Viola Davis says her entire life has been a protest. Plus, why her Vanity Fair cover is a big moment

Viola Davis is the cover star for Vanity Fair's July/August issue. Photo:
Viola Davis is the cover star for Vanity Fair's July/August issue. Photo:

The award-winning actress insists that there are many aspects of her life that have felt like a protest for the rights of black women and men.

Meanwhile, Viola was eager to protest against the killing of George Floyd recently, but due to the current health crisis, she felt isolated from the movement because she wasn't able to go out and protest straight away.

She is quoted on Vanity Fair saying: “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, just like introducing myself to you and saying, ‘Hello, my name is Viola Davis.'"

Viola Davis covers the July/August 2020 Vanity Fair issue, which has been a great talking point.

And this is why:

This Vanity Fair cover was photographed by Dario Calmese - the first black photographer to shoot a cover in the early 40-year existence of the publication. 

The cover also referenced a historical photograph of an enslaved man with whipping wounds on his back.  

Vanity Fair Editor-in-Chief Radhika Jones says the magazine cover is "a re-creation of the Louis Agassiz slave portraits taken in the 1800s - the back, the welts. This image reclaims that narrative, transmuting the white gaze on Black suffering into the Black gaze of grace, elegance, and beauty".

Compiled by Phelokazi Mbude

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