Essence Highlights Nicole Beharie, Alfre Woodard and Laverne Cox

*The face of the small screen is changing.

And Essence magazine knows it as the publication’s upcoming issue takes a look at women who called “channel changers.” Among those profiled are “The Walking Dead’s” Danai Gurira, “Sleepy Hollow” star Nicole Beharie, Laverne Cox of “Orange Is the New Black” and Alfre Woodard from “State of Affairs.

The attention to the newest movers and shakers on TV comes amid the success of Kerry Washington on ABC’s “Scandal” as well as the buzz generated regarding “Orange is the New Black.” As a result, Black women are experiencing an increased presence on the small screen. Of the nearly 30 new shows premiering this fall on network and cable TV channels, a Black actress will be prominently featured in 11 of them.

The added exposure has only helped Beharie, whose work on “Sleepy Hollow” has attracted viewers from across the pond, in more ways than one.

“When I went to London, I found the people there were [initially] watching it for Tom Mison. Because they were watching it for him, they had to take me into their homes too,” the actress told Essence about the benefits of viewers initially tuning in to see her co-star. “There’s something about that—I think it’s really powerful. Even if I had to sneak through the door, I got in there, and we’re just slowly working on minds…You’re actually warming people’s hearts by just being around…It’s what we’re talking about: Every night, there’s going to be someone of color in the people’s living rooms…”

For more of Beharie’s interview as well as the magazine’s coverage of the other channel changers, pick up the latest issue of Essence, which hits newsstands on September 5.


(Essence Highlights Nicole Beharie, Alfre Woodard and Laverne Cox)