’s Grooming: The Millennial Beard Trend Grows; A Season of Shimmering Products Help to Brighten the Holidays
U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters Enjoys Some Me-Time; Author and TV Personality Joselyn Delk Adams Bakes Beautiful Cakes for the Holidays; Winter Sports and Activities to Incorporate into Your Workout; Tips to Avoid Putting on the Holiday 10; Is Your Mate Enhancing Your Life?
56 DJ At the top
Dwayne Johnson is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, with a loyal fan base of both young and old. How did the former wrestler come so far, and what’s next?
66 The EBONY Power 100
Our annual roundup of Black America’s most influential leaders, motivators and thinkers.
The Latest on Guitar Player Steve Lacy; Buying a Gift for a Millennial? We’ve Got Tech, Books and Music Ideas
98 Back In The Day