Kerry Washington Essence cover

Even though 2012 just started Kerry Washington is having a great year. The Bronx native just celebrated her 35th birthday, she’s gearing up for her starring role in Shonda Rhimes’ upcoming dramatic series “Scandal” and she just snagged Essence magazine’s coveted “Black Women In Hollywood” cover.

Despite all of the obstacles facing black actresses, Washington says it’s still a good time for black women in the biz.

“I think it’s a really special time to be a woman of color in this business. The landscape of who has the power is changing,” she told Essence. “We are in more influential positions and are able to have a say in the stories that are told. I feel very lucky to be in the business now…”

Perhaps she’s onto something. Although Oscar nominee Viola Davis recently spoke candidly about the lack of quality roles for black women in the business, with writers like Shonda Rhimes, ‘Pariah’s’ Dee Reese, and award-winning director Ava DuVernay on the scene, things might be changing.

What do you think of the Essence cover?

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