by Lisa Irizarry
Creative Director: @thecourts
Photo Producer: @biancagreyy
There are plenty of rich sights and sounds to see and experience on the beautiful Caribbean paradise of St. Thomas. Ringed by clear, cobalt water and pearly sand beaches, St. Thomas’ Charlotte Amalie Harbor is one of the most beautiful natural harbors in the world with two cruise docks serving the 32-square-mile island. And there are many points of interest that speak to the African diaspora, such as the landmark flower-lined 99 Steps that wind up a hilly landscape and are constructed of bricks from Danish slave ships that served as ballast. If you’re planning a trip to this Virgin Islands hot spot, consider visiting during Carnival time, which is typically celebrated from the middle of April to the beginning of May.
EBONY was there for 2018 Virgin Islands Carnival and here is a photo gallery of some of the celebrations and festivities of the popular event to whet your appetite. READ MORE ABOUT ST. THOMAS HERE.
THINGS ARE HEATING UP IN THE WORLD OF ENTERTAINMENT.
It’s with great pleasure that we present to you our Black Hollywood issue. So many African-American actors, directors, writers and producers have been gaining significant ground in film, television and cable of late. They are telling stories of our lives and culture that can be told only through a Black perspective. So we are spotlighting this new wave of exciting talent, which includes Jordan Peele, who recently became the first Black writer to win a best original screenplay Oscar, for his film Get Out. And our list of hot directors includes Ryan Coogler, who directed the megahit Black Panther and is executive producing Creed 2, scheduled for release this fall.
Another star assuming a key role in Hollywood is Omari Hardwick, this month’s cover subject, who has captivated audiences in the hit Starz TV crime series Power, convincingly playing the multilayered character James “Ghost” St. Patrick. Hardwick has an inspiring story that he shares with EBONY readers; it is one that describes his rise from struggling actor living in his car to in-demand actor who is giving back to others. Fans can see him in this summer’s Sorry to Bother You.
Although we do love bringing you the stars, EBONY continues to maintain another important role: keeper of the truth. As such, we felt it necessary to enlist one of our great authors and scholars, Michael Eric Dyson, who has written many best-selling books and is a professor at Georgetown University, to address the importance of why our Black creatives don’t have the luxury of making work that is culturally uninformed. He also pays tribute to one of our great actors and activists, Harry Belafonte, and stresses the need for artists and entertainers to continue the mission of those enlightened individuals who came before them.
Other issues we continue to face are related to health and lifestyle. An expanded Bon Appétit section, in which we present recipes from three top chefs and nutrition advice from our experts, covers the Black vegan movement. And while the media have presented the opioid epidemic as a problem that impacts only White suburban and rural populations, the national death rate among African-Americans rose 41 percent in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Indeed, Black lives do and should matter, especially as it pertains to this latest drug crisis.
We sincerely hope you enjoy reading about your favorite celebrities and becoming more informed about today’s issues.
19 CEO's Letter
20 Making the Cover
23 As seen on Ebony.com
Author/Scholar Michael Eric Dyson Discusses Black Creatives; The National Opioid Crisis Deepens in the Black Community; Rhonesha Byng, CEO of Her Agenda
Plus-Size Fashion Blogger Nikki Frenney-Wiggins; Menswear: The Latest Pyer Moss Capsule Collection; Summer Hair and Skin Tips; Beauty Diaries: Kerry Washington; Beauty Down Under; Best Summer Beauty Looks; Mack Brown’s Skin and Fitness Tips for Men
Bon Appétit Special: The Vegan Movement; Travel: Other Sides of St. Thomas; Summer Nutrition Trends; Fitness: Get a Perfect Apple Bottom; Love & Relationships: 10 Places for Singles to Meet and Mingle
60 THE MAIN MAN
Omari Hardwick, who gained prominence on the gritty Starz series Power, is assuming the role of hot leading man—but he encountered some bumps on the road to Hollywood A-lister.
66 HOLLYWOOD SHUFFLE
Black talent is behind some of the film industry’s biggest successes. We bring you the actors, directors and writers making a splash—and changing the face of entertainment.
Spotlight on Insecure’s Y’lan Noel; Mary Mary’s Erica Campbell Family’s Act; Books: Catching Up With Author Attica Locke; Sports: Major League Baseball Players Try to Attract More Blacks to the Game
90 BACK IN THE DAY
Louis Gossett Jr.