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

15 November 2017

Thanks to Zendaya and Witherspoon, A White Lie will be headed by its all-woman team: women producers, a female star, and a woman writer and screenwriter.

The actress has signed on to star in and produce the film, which will be based on Karin Tanabe's book The Gilded Years.

Zendaya will also produce the film, alongside Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter. 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.

Zendaya will also star in the film, playing the first African-American woman to graduate from Vassar College. The daughter of a janitor, she passed as white so she could attend Vassar at the turn of the 20th century.

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In Tanabe's story, the main drama arises when Taylor finds herself attracted to Hemmings's brother (he graduated from M.I.T. with a degree in chemistry the same year), while Hemmings strikes up a romance with a white Harvard student, Porter Hamilton.

Zendaya will take on the role of Anita Hemmings. Monica Beletsky (producer for TV's FARGO and PARENTHOOD) will pen the script.

Zendaya, who launched her acting career in 2010 on Disney's "Shake It Up", recently co-starred in "Spider-Man: Homecoming" and will next appear in "The Greatest Showman", which is scheduled to hit theaters in December. She will also reprise her role as Michelle Jones in the Spider-Man sequel opposite Tom Holland.

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