Essence Magazine is blessing us this March with quite possibly the best cover story of all time.

The cover theme, “Welcome To Wakanda: The Stars of Black Panther”, delivers all fans could ever want and need from the most anticipated superhero movie of all time!

Writer Karen Good Marable sat down with cast members Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett, Daniel Kaluuya, Forrest Whitaker, and Letitia Wright. The star-studded cast talked to Essence about what it was like shooting the highly anticipated movie, how they’re all dealing with the success of the project and attention from around the world.

Essence shared a few snippets from their conversations in advance of releasing three special covers:

Ryan Coogler on his inspiration for the Wakandans:

“I had really been studying the effects of colonization and the African Diaspora, specifically as it relates to African-Americans and Africans. And what I hit on was this concept of what it means to be African. I pitched that to the studio as a main theme of exploration, and they were totally interested, which is, to their credit, really cool.”

Angela Basset on her experience as “a little Black girl from the Florida projects”:

Though she had never heard of her character, Queen Romanda prior to receiving the script, she laughed, ”But a queen is a queen is a queen of a Black nation.

Danai Gurira on the Dora Milaje, the King’s personal bodyguards:

“The idea of creating a scenario where you’re seeing very powerful, empowered Africans is really thrilling to me, something my heart, soul, and spirit yearned to see.”

The blackest, and proudest movie of the year is estimated to rake in $165M opening weekend! It’s also sparked much conversation: from petitions for Marvel to invest profits into the Black community to attempts from racists to sabotage its success online. It’s no wonder that it’s already the most tweeted about movie of 2018— and it hasn’t even been released yet!

This special issue of Essence hits stands on February 23rd.

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