Amandla Stenberg is planning to do more than act. The young star tells Paper Magazine that her dream job is working as a director.
“In an ideal world, my dream and goal is to create my own projects that I direct and act in and create music for,” says the Hunger Games star. “My biggest inspiration is Spike Lee, so I try to follow in that trajectory,” adds Amandla. “I just want to create projects because I get tired of seeing the same projects made over and over and over again with the same kinds of people, the same franchises. There’s nothing different about them and there’s no space for any other kinds of people. I feel like projects don’t exist for people of color, especially black girls, in the way that they should.”
In creating content that represents black women properly, Stenberg has published her own comic book series called Niobe: She Is Life. “It’s all about Niobe and her journey as she’s a teenager and she’s trying to find herself,” explains Amandla. “She’s running from her past and trying to delve into who she is and who her family is. She ends up basically studying under a monk and she’s the only girl in this class of boys. So, she ends up learning to assert herself. I guess there’s some feminist things there!”
Speaking of social movements, Amandla has been quite the advocate for all things just. The teen shared a video about cultural appropriation that went viral a few months back. “I remember walking down Crenshaw Boulevard and I was walking by this hair salon and I heard these women talking about cultural appropriation. They were like, ‘Well did you see that video?’ and I was like, ‘Whoa!’ It was such a mind trip for me.”
Stenberg further explains, “Someone told me that it’s a small revolution in itself just to be a person of color and be a woman and be yourself. That, in itself, is somewhat revolutionary: to have a voice as a person of color, as a woman. So, I’ve been learning that just by saying what I believe, it’s causing a fuss. My intention is not to create drama or anything, but I have to be the most genuine me because that’s how I connect to other people; that’s how I connect to fans.”
Photo: Paper Magazine