WILLOW SMITH, COCO JONES, LIA NEAL AND MORE TOP ESSENCE’S 35 UNDER 35
Essence magazine’s August issue will highlight some of Hollywood’s most fabulous young African American starlets. The magazine calls them “Young, Black and Amazing” because of their individuality, style and ability to stay classy even in the face of adversity.
The trailblazers include some young favorites that are true icons in their own right such as Willow Smith,11, Quvenzhane Wallis, 8, Coco Jones, 14, Gabrielle Douglas,16, and Lia Neal, 17.
Willow’s ability to articulate who she is with her style and new single “I Am Me” helped her get on the coveted list, while Quvenzhane’s Oscar-worthy performance in “Beasts of the Southern Wild” left audiences awestruck and made her the perfect candidate.
Coco Jones hasn’t ridden the coattail of her NFL player father. She has become a celebrity through her own merit, starring in Disney Channel’s hit movie “Let It Shine” and performing on the “New and Next” stage at the Essence Festival.
Gabrielle Douglas and Lia Neal are both competing in the 2012 London Olympic Games, representing the USA. Gabrielle is being called “the next Dominique Dawes” while Lia is only the 2nd African American female swimmer to make it to the Olympics.
All of these young women are truly an inspirational story of following a dream and making it come true. Their strength and perseverance are encouraging and motivational for young people everywhere.