Woman of the Week

Amandla Stenberg is one of the most influential teenagers of our generation. At the age of 17, she’s most commonly known for being an actress – she played Rue in The Hunger Games – however she is also a musician, writer, and social activist. She speaks openly on social media about issues in the world surrounding race, sexuality, gender, and much more.

Amandla is also one of the celebrities who has been particularly vocal about the issue of cultural appropriation in recent years. In 2015 she created a video entitled “Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1KJRRSB_XA) about this subject, and – along with black women, like Zendaya and Francesca Ramsey – she’s brought it to the attention of the media.

As well as this, as a black, bisexual, and non-binary person, Amandla speaks a lot about her own identity and sexuality, along with how it affects her life. In an interview she said: “Unfortunately or not unfortunately, take it as you will, when you are a marginalised person or a woman of colour and/or someone who’s a part of the LGBTQ community, your acts become politicised, just by being yourself. Because we’re not completely accepting of all different kinds of human beings… by being myself, I’m doing something political.”

Amandla receives both criticism and support for what she says about social issues, however, she focuses on the positive, using the inspiration as a call for others to care for and accept themselves. “For the people who feel inspired by what I’m doing, there’s something so concrete and powerful in what’s happening when they feel empowered. There’s actually some kind of growth or self-acceptance, some kind of self-love that’s actually being triggered, hopefully. And that’s real.”

At such a young age, Amandla Stenberg has already accomplished so much, and this is only the beginning for her. As she is an avid filmmaker, she will be attending NYU when she goes to university next year (some of her films are here –https://vimeo.com/amandlastenberg), she will also be starring in a new film called ‘The Hate U Give’ which was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. That is not all, but (as it would take a while to list everything that Amandla is involved with) you can see everything she is linked with here – http://www.amandlastenberg.com/.

Iona MacPherson

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