At only 16, Amandla Stenberg has the wisdom and fierceness of many grown women beyond her years. The Los Angeles-native doesn’t shy away from voicing her opinions when it comes to feminism and issues affecting the Black community in America. The rising actress uses her social media platforms as a way to bring attention to issues that are important to her, and we could not be prouder!
Recently, Amandla’s been in the news for calling out Kylie Jenner for cultural appropriation when the youngest in the Kardashian-Jenner clan posted a photo of herself with cornrows in her hair. This renewed a debate surrounding cultural appropriation and all eyes are on Amandla!
If this young badass isn’t on your radar yet, here are eight reasons why you should check for her now!
1. First feature film was Colombiana in 2011!
Playing the younger version of actress Zoe Saldana, Stenberg’s talent was introduced to the world as the daughter of Colombian drug lords. This role was truly an indication of Amandla’s future badass ways.
2. She’s Rue in 2012’s ‘The Hunger Games’!
Stenberg’s second movie credit was starring as Rue in ‘The Hunger Games.’ When it was announced that Stenberg would be playing the character, she was met with backlash by racist fans of the book series who didn’t understand why Rue had to be black even though the book describes her as having “dark brown skin and eyes.”
3. Made the video of all videos about cultural appropriation!
For those who needed a lesson on cultural appropriation, Stenberg’s video, “Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows,” explaining the subject went viral this spring. The teenager cites artists such as Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus as examples of appropriating black culture.
4. Her Tumblr is all types of Black Girl Magic!
Get into Amandla’s Tumblr! It’s full of black girl magic, from fashion photography, art and her thoughts on racism!
5. Went to prom with Jaden Smith!
We’ve all the seen the prom photo of Stenberg and young Smith and to say they shut it down would be an understatement. Their unique spin on traditional prom attire fit so perfectly together!
6. There’s a meaning behind her name!
The name Amandla means “power of strength” in Zulu. Stenberg’s mother is African-American and her father is African-American and Native American.
7. Is involved with charitable organizations!
Stenberg supports the organization Share Our Strength, which is also known as No Kid Hungry and works to end childhood hunger in the United States. She says, “Food is such a basic human need. And I just know that we can provide for every kid in this country.”
8. She’s into animation, too!
In the movie Rio 2, Amandla was the voice of Bia.