Why ‘The Hate U Give’ Is Not a Black Lives Matter Movie

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Social Justice, United States on 2018-11-01 02:14Z by Steven

Why ‘The Hate U Give’ Is Not a Black Lives Matter Movie

Los Angeles Sentinel
2018-10-18

Melina Abdullah, Professor of Pan-African Studies
California State University, Los Angeles

Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Cofounder of Black Lives Matter and founder of Dignity and Power Now
Los Angeles, California

Some are touting ‘The Hate U Give,’ as “the first Black Lives Matter movie.” Red flags should have gone up the moment we learned that Fox, recently acquired by Disney, was behind the film with a massive public relations budget, footing the bill for hundreds of advance screenings with celebrity guests, marketing swag, and heavy media saturation – especially in Black markets. We might also wonder about the choice to have Audrey Wells, a White screenwriter whose credits include “Under the Tuscan Sun” and “The Truth About Cats and Dogs,” adapt an urban Black novel for the screen. Angie ThomasNew York Times bestseller on which the film is based swapped out the book cover that originally pictured a chocolate-colored Afroed girl, for the light-skinned young actress, Amandla Stenberg, who plays the lead, Starr Carter, in the film. Stenberg’s braids hang long as she holds a placard that reads “The Hate U Give,” a reference to Tupac’s THUG LIFE acronym (The Hate U Give Little Infants F*cks Everyone). Tupac, Hip Hop icon, poet, and son of a Black Panther, was intentional with his language. THUG LIFE, tattooed across his mid-section, was a scathing critique of the White-supremacist-capitalist system that treats Black and poor children with contempt, depriving them of resources, and ultimately causing the whole of society to suffer the consequences. The film betrays that analysis by entrenching old tropes. “The Hate U Give” makes Black people primarily responsible for their own oppression. The film asks viewers not to challenge a policing system that kills Black people at least every 28 hours, but to focus exclusively on “Black-on-Black crime,” even when unarmed Black boys are killed by White cops…

Read the entire article here.

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The Hate U Give’s Amandla Stenberg on bringing Black Lives Matter to the box office

Posted in Arts, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2018-11-01 01:44Z by Steven

The Hate U Give’s Amandla Stenberg on bringing Black Lives Matter to the box office

The Guardian
2018-10-19

Steve Rose

Amandla Stenberg in The Hate U Give

Stenberg is the star of a new adaptation of the YA novel phenomenon. The actor, and the film’s director, discuss cinema’s new generation of resistance

Any resemblance between The Hate U Give and your average teen movie evaporates about 20 minutes in, when 16-year-old Starr Carter, played by Amandla Stenberg, witnesses a police officer shoot dead her friend Khalil at point-blank range. By this stage, Starr’s father has already given her The Talk, the time-honoured ritual where African-American parents instruct their children how to behave if stopped by the police: be polite, stay calm, put your hands where they can see them. When their car is pulled over, Starr follows the drill. Khalil reaches for a hairbrush. The police officer thinks it’s a gun. That’s all it takes.

The Hate U Give is fictional, but barely. To see the stricken expression on Stenberg’s face during the shooting scene is to recall Diamond Reynolds, partner of Philando Castile, who livestreamed the aftermath of Castile’s 2016 police shooting from the passenger seat while he bled to death beside her. The victims’ names have almost become a mantra: Castile, Freddie Gray, Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland – all young African Americans killed by law enforcement, each an avoidable tragedy.

“I learned really early on what it feels like to be black in an environment in which no one looks like you,” she says, “And I learned how to be very intentional of how I presented myself in order to fit in.” Code-switching – that capacity to alter your behaviour according to the company you’re in – is something that people of colour are especially familiar with, she continues. “Because you have the cognisance that if you are completely transparent about who you are in a space that doesn’t accept you for who you are, it’ll be detrimental to your ability to succeed. That’s just a fact of growing up in a country that is still based on white institutions,” she says. It can work both ways, Stenberg points out: her mother is African American and her father is Danish. “He was one of the only white people in our neighbourhood, so what I was experiencing at school, he was experiencing at home.”…

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Biracial in ethnic derivation, nonbinary in gender identification, gay in sexual orientation, multi-hyphenate in creative aspiration, [Amandla] Stenberg embodies a similar blurring of boundaries.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-10-08 03:03Z by Steven

Biracial in ethnic derivation, nonbinary in gender identification, gay in sexual orientation, multi-hyphenate in creative aspiration, [Amandla] 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 “Colombiana,” as a young version of Zoe Saldana. “The Hunger Games” — just her second film — 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 “Don’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.

Ann Hornaday, “Her way. The new way.The Washington Post, October 4, 2018. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/lifestyle/amandla-stenberg-looks-a-lot-like-the-future-of-celebrity.

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Her way. The new way.

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2018-10-08 00:22Z by Steven

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 “Watching Oprah,” an exhibit dedicated to the TV-icon-turned-all-of-it-icon.

Oprah was very integral in my household,” she said, peering at the biographical information on the walls. “My 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 “Colombiana,” as a young version of Zoe Saldana. “The Hunger Games” — just her second film — 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 “Don’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…

Read the entire article here.

