Zendaya Will Play 1st African-American Woman to Graduate From Vassar

A White Lie is based on Karin Tanabe's 2016 novel The Gilded Years and will tell the nonfiction story of Anita Hemmings, the first African-American woman to graduate from Vassar College. Despite being a descendant of former slaves, the story shows that her light skin allowed her to secretly live her life as a white woman. In the book, Hemmings finds herself in New York's high-society circles, always struggling to keep her true identity a secret. Now, Zendaya is adding to the girl power by collaborating with Witherspoon as a co-producer on an incredible new film-and she'll star in it, too.

It's particularly meaningful to cast Zendaya in the role of Hemmings, as she's spoken openly about racial diversity, among other important issues.

The 41-year-old Big Little Lies star and the 21-year-old Spider-Man: Homecoming actress will both be producing the thriller via Reese's production company Hello Sunshine, Variety reports. "Undercover". The series was renewed for a third season past year, which Zendaya also produced. She will also be co-starring in the musical The Greatest Showman in December alongside actors Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron.

Vanessa Coleman

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