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The Shortlist for Feb. 5

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Chiwetel Ejiofor lands Essence Hollywood issue on the heels of Vanity Fair's Tinseltown specialIt was a huge year for "12 Years a Slave" star Chiwetel Ejiofor, but as Essence points out in its new Hollywood issue, it was a big year for black film actors in general. Vanity Fair recently made headlines when six of the stars on its fold-out March cover were African American. Those actors included Ejiofor, whose turn as Solomon Northup landed him an Oscar nomination for Best Lead actor.Explaining that his work on "12 Years a Slave" (up for Best Picture) was like walking "fine line in between sanity and insanity," the 36-year-old star tells Essence that "Even though there were emotional moments to shoot, overall I think every member of the cast and crew was there for one reason: They felt it was a tale that deserved to be told."The special Black Hollywood Now portfolio from Essence also features Oprah Winfrey, Forest Whitaker and Michael B. Jordan, all of whom are praised in the magazine's pages for their powerful work in 2013. Space is also devoted to Hollywood celebs who played key roles in the Civil Rights Movement. The issue hits newsstands Feb. 10.
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