*With a string of lead movie roles under her belt and on the eve of a new album, songstress Jill Scott sits down with Essence editor Jeannine Amber for the magazine’s May issue – on newsstands April 122.

The singer opens up about the difficult road that led to her single motherhood, the sister circle that helps her get by and the perfect life she enjoys today.

“Ever since I had my son, I feel like there’s a stitch of lava in my spine. I feel like I can do anything,” she says in the interview.

Also in the May issue: 

DESIREE ROGERS: BREAKING ALL THE RULES:
• Former White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers was heavily criticized for the way she did her job, but columnist Cynthia Tucker believes her only fault was being an unabashed, unapologetic Black woman. (Page 110)

CELEB MOMS & DAUGHTERS: NO HIGHER LOVE…
• There’s nobody like Mom. ESSENCE’s intimate family portraits feature some of our favorite moms and daughters (including Alfre Woodward, Vanessa Williams, Holly Robinson Peete and more!) as they celebrate what they’ve learned from—and what they cherish about—each other. (Page 131)

WHY DON’T WE GET MARRIED?…
• Instead of guessing why we’re not tying the knot, ESSENCE went straight to the source—a hilarious panel of singles who got candid with relationships editor Demetria Lucas and dating specialist Finesse Mitchell about sweating out perms, trying one-night stands, and dating “outside” the race. (Page 92)

ESSENCE SPECIAL REPORT: MOMS BEHIND BARS…
• “Babies belong with their mothers, whether it’s in prison or not…” ESSENCE and NBC’s Maria Schiavampo look at a growing number of prison nurseries and explore whether female inmates should be allowed to raise their children while doing time. (Page 106)

ESSENCE’S TEACHING OUR CHILDREN SERIES…
• In the final installment of ESSENCE’s three-part education series, we put the spotlight on programs and approaches that create bright futures for our children. ESSENCE reports from Detroit, where Black children are in the crosshairs of one of the worst public education crises in America. But reformers like PTA mom Ida Byrd-Hall are determined not to let the city’s schoolchildren fail. (Page 136) Plus, in BOYS TO GENTLEMEN, ESSENCE takes a look at how one all-boys charter school in Brooklyn is transforming the way we teach our young men. (Page 139)

WORK & WEALTH: READY, SET, SELL!…
• Many women are putting their money where their mouths are as direct sellers. Take our quiz to see if this can work for you. (Page 76) In ACE THE PHONE INTERVIEW, get into the hiring manager’s office with our easy tips. (Page 84) Then in LAUNCHING YOUR SECOND ACT, ESSENCE provides four tips for making a smooth career transition. (Page 86)