The seductive—and scary—sides of winning big on a game show

I won nearly $40,000 on the Price is Right in 2018. Unexpectedly, the experience was almost tantric in its sensuality. The hours-long, anticipatory wait in line, furtive glances at strangers nearby, and sweat (so, so much sweat) as we stood in handmade shirts waiting for the chance to caress Drew Carey in a public forum… it was almost too much.

Interestingly, we weren’t all there for the same reason. Not all of us planned to actually ‘come on down.’ Sure, the vast majority of the hundreds of us who gathered for one of two tapings per day at CBS…


How authors and artists are making a space for us in science fiction.

Illustration: Dani Pendergast

Whether here on Earth or in a galaxy far, far away, there is a dire need for representation. Thankfully, Black writers and creatives are bringing a new hope for the future of diversity in the vast worlds of science fiction.

Despite a bevy of writers releasing or publicizing science fiction and fantasy that centers on people of color, some of the most-anticipated fantasy realms remain whitewashed. Yet, there is hope. A handful of enlightened publishers and film distributors are catering to a large and growing audience of…


LIFE & DEATH

Some people were monuments. They were institutions. Eras. And losing X is losing the only other person who remembers what I remember about us.

With DMX on the set of Aaliyah’s posthumous ‘I Miss You’ video shoot, 2002.

I loved him, still. He was one of those people you could never forget, the kind you couldn’t help but check up on years after you swore you’d never talk to him again. He was loveable and wild, and he was more careful with others than he was with himself. We were lovers and friends, and when our time was over, he left me with some of the most endearing, thrilling, and unforgettable memories of my life. We fought like dogs in the halls and lobbies of posh Beverly Hills hotels, spent dusk to dawn in recording studios, and nights…


Black actors settling for trauma roles should be a thing of the past

Photo: Marsai Martin/Getty Images

After winning two NAACP Image Awards this past year, Marsai Martin recently turned heads in an interview. When asked what type of projects she wanted to produce next, she made it clear. She would say no to any “Black pain projects.” Even at 16, the star recognizes her power and has no qualms about wielding it on and off the set.

Martin may be young, but she’s nobody’s rookie. In short order, she became a household name by starring in ABC’s hit series black-ish. Then she broke a world record by becoming the youngest executive producer in Hollywood history.

She…


The poet and organizer reflects on writing, hoops, and relationships

Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Jennie Bergqvist

Poet Mahogany L. Browne made her young adult novel debut in January with Chlorine Sky, a literary gift told in verse. Chock full of resonant Black girl childhood moments, Chlorine Sky is a coming-of-age story about the power and perils of a young friendship and the growing pains it takes to become self-aware and self-assured. We journey through it all with the book’s protagonist, Sky, a teen with mighty basketball skills trying to understand — and accept — who she is and who she is becoming as she experiences colorism and sexism. …


The ZORA Interview

Rowland’s New EP ‘K’ Releases Today, Plus She’s Not Rushing the ‘Snap Back’ Body After Birth of Baby Noah

Photo of Kelly Rowland with a logo that says “THE ZORA EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW” on the right.
Photo of Kelly Rowland with a logo that says “THE ZORA EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW” on the right.
Illustration by Dennis Huynh for ZORA. Photo courtesy of Kelly Rowland.

Kelly Rowland is celebrating her 40th birthday, a new baby, a new clothing line, and her new music release K, a soul-confirming, five-bop, melanin-popped dance-in-your-house-naked-during-Covid jaunt into fun and discernment.

She is poised to talk about this record when her littlest co-worker decided he had something to say. Newborn Noah — just about a month old — gurgles and coos. Rowland takes a moment to attend to him. She murmurs in a sing-songy, soft voice. Asks about his bottle. And in so doing she signals that work doesn’t trump motherhood, but can live side-by-side with it. …


Photo illustration; image source: Jack Mitchell/Getty Images

An interview with the 96-year-old legendary actress about her new book

In her forward to Cicely Tyson’s memoir, Just As I Am, Viola Davis writes, “She is not just the performer who has so deftly captured the breadth of the human experience, with all of its unslicked edges. She is Cicely the woman, someone who has grappled with the fears and fragilities many of us carry.” How else can one encapsulate all that Tyson holds in her tiny yet formidable frame?

For eight decades, Cicely Tyson has captured our hearts and our dreams whether on the small screen in Roots or How to Get Away With Murder, the silver screen in…


First Look: Davis talks about Ma Rainey’s swagger and Chadwick Boseman’s last role

Viola Davis in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
Viola Davis in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
Viola Davis talks to ZORA about Ma Rainey for the Netflix adaptation of the August Wilson play, directed by George C. Wolfe and starring Chadwick Boseman. Photos: David Lee/Netflix

ZORA’s exclusive First Look at the film adaptation of August Wilson’s 1984 play, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which will be released on Netflix December 18, 2020.

When we first see the Mother of the Blues in Netflix’s new adaptation of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, she is swinging her thick hips, breasts spill out of her dress, her gold front teeth glisten and the prim and proper audience salivates as they sit on their makeshift box stools and sway to the sexy music. It’s hot. It’s dark. …


The Grammy-nominated multi-hyphenate and new mom shares her love of reading through social media

A selfie of Amerie with a bookshelf behind her.
A selfie of Amerie with a bookshelf behind her.
Photo courtesy of Amerie.

At the turn of the millennium, a fresh, soulful, and versatile talent, Amerie set the music scene on fire — her debut single “Why Don’t We Fall in Love” quickly climbed the Billboard charts and became one of the hottest breakout songs of the early 2000s. On her second album, Touch, the standout, self-written single “1 Thing,” garnered critical acclaim in addition to its digital download snagging certified gold in ringtone releases. With its backdrop of go-go beats and sampling of the funk record, “Oh, Calcutta!” the singer-songwriter soon found herself a unique and sought-after talent in the industry.

In…


From cooking a billion dinners to homeschooling their kids, celebs share how Mother’s Day is the same yet different this year

Nicole Ari Parker, Sophie Tei Naaki Lee Kodjoe, Boris Kodjoe, and Nicolas Neruda Kodjoe. Photo: Donato Sardella/Getty Images

Mothers — and daughters — are stumped at having to put a new spin on an old day during a pandemic. And while many restaurants are offering fancy brunch takeout and Zoom cocktails might be on deck, celebrity parents like Nicole Ari Parker and Sherri Shepherd are using this Mom’s Day to fight the burnout of their day jobs and refocus on what’s really important: their family and serving others.

Parker is just happy to be at home and to sit down.

“I travel so much for work,” she says. “I was recently shooting Empire in another city, so for…

ZORA

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