Ava DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey and Storm Reid Rule New Essence Magazine Cover

By Sameer Rao Jan 19, 2018

Essence magazine highlights three generations of #BlackGirlMagic on its February cover and accompanying story, which features “A Wrinkle in Time” director Ava DuVernay and stars Oprah Winfrey and newcomer Storm Reid


Essence published an abridged version of the story online yesterday (January 18) before the print edition hit newsstands today (January 19). The fantasy movie’s director and actresses discuss the film’s development and themes, including its importance as a high-budget film with a Black woman directing and a Black girl in the lead role. Reid portrays Meg Murry, the film and original book’s main character, who embarks on an epic journey across dimensions to find her scientist father (Chris Pine). 

“I read it, and of course, as any reader, you put yourself in the book,” DuVernay said in a press release about the 1962 children’s novel by Madeline L’Engle. “You see people that you know inhabiting the world. So when I went in to talk to [Walt Disney Studios EVP of Production Tendo Nagenda] about it, I said, ‘This is how I see it. I see this as being multicultural, even down to the main character.’ I’m like, ‘She’s gotta be Brown.’” 

Winfrey sees the importance of Reid’s role for future generations of Black and Brown children, according to another quote from the press release.

“Sometimes I’d be watching her on set and would really tear up at her performance, because she will become for this generation what Judy Garland’s Dorothy in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ was for previous generations,” Winfrey remarked. “She gets to be that. This little Stormy, our little Stormy, gets to carry that on for generations to come. She gets to be that light for girls like herself.”

DuVernay added that "A Wrinkle in Time” is a message directed at Black girls and women.

“I so want Black women to love it and Black girls to love it,” she said. “I want everybody to love it, but this is a love letter to us. This is me trying to make us in a way we haven’t been rendered in film before—as a firmly centered hero in a fantasy about other worlds and as the saviors of the whole universe. Looking at everything we think we’re not, and at the end of the movie we are all of everything.”

Read the shortened profile at Essence.com, or pick up a print issue today for the full version.