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First Look: Amandla Stenberg, George MacKay in Amma Asante’s ‘Where Hands Touch’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Posted in Articles, Arts, Europe, Media Archive on 2017-02-11 20:21Z by Steven

First Look: Amandla Stenberg, George MacKay in Amma Asante’s ‘Where Hands Touch’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety
2017-02-08

Leo Barraclough, Senior International Correspondent


Courtesy of Tantrum Films/Pinewood Pictures

Variety has been given exclusive access to the first-look image from Amma Asante’sWhere Hands Touch,” which stars Amandla Stenberg (“The Hunger Games”) and George MacKay (“Captain Fantastic”) in a story of forbidden love in Nazi Germany.

Fifteen-year-old Leyna (Stenberg), daughter of a white German mother and a black father, meets Lutz (MacKay), the son of a prominent SS officer, and a member of the Hitler Youth. “They fall helplessly in love, putting their lives at risk as all around them the persecution of Jews and those deemed ‘non-pure’ slowly unfolds,” according to a statement. “Does their love stand a chance amidst violence and hatred?”…

Read the entire article here.

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Can Biracial Activists Speak To Black Issues?

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2016-07-09 17:59Z by Steven

Can Biracial Activists Speak To Black Issues?

The Establishment
2016-07-06

Shannon Luders-Manuel

While my first instinct was to celebrate Jesse Williams’ recent Humanitarian Award from BET, my second instinct, which came just seconds later, was to brace myself for the backlash.

The Grey’s Anatomy actor and former teacher has been a highly visible activist within the Black Lives Matter movement, recently executive producing the documentary Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement. Yet those born of racial admixture are often viewed as half-as, half-ass appropriators of blackness. We’re often seen as deceitful, dangerous, and damaging to black solidarity.

In his BET acceptance speech, Williams called out police brutality and the racial injustices black people have faced throughout history: “There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven’t done. There is no tax they haven’t levied against us.” He added that, “We want [freedom] now.”

While fallout from his speech continues to reverberate—dueling petitions are now raging, calling for him to be fired from/kept on Grey’s Anatomy, respectivelyhis words were largely well-received in both black and white spheres. But, like anyone of mixed parentage who publicly rails against racial injustice, some questioned his right to speak at all…

Read the entire article here.

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Go Off!: Amandla Stenberg on Intersectionality and the Impact of White Supremacy

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States, Videos, Women on 2016-06-21 20:08Z by Steven

Go Off!: Amandla Stenberg on Intersectionality and the Impact of White Supremacy

Colorlines
2016-06-02

Kenrya Rankin, News Editor

“I cannot separate my gender from my race from my sexual orientation. If in that moment I’m speaking out about gender, then I’m also in some way speaking out about race and about feminism.”

In the latest example of “Amandla Stenberg is so woke,” the teenage actress and activist held an online “Ask Amandla” Q&A session with Rookie magazine’s young readers. In it, the teen—who identifies as non-binary and prefers the pronoun “they”—discussed gender identity, how White beauty standards impact the lives of Black people and the importance of intersectionality in advocacy. Watch the May 31 video and soak in Amandla’s preternaturally mature wisdom.

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How Our February Cover Star Amandla Stenberg Learned to Love Her Blackness

Posted in Articles, Arts, Interviews, Media Archive on 2016-01-10 21:55Z by Steven

How Our February Cover Star Amandla Stenberg Learned to Love Her Blackness

Teen Vogue
2016-01-07

Solange Knowles

Edited by Elaine Welteroth


Photograph by Ben Toms

She tells all to Solange Knowles in our latest issue.

I have a confession to make: I didn’t prepare for my interview with Amandla Stenberg. Though we had never met, from the outside looking in, I recognized her so deeply that I didn’t think I’d need to. 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

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.”…

Read the entire interview here.

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Amandla Stenberg Is Ready to Be Your Role Model

Posted in Articles, Arts, Interviews, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2015-08-16 20:40Z by Steven

Amandla Stenberg Is Ready to Be Your Role Model

Elle
2015-08-12

Chaedria LaBouvier

The actress and activist talks exclusively to ELLE.com about everything from box braids to Black Lives Matter to her ambitions in front of and behind the camera.

As one of Hollywood’s most exciting young faces and voices, Amandla Stenberg—whose first name means “power” in Zulu and was used as a rally cry against apartheid in South Africa—more than lives up to the name in her presence, commentary, and poise. I know because I got to talk to the 16-year-old last week, and our conversation, which ranged fluidly from box braids to Black Lives Matter, did not disappoint. (And let’s be honest, some of us can’t even have this range of conversation with twenty- and thirty-somethings.)…

Though she wasn’t born when some of her boho, curly-haired predecessors were gracing the big and small screen in the early ’90s—actresses like Lisa Bonet and Cree Summer, who I grew up adoring—I get the feeling that Amandla is definitely a worthy heir to the crown. Of curls, of course.

First things first: Let’s talk about your style and particularly your hair. I noticed on Instagram that you experiment with different styles. Is hair