Danai Gurira: Giving African women a voice

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Danai Gurira Zimbabwean-American actress and playwright, Danai Gurira, talks about giving African women a voice.

The new American hit play Eclipsed made history on Broadway. It’s the first play ever written by, directed by, produced by and starring black women. And its playwright, Zimbabwean-American Danai Gurira believes it’s about time.

“That is kind of an amazing realization, that we still have that barrier to break,” Gurira said.

Danai Gurira: Giving African women a voice

Danai Gurira: Giving African women a voice

Zimbabwean-American actress and playwright, Danai Gurira, talks about giving African women a voice.

The play features Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o and is set among the chaos of the Liberian Civil War. It tells the story of the captive wives of a rebel officer.

“I am showing women who are fully formed and they are women who are chosen to survive a brutal war zone and they’ve chosen to do the way you might find surprising,” Gurira explained.

Gurira is perhaps most notably known as an American actress. She’s the star of the popular TV series The Walking Dead.

Through her plays, Gurira has an instinct for humanizing global problems. And says her personal mandate is to break down racial barriers by creating more opportunities for talented young black women, like herself.

“There are women who broken the barriers in the past,” Gurira said. “So that’s your legacy. That has to be your legacy. ”

Danai Gurira joined Mike Walter in our New York studios to discuss giving African women a voice through her plays.