via: Teen Vogue
by: Elaine Welteroth
Amandla Stenberg is not your typical cover star. She isn’t exactly a household name (yet). She doesn’t have a smash hit at the box office (however, let’s not forget when she stole our hearts as Rue in The Hunger Games, one of the highest grossing film franchises of all time). And while she is undeniably stunning with hair we deeply envy, it was her voice, and the agency with which she uses it, that captivated us even more.
“She created a school assignment so culturally impactful that grown folks were lowering their glasses and taking notes,” Solange Knowles observes, accurately summing up the seismic impact of Amandla’s viral video Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows. “It’s as if she’s left the world to collectively echo: ‘That Amandla is one to keep your eye on.’”
Now, with her inaugural Teen Vogue cover, all eyes are rightfully on Amandla. After all, who better to front an issue honoring the new movement of power girls? She thinks for herself. She speaks up for what she believes in. And, at just 17, she does it all with the kind of grace, diplomacy, and intellect that we haven’t seen even in presidential candidates thrice her age. (Amandla for President 2034?!)
We are celebrating her epic cover with a three-part video series co-created by Amandla herself. With the help of some of her most inspiring friends — from stylist Julia Sarr-Jamois, social activist Johnetta Elzie, comedian/filmmaker Franchesca Rasmey, Urban Bush Babes cofounder/editor in chief; Cipriana Quann, musician/writer; TK Quann to poet; Camonghne Felix — these powerful women carry out Amandla’s mission of empowerment, social activism, and, as Solange so eloquently states in the cover story, “sprinkling #blackgirlmagic in every crevice of the universe!”
Be sure to watch (and share!) all three. And get in on the conversation on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #BlackGirlMagic.
Black Women Share their Hair Stories:
Why Black is Beautiful and Powerful:
The Things Black Girls are Tired of Hearing:
*Video Series created by Elaine Welteroth and Amandla Stenberg