Amandla Stenberg

Amandla Stenberg is a multiracial American Actress. Her mother is African American and her father is Danish. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She began modeling for Disney at the age of four.  Amandla appeared in commercials as a child and landed her first feature film, Colombiana, in 2011. She is well known for her role as Rue in the 2012 film, The Hunger Games. She has been chosen for the lead role in four movies since 2017: Everything, Everything, The Darkest Mind, The Hate you Give, and Where Hands Touch. In an interview with Wonderland magazine in June of 2018 Amandla explained that she was gay and in a relationship with King Princess, a singer and song writer. Amandla won “Feminist of the Year” in 2015 by the Ms. Foundation for Women. In an interview with Variety Amandla stated “Something interesting has happened with me and Yara and Zendaya-there is a level of accessibility of being biracial that has afforded us attention in a way that I don’t think would have been afforded to us otherwise. Me and Yara and Zendaya are perceived in the same way, I guess, because we are lighter skinned black girls and we fill this interesting place of being accessible to Hollywood and accessible to white people in a way that darker-skinned girls are not afforded the same privilege.” Amandla received backlash for auditioning for the Black Panther Film. “I was in the audition process for it, then I decided to not continue with the process because I thought that it wouldn’t be right for me as a biracial, light skinned American to be playing “Shuri.”  In an interview with Variety she states “That was not a space that I should have taken up. It was so exhilarating to see it fulfilled by people who should have been a part of it and who deserved it and who were right for it. I just wasn’t.”There was then controversy over her being cast as the lead role STARR in The Hate You Give. The character had previously been portrayed as a dark skinned girl on the book cover. People accused her of going back on her word and taking a role she should have left for a black female. Stenberg responded “Do I aim to represent all Black girls? Hell nah! Do I expect all Black girls to feel represented by me? Absolutely not. We encompass a beautiful and expansive plethora of experiences, identities and shades and it would be ridiculous to assume that I should or could represent all of us. I want my sisters to know I navigate my industry with an acute awareness of how my accessibility contributes to the representation I am granted.” In my opinion, Amandla played the role of Starr extremely well. There is so much about different prejudices from all people that can be learned from the movie. I was thrilled to see that the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department was bussing Teens from their community to see the movie for free. What a wonderful tool to use between the community and police.  If you haven’t seen it, you should.

Makensie Shay McDaniel

Project RACE Teen President Emeritus

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