Tracee Ellis Ross wrote the most inspiring message to her Black-ish co star, Yara Shahidi, winner of the 2017 ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood “Generation Next” award.
What a gift it is for me to be able to witness you in this moment of tremendous growth and grace. I was here in this life 27 years before you arrived. And you lived 13 years before we met, yet it has been almost 4 years that we have been walking beside each other, sharing early mornings and long hours, stealing moments of silliness and claiming moments of connection … sometimes in the form of sisterhood, generally under the guise of a mother/ daughter, but mostly as kindred souls from different eras.
There are a few key things that we have in common beyond Black-ish: we are both of mixed heritage and we honor and celebrate our legacies, we both have wonderfully strong mothers whom we love deeply. We have siblings that shore us up and help define us.
Kerri and Afshine – thank you for raising this being.
Yara, we have earned our relationship gently and I hold it as sacred. Our relationship is important and is not just about me playing your mom on screen. It is about what happens between takes, in the hair and make up trailer, in our calls and text exchanges and when we see each other out in life as two brown girls with lots of hair that is either masterfully braided, bunned, or just flying free.
I enjoy your company sweet, Yara. I appreciate our ridiculous and ineffable text messaging. I am so glad I knew to call you for the Women’s March and that we will have that as a memory for the rest of our lives, that we were together in that powerful moment.