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Essence just debuted its May issue, which focuses on natural hair and has 3 separate covers featuring Erykah Badu, Ledisi and Solange.

We loved it so much that we decided to go back in time and find other Essence covers featuring some of our favorite naturals. Check it out…

Fallin with Alicia Keys’ intricate braids in the early 2000s.


Cynthia Bailey, is that you girl? Yes, Real Housewives of Atlanta, star rocked a 1995 Essence cover before she was held a peach and became Nene’s “bridemaid.” Now, we know Bailey likes to switch up her looks on the show with an array of wigs but we’d like to think this is all her.


Jada Pinkett Smith WOO-ed us with her two glowing Essence covers in 2010.

Jada-Pinkett-Smith-July-Essence-Cover Jada-Pinkett-Smith-July-Essence-Cover-Nude

Our favorite Android,  Janelle Monae served a prim and proper pompadour in early 2013.


Jilly from Philly aka Jill Scott has a plethora of covers under her belt including one with her big chop in 2012.


Fashion Icon, Grace Jones was nothing short of fierce in her 80s cover.


Everybody’s favorite girlfriend, Joan Clayton, Traci Ellis Ross rocked a beautiful cover in 2011.

tracee ellis ross essence 

The amazingly talented Viola Davis graced the cover twice but we fell for her radiant October 2013 cover.



The ultra fierce Alek Wek covered their September 2000 issue.


alek wek essence

Class is in session with Alva Rogers of School Daze during her January 1993 issue.

alva rogers essence

Cosby kid, Hillman student and super chic bohemian, Lisa Bonet covered their April 1987 issue.


Last but not least…Jasmine Guy and Kadeem Hardison. Really enjoyed A Different World round these parts!



What do you think of the covers? Do you remember any more amazing Essence covers?