Outspoken actress and activist Amandla Stenberg has been tapped to play the lead in The Hate U Give, based on the Young Adult novel of the same name by Angela Thomas. Thomas first got the idea for book after the shooting of unarmed Oscar Grant in 2009 by a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) cop. As the Black Lives Matter Movement gained steam, she began working on it while a Senior at Belhaven University.
Apparently there was a huge bidding war on this book and it’s very timely subject matter.
a 16-year-old girl … who grew up in a poverty-stricken slum, but now attends a suburban prep school. After she witnesses a police officer shoot her unarmed best friend, she’s torn between her two very different worlds as she tries to speak her truth
George Tillman Jr (Soul Food) will direct.
My one hesitation over this film is the fact that Audrey Wells (Under Tuscan Sun, George of the Jungle) will write the screen play. I’ve read both the book and seen the film of Under the Tuscan Sun and I have to say that it was the crappiest book adaption I have ever seen. The movie had NOTHING to do with book aside from the location. Seriously, calling it crappy is an insult to crap. She set fire to the book and wrote her own story almost completely from scratch. Can this woman pull off the screenplay for what is sure to be a controversial movie? Nothing in her resume indicates she is up to the challenge. I can only hope the Tillman and Amandla can keep her honest and keep the focus on #BlackLivesMatter where it belongs.
Every time I look up, Amandla Stenberg is doing something amazing. She has now made her second short film where she acted as director. producer, casting director, camera operator and editor, called Blue Girls Burn Fast. Does this kid ever sit still?
The film is a coming of age story that follows Andy, a world weary teen living ins foster care. Leeza Lester stars as Andy, while Julia Rocha, Kelley Smith Wait, Duke Nicholson, and Kyleigh Booker round out the cast.
Amandla posted two versions, a short and a longer version. I’ve embedded the longer version here. Enjoy!
#BlackGirlMagic is taking over the covers of several magazines next month. Take a look at the gorgeous faces of Amandla Stenberg, Teyonah Parris, Yara Shahidi and Taraji P. Henson covering the February issues of Teen Vogue, Essence and Elle.
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.
Amandla Stenberg says we need more badass girls — and she’s helping to make that happen.
The 16-year-old actress, who is widely-recognized for her activism around social and cultural issues — is, yet again, speaking up and speaking out for women of color who often go under- and misrepresented. This time, Stenberg is using her talent to create an exciting new comic centered around the experiences of a young black warrior woman named Niobe Ayutami.
The comic, titled “NIOBE: She is Life,” follows the protagonist on her adventures to help save the world. Along the way, Niobe, who is half elf and half human warrior, is also on a journey of self-discovery to find out exactly who she is and all the powerful things she can do.
The comic looks AMAZING:
Congratulations to Amandla and Stranger Comics for bringing this unique character to life!
After the disappointment of Elle magazine featuring only one WOC in their birthday spread – here’s a link to the discussion on our forum of that debacle – September is shaping up to be a big month for black women in the magazine industry no less than 8 WOC have made the covers of major magazines. While the magazine industry still has a long way to go before we can call it diverse, this is progress.
See the gallery below, hover your mouse over the picture to see the name of the cover girl and the magazine.