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Ava DuVernay

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EBONY magazine’s Power Issues were revealed yesterday and its cover models include Nas, Ava DuVernay, Simone Biles and John Legend. The four-cover book includes exclusive interviews with the talents who have changed the landscape of their respective industries.

Author, Keith Reed notes that with the Obama family exiting the White House, we’re looking for beacons of change and positivity. “This year’s EBONY Power 100 celebrates our doers, risk takers and makers of things,” he says. “These men and women will carry the promise of the Obama era into the future, and their accomplishments and innovations reassure us that change isn’t coming—it’s here.”


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Check out a couple gems from Nas and Ava’s interviews, below!

DuVernay on her success and balancing with personal life: “I feel grateful for all of it, but I’m also putting it all into context. This year was a beautiful year for me professionally, but also I lost my father,” she says just before dissolving into tears. “When you’re sitting on top of the world, you want to be sitting there with the people who you love. I’d rather him be here than any of this happening,” she concedes.

DuVernay on the responsible of delivery good work: “I don’t feel pressure until [a project] is getting close to coming out,” she says. “I just focus on the joy of making it. I hope that lasts.”

Nas on being an activist: “When I see injustice it hurts, so I speak about it. It just so happens I might be wearing a Dries Van Noten suit while I’m speaking,” he says quietly.

On enjoying the finer things in life: “I like things in the world that are appealing to the eye. So why lie about it?” he acknowledges, mentioning his penchant for Italian shoes. “One thing that kills me is these holier than thou, super clean phonies who walk around like they live in heaven and they’re a step above everybody else. No, we’re human beings striving to be the best we can be. We’re striving for greatness all the time.”

Check out more of the interviews by going here.


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Nas, Ava DuVernay And More Black Stars Cover EBONY’s ‘Power Issue’  was originally published on