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Glamour’s 2020 Women of the Year

by Maiysha Kai — 

A mayor, a legal titan and Hollywood royalty – Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, NAACP Legal Defense Fund president and director-counsel Sherrilyn Ifill, and Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actress Regina King – are just three of the incredible women named Glamour magazine’s 2020 Women of the Year, each honored with her own digital cover.

Inside the issue, each woman’s story is penned by fellow luminaries like bestselling author Tayari Jones (Bottoms), Melissa Harris-Perry (Ifill), and Soraya Nadia McDonald, who acknowledges the conflicted feelings of the moment in her feature on King:

“Somehow, amid the relentless existential punishment of 2020, King is having one of the best years of a multi-decade career in a business that can be notoriously unfriendly to Black women,” the 2020 Pulitizer finalist writes.

It has indeed been a year of holding multiple, often contradictory truths; for instance, it’s a landmark year for Glamour’s annual honors – the 30th – taking place as a pandemic, racial uprising and a crucial election have converged to inform not only our national conversations but our most intimate understandings of freedom, death and justice.

In addition to the three aforementioned honorees, this year, Glamour honors 90-year-old activist and lifetime achievement honoree Dolores Huerta and essential workers Navdeep Kaur, Jasmin Moshirpur, MD, Veronica Henry, and Meida Sanchez, the “guardians” of COVID-19 hotspot Elmhurst Hospital.

“Every Single One of You” (Image: Johanna Goodman for Glamour)

And, in a nod to the resilience we have collectively shown during this devastating year, a special illustrated cover features women both well-known and anonymous, honoring “Every Single One of You” – including the recently departed Ruth Bader Ginsberg and tragically murdered Breonna Taylor, who garners a special tribute penned by poet Camonghne Felix.

Says Glamour Editor-in-Chief Samantha Barry:

“For three decades, Glamour has recognized the most influential and accomplished women on the planet. Our Women of the Year awards celebrate trailblazers and power brokers and Nobel Peace Prize winners. The 2020 class of honorees is no exception: frontline hospital workers, a civil rights lawyer, a headstrong politician, a labor rights icon, and a superstar actress bringing untold stories to the screen.

“But among all that star power, it was also important to us this year to shine a light on our remarkable audience. To live through this moment is to demonstrate Herculean resolve, resilience, and power. We all deserve an award for getting through it, tears, breakdowns, and all. And so this year belongs to each and every one of you—our women of the year.”

Those who want to celebrate this year’s honorees and 30 years of Women of the Year won’t have to wait long; a digital film special presented by L’Oréal Paris will air on Monday, October 19 at 7 p.m. on YouTube and Twitter.

According to a press release, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, John Legend, Gabrielle Union, Nancy Pelosi, Cory Booker, Maxine Waters and more will appear in pre-filmed segments lauding the honorees.

(Maiysha Kai is managing editor of The Glow Up, co-host of The Root Presents: It’s Lit! podcast, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door…May I borrow some sugar?)


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