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Fuse is once again celebrating an extended Black History Month by highlighting a variety of rising forces who are creating Future Black History before our very eyes. These days, there are many worries that America's new leadership is rolling back all the cultural progress and empathy we've created as a nation in recent years, but a superstar like Laverne Cox is a testament to how much further we are set to progress. 

While initially rising to fame as an Orange Is the New Black inmate—becoming Hollywood's most visible transgender actor—Cox spent her last year further pushing her star power and impact. Her biggest cultural moment, to date, came in October from her starting role as Dr. Frank-N-Furter in Fox's live remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, owning a role that originally was played by cisgendered, white man. She not only reshaped the gender-bending doctor, but was praised for her role with Broadway World maybe putting it best with, "The musical has broken down doors and helped pave the way for an era of LGBT acceptance so for Cox to step into Tim Curry's iconic fishnets is a victory in its own right."

But our girl isn't just a Hollywood bombshell—though, don't forget she's a People magazine 'Most Beautiful' honoree and a Time mag cover star—she continues to push her advocate work and is now reaching more people than ever. Ms. Cox was one of the many stars who teamed up with the Human Rights Campaign to tribute and the tell personal stories of the victims of the June Orlando gay nightclub shooting. Plus in March, she also received an Honorary Doctorate from the New School for her outreach in gender equality. 

Her reach will only gain traction as Doubt—her upcoming CBS sitcom, which premieres this Black History Month on Feb. 15—hits television screens and, by doing so, breaks ground by becoming the first broadcast series with a transgender series regular played by a trans actor. Forget whoever is in charge, with a star like Laverne Cox around, there's no way we won't keep progressing.

Kick it with Fuse and the cast of Orange Is the New Black next: