‘I definitely feel that the roles that exist for women of colour are often one dimensional and lack substance! My dream is to change this’
ICYMI: Amandla Stenberg hit the front cover of our Autumn 2015 issue. The 16-year old American has become just as well known for her unflinching take on current social issues – be it race rights or cultural appropriation – as she is her creative talents. Amandla doesn’t take any shit, which is why we invited her to answer your questions on the Dazed Facebook page. The Hunger Games actress doesn’t disappoint. Here are the best bits.
ON WHY SOCIAL MEDIA IS A REVOLUTION
‘It’s such an incredible platform. We’re able to communicate ideas so easily. We're able to organize and create in a second. We’re unstoppable!"
DISCUSSING THE MEDIA REPRESENTATION OF YOUNG BLACK WOMEN
"We’re told that we’re angry when we speak out on injustice. Being outspoken about race does not equate the slander of white people."
NOMINATING HER GIRL GANG
ON THE ROLES HOLLYWOOD GIVES BLACK WOMEN
"I definitely feel that the roles that exist for women of color are often one dimensional and lack substance! My dream is to change this and create my own projects - and in terms of roles I’d like to be offered, I’d honestly just love to see a movie with a black female lead who is allowed to be nuanced."
BECOMING AN ACTIVIST
"It was somewhat accidental. Social justice has always been incredibly important to me but it wasn't until recently that I realized I could use my platform to start conversations - when I posted the video I made for school on cultural appropriation on Tumblr. I had previously shied away from being so vocal due to the scrutiny that comes with being an activist. However, the response to that video was so incredible that I had to continue.
HER FAVOURITE QUOTE IS...
"Tavi sent me this quote by Anne Lamott that I think about a lot: "Radical self care is quantum, and radiates out into the atmosphere, like a little fresh air. It is a huge gift to the world.""
ON BEING LABELLED THE "ANGRY BLACK GIRL"
"If they think I’m angry, I must be doing something right. If it provokes people in that way the things I’m talking about must be important." In a separate answer she also advised any young black women to, "Do what you feel comfortable doing. Existing and thriving as a black woman is a small revolution in itself."
Amandla also revealed that her heroes are Angela Davis and Lauryn Hill, her favourite artist is Jean Michel Basquiat and that, like all of us, she’d love to able to pause time. For a 16-year old, she has serious, undeniable, un-put-outable fire. Check our cover story here.