Yes, you read that right, not only is Amandla Stenberg the cover girl for February’s Teen Vogue, but she is profiled inside by none other than Solange Knowles. Just how many levels of cool can one magazine article have? Teen Vogue seems to determined to find out.
The entire article is online in case you want to read it, but here are some highlights.
Solange on meeting Amandla:
There’s a secret language shared among black girls who are destined to climb mountains and cross rivers in a world that tells us to belong to the valleys that surround us. You learn it very young, and although it has no words, you hear it clearly. You sense it when you walk into rooms with your hair in full bloom, each coil glorious, your sway swift and your stance proud. You feel it like a rhythm you can’t shake if you even dared to quiet the sounds around you.
Our conversation quickly reveals that Amandla knows it all too well: “I think that as a black girl you grow up internalizing all these messages that say you shouldn’t accept your hair or your skin tone or your natural features, or that you shouldn’t have a voice, or that you aren’t smart,” she says. “I feel like the only way to fight that is to just be yourself on the most genuine level and to connect with other black girls who are awakening and realizing that they’ve been trying to conform.”
SOLANGE: So what’s the deal with your comic book, Niobe: She Is Life? It’s sitting right here. It looks incredible.
AMANDLA: Thank you! Growing up, I was always super into fantasy and The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones and all of that, but I could never find black characters whom I really liked. And so immediately I identified with Niobe, the lead character. She’s this rad black girl elf. It’s interesting because it is fantasy, but it’s also really kind of self-reflective. She’s finding her faith and finding her identity. And she’s going to keep growing until she becomes this warrior destined to unite the human world and the elf world. I think it’s officially the first comic book to be written by a black girl, starring a black girl [Niobe Ayutami], and illustrated by a black girl [Ashley A. Woods].
In addition, Amandla has co-directed a three video #BlackGirlMagic exclusive series for Teen Vogue. I couldn’t get the darn things to embed here but they can be found at this link.