Laverne Cox has received a lot of attention not only because of her abilities as an actress, but because she’s also a civil rights activist. She is the first openly transgender person to receive a Primetime Emmy nomination, which she earned for playing the role of Sophia Burset in the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black.
In the October 2016 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine, Cox is shining the spotlight on women of color who have inspired her to become the person she is today, including opera singer Leontyne Price.
Cox’s Facebook page gave a preview of what’s to come in the upcoming issue, including a photo of herself styled after an iconic portrait of Price, along with the following caption:
“In the October 2016 issue of @cosmopolitan on stands now I got the honor of paying tribute to some of my personal idols. For everyone who knows me they that know #LeontynePrice is the biggest of all those idols. I worship her.
“Leontyne price was the world’s first black operatic prima donna assoluta. I always say that Marian Anderson opened the door for black opera singers with her groundbreaking career but Leontyne Price blew it off the hinges. In 1955 she was the first black singer to sing televised opera in a production of Tosca for NBC television. This was significant in many ways because Tosca wasn’t a role black sopranos often got to sing at the time. Also, her leading man was white which meant that it was not broadcast in many Southern states which existed under Jim Crow laws.
“When she made her triumphant Metropolitan Opera debut as Leonora in IL Trovatore in 1961 she reportedly received a 45 minute standing ovation, the longest in Met history.
She received 19 Grammy awards, 13 for song or operatic recitals. 5 for full operas, an Emmy award, a Congressional medal of freedom among many other accolades.
“I love her so much because her artistry, her sumptuous sound, incredible discipline and longevity had the power to break down racial barriers and transcend cultural limitations. She epitomizes black excellence and excellence that knows no boundaries. Goddess, Queen Price”
Some of the other iconic women to whom Cox pays tribute include Janet Jackson and Josephine Baker.