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EBONY - April 2018


Gabrielle Union—successful actress, best-selling author, baller’s wife and stepmom— has traveled the long road to happiness and finally found her stride

by Miki Turner
Photography: Nino Muñoz
Creative direction: Courtney Walter
Photo Production: Bianca Gray
Styling: Thomas Christoskikis
Makeup: Fiona Stiles
Hair: Larry Sims

Some days, she’s the overly protective stepmother to three adolescent Black boys. She knows there comes a point when you have to let go, but when you’re rearing African-American males in this alleged sweet land of liberty, that’s hard to do. Especially when your instincts and the viral smartphone footage of our "new normal" permeate your psyche 24/7.

Some days, she’s a real-life basketball wife, cheering for her husband as he effortlessly keeps up with teammates and opponents 10 to 12 years younger than he.

And some days, she’s a couch potato binge watching This Is Us and crying between bites of Garrett’s Popcorn and sips of her ice-cold Corona in the bottle. No shower. No makeup. No carpools. No husband. No kids.

Today, however, Gabrielle Union is an actress who just completed a four-hour photo shoot for EBONY, high in the Hollywood Hills. She squeals with delight when the photographers show her the images they’ve captured. At 45, the actress—who looks no older than she did 15 years ago—has become a legitimate multihyphenate, adding the roles of executive producer, author and clothing designer (of the Gabrielle Union Collection at New York & Company) to her nonpaying gigs: wife to NBA superstar Dwyane Wade and stepmother to his two sons and nephew who live with them.

Read the exclusive story in the April 2018 issue of EBONY magazine.

Behind The Scenes with Gabrielle Union
Behind The Scenes with Gabrielle Union

Gabrielle Union behind-the-scenes during her EBONY cover shoot.

Click on images to enlarge
Gabrielle Union, Photography by Nino Munoz
Gabrielle Union, Photography by Nino Munoz
Gabrielle Union, Photography by Nino Munoz
Gabrielle Union, Photography by Nino Munoz
Gabrielle Union, Photography by Nino Munoz
Gabrielle Union, Photography by Nino Munoz



Spring is a time for rebirth and reflection. In this issue, we look ahead to what the change of season will bring, and we stand in remembrance of the bold genius of a revolutionary civil rights icon. Of course, we would be remiss if we did not pay homage to motherhood—aka mother, madear or simply, momma.

Whatever the term of endearment used, in the words of Tupac in "Dear Mama," his tribute to the women who birthed and/or reared us, “You are appreciated.” To commemorate Mother’s Day, we are highlighting prominent celebrity mother-daughter duos who share a special bond. They include powerhouse actress and producer Jada Pinkett Smith and her mom, Adrienne Banfield Norris; grown-ish star Yara Shahidi and her mother, Keri Shahidi; A Wrinkle in Time star Storm Reid and Robyn Simpson; and reality TV star and Xscape alum Tameka "Tiny" Harris and daughter Zonnique.

If Rosa Parks was the matriarch of the Civil Rights Movement, there is little doubt who the patriarch was. We present a special tribute to the champion of equality and social justice, Martin Luther King Jr., who was assassinated at age 39 on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, at the Lorraine Motel.

Even 50 years after his murder, which sparked a tide of outrage, especially among African-Americans, the legacy of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning icon is still influencing groups today participating in nonviolent protests. From the well-attended Women’s March on Washington last year to the recent rallies urging Congress to enforce stricter gun law legislation, his enduring influence proves that although the assassin may have killed the man, he did not kill King’s dream.

We are happy to catch up on the buzz around one of our favorite actresses. Our beautiful April/May cover girl, actress-turned-author Gabrielle Union, lends her star influence to a new project and talks about being married to NBA superstar Dwyane Wade, taking on the role of stepmother and the struggle Black actresses still face in Hollywood.

Linda Johnson Rice

We know Gabrielle is going places. Now what about you? Those who have wanderlust will appreciate our Travel Guide, which includes tips on "How to Pack Like a Pro" and features some great carry-on bags to help you stay organized and fashionable. In addition, we have a "Bucket List for Black Travelers," with information on historic and cultural destinations across the globe.

And if that’s not enough, we have the votes in for our Top 10 HBCU Campus Queens. See which of the colleges made the list, and go ahead and take pride in the accomplishments, grace and poise of the Queens.

Enjoy the issue. We think it has a little something for everyone.

Linda Johnson Rice
—Linda Johnson Rice,
CEO of Ebony Media Operations

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Inside This Month's EBONY Magazine

10 Letters
12 CEO's Letter
14 Making the Cover
17 As seen on

18 Culture
Chicago Activist/Mom Tonya Burch Calls for Stricter Gun Laws After the Death of Her Son; Black Teachers Are Making an Exodus From the Profession—and Our Children Are Paying the Price; Sheena Allen, CEO of CapWay, Shows Us the Money

28 Fashion
Designers Sketch Their Visions for Meghan Markle’s Wedding Gown; Bridal Accessories That Stand Out; Three Style Insiders Share Their Vacay Packing Choices

36 Beauty
Must-Have Spring Makeup; Detox Your Hair for Warmer Weather; Beauty Diaries: Eva Marcille; The Dirt on Bacteria-Friendly Skin Care; Lighten Up Your Fragrance with the Latest Florals or Woody Scents; Tony Triumph Demonstrates How to Travel in Style

48 Lifestyle
Chef Jason Fullilove Recreates Scrumptious Soul Food; Tourists Are Going Back to Puerto Rico After Hurricane Maria; Bucket List Travel Destinations for African-Americans; Learn to Pack Like a Pro/The Best Carry-on Bags; Spot the Signs of Emotional Eating; Belly Fat Isn’t Pretty, But Help Is in Your Kitchen; Suffering a Bad Split from Your Boo? We Can Help

We catch up with our cover girl, Gabrielle Union, who explains how owning her truths has made her a better actress, activist, wife and stepmom.

Our royal revue spotlights EBONY’s Top 10 HBCU Campus Queens, who are passionate and outspoken about how they’ll make their mark on the world.

Famous daughters dish on the dynamics of the rock-solid bond with the No. 1 woman in their lives: Mom. Happy Mother’s Day, from Storm, Jada, Yara and Zonnique.

Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, but his legacy is still influencing a new generation of protesters.

84 Entertainment
Spotlight on Criminal Minds Actress Aisha Tyler; Find the Perfect Gift for Mom; Books You’ll Flip For; NASCAR Champions Diversity

98 Back In The Day
Beverly Johnson With Her Mother, Daughter and Granddaughter