Zendaya is an actress, producer, trailblazer, an inspiration, and more. The 25-year-old started her illustrious career as a child model and background dancer. She would later appear on the Disney Channel on hit shows, including Shake it Up. As she matured, so did the roles she took on, which included her portrayal of Marie in the black-and-white romance film Malcolm & Marie. The actress slays at everything so does, breaking recordings along the way.
The year, she’s been nominated for “Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture” at the 53rd Annual NAACP Image Awards. She’s going up against promising contenders including Andra Day, Halle Berry, Jennifer Hudson, and Tessa Thompson. However, before we can celebrate a night of some of the most outstanding performances in film, television, theatre, music, and literature, here are five times Zendaya exuded Black excellence.
Zendaya makes history at the Emmys
During the 2020 Emmy Awards, the then-24-year-old actress made history by becoming the youngest woman to win “Best Actress in a Drama Series” for her portrayal of Rue in the popular HBO series Euphoria. The young star beat out several heavy-hitters, including Killing Eve's Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh, Ozark's Laura Linney, The Crown's Olivia Colman, and The Morning Show's Jennifer Aniston.
Zendaya shines in men’s suit
Black women are marvels, effortlessly conquering any task they attempt, like the time Zendaya smoothly out-dress everyone’s crush Michael B. Jordan, rocking the same grey suit differently at the Haper Bazaar Icons party and the Vanity Fair party. Even Jordan had to admit, “@zendaya hands down no contest.”
Zendaya keeps her cool on Wild N’ Out
In 2017, the Euphoria star took her team to victory during a game of the “Talking Sh-t” challenge her appearance in season seven of Nick Cannon’s comedy improv hit series Wild Out. Zendaya held in her laughter despite the avalanche of jokes, including a Zendaya-styled rendition of the Lion King’s “Circle of Life.”
Zendaya transforms into a princess
During her appearance at the 2019 Met Gala, the Malcolm & Marie star dazzled the audience when she arrived on the red carpet dressed Tommy Hilfiger Cinderella-inspired light-up dress.
Her career achievements
The actress got her footing as a Disney Channel child star, appearing in shows such as Shake It Up KC Undercover. From there, she made a cameo in music videos, including Grammy Award-winning Bruno Mar’s “Versace On The Floor.” She’s since enjoyed success with her role as MJ in the Spider-Man franchise, most recently Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Watch the NAACP Image Awards on Saturday, February 26, 2022, at 8/9c.