“Channel Changers” Nicole Beharie, Alfre Woodard, Laverne Cox & Danai Gurira Cover Essence

Nicole Beharie, Alfre Woodard, Laverne Cox, and Danai Gurira Cover Essence October 2014

Nicole Beharie, Alfre Woodard, Laverne Cox, and Danai Gurira Cover Essence October 2014

Essence Magazine ‘s October 2014 issue is aglow thanks to its cover stars: Sleepy Hollow ‘s Nicole Beharie , State of Affairs Alfre Woodard , Orange is the New Black ‘s Laverne Cox , and The Walking Dead ‘s Danai Gurira .

The primetime TV actresses are featured in an October “Channel Changers” cover story, where they sit down to discuss this exciting moment in television.

“It is a golden age,” explains fierce zombie slaying Danai, “because we’re allowed to see that more people are given a voice, and that is a beautiful thing. We know when there’s been a dearth of this type of diversity. I remember watching Orange and feeling as if something new was happening.”

“People are watching television in a different way,” Emmy nominee and trans-activist Laverne chimes in. “I’ve been acting for a very long time and not getting very far, and I would say we needed some sort of systemic revolutionary change for me to have an acting career.”

Set to play the president of the United States in State of Affairs , Alfre adds: “Is it the golden age, daughters? I want you all to believe: We’re not here because somebody suddenly said, ‘Let’s have some women of color [on TV].’ We’re here because we’re brilliant at what we do. We’re persistent. You could put us at the bottom of the ocean and we’d still come to the top.”

Catch Nicole in Sleepy Hollow when it returns for its second season on September 22nd on FOX; Alfre in State of Affairs’ premiere on November 17th on NBC; Laverne in Orange Is The New Black ‘s third season sometime in June 2015 on Netflix; and Danai in The Walking Dead fifth season premiere on October 12th on AMC.