Zendaya Will Play 1st African-American Woman to Graduate From Vassar Fatima Barrie November 13, 2017 Exclusives, Film Disney “It” girl, Zendaya is a boss. Not only is she an bonafide moviestar starring in hit films like Spider-man: Homecoming and its untitled sequel, but she has sprinkled that Black Girl Magic (as a producer and actor) all over the runaway Disney hit KC Undercover. Clearly, she has caught the bug. Variety reports that Zendaya is set to star and produce the film A White Lie based on Karin Tanabe’s book, The Gilded Years. The Gilded Years about Anita Hemmings, the first African-American woman to graduate from Vassar College. Based on a true story, Zendaya will play the lead role of Hemmings. Hemmings story is remarkable. She was the first Black woman to attend and graduate from Vassar College in the 1890’s due to her “white passing” light-skin. 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. Her skin also afforded her sanctuary as she dodged the perils of racial discrimination and was able to prosper among the elite. However, while attending Vassar, Hemmings’ cover is blown a few weeks before graduation, when her roommate at the institution begins to grow suspicion. The psychological thriller’s script will be penned by Monica Beletsky. Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter will be producing A White Lie alongside Zendaya. Zendaya just can’t seem to slow down. She will also be co-starring in the musical The Greatest Showman in December alongside actors Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron.