Honoree: Javicia Leslie
The Grind: Actress
Find Her: @javicia
Javicia Leslie knows how to adapt quickly to change. She doesn’t have a story of being spotted in a mall and starring in a summer blockbuster. She practiced the craft, auditioned for roles, trained her voice, mind and body. She worked, landing roles in short films, television movies, and reoccurring roles on television series. Now, Javicia is filming the biggest role of her life, Batwoman.
When the announcement was made this summer, the news spread like wildfire—Batwoman was going to be Black. “For all of the little black girls dreaming to be a superhero one day… it’s possible!,” she has said. Javicia’s comments were flooded with support. As often is the case for Black women, this advancement was not just for Javicia. It was for women, it was for Black people, it was for DMVers, it was for past and present attendees of HBCUs, it was for Hampton University.
Of course, with the good comes the trolls. A few hateful comments made their way to her social media profiles but her excitement and pride did not waver. Using Eartha Kitt as inspiration, Javicia plans to use her art as activism. She issues a single warning to the bots and avatar-less commenters. “To all those leaving racist comments and messages on my page…it only makes me go harder,” she writes on Instagram. As Javicia continues to film Batwoman in British Vancouver, she shares behind the scenes videos of her days, training, practicing Muay Thai, and sharing vegan eating tips. Javicia Leslie is a real life super hero.