Her way. The new way.

Her way. The new way.

The Washington Post
2018-10-04

Ann Hornaday, Movie Critic


Amandla Stenberg, the 19-year-old star of “The Hate U Give.” (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

Amandla Stenberg is redefining fame for a time when the personal, the professional and the political have never been more fused.

On a recent visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, actress Amandla Stenberg made a beeline for β€œWatching Oprah,” an exhibit dedicated to the TV-icon-turned-all-of-it-icon.

β€œOprah was very integral in my household,” she said, peering at the biographical information on the walls. β€œMy mom used to be a journalist. . . . She worked at Elle magazine and then moved into celebrity journalism. The irony is not lost on me.”…

…Biracial in ethnic derivation, nonbinary in gender identification, gay in sexual orientation, multi-hyphenate in creative aspiration, Stenberg embodies a similar blurring of boundaries. She grew up in Los Angeles with her African American mother and Danish father, commuting from their modest Leimert Park neighborhood to the far tonier Wildwood School. Her first movie role was in β€œColombiana,” as a young version of Zoe Saldana. β€œThe Hunger Games” β€” just her second film β€” was seen by tens of millions of people around the world. But it was a video she made for history class in 2015 that became a watershed: Called β€œDon’t Cash Crop My Cornrows,” the 4-minute-30-second tutorial explained the most offensive dynamics of cultural appropriation. After Stenberg posted the video on Tumblr, it became a viral sensation…

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