Jones said in publishing Calmese’s photo of Davis on the cover, “we celebrate him and honor his vision at this heightened moment in American history.”
“Calmese describes his cover concept as a re-creation of the Louis Agassiz slave portraits taken in the 1800s — the back, the welts,” she writes. “This image (of Davis) reclaims that narrative, transmuting the white gaze on Black suffering into the Black gaze of grace, elegance and beauty.”
In her Vanity Fair interview, Davis discusses the recent racial justice protests, her upcoming role as Michelle Obama, her impoverished upbringing in Rhode Island, and the challenges of being a Black woman in Hollywood, among other topics. The issue hits newsstands on July 21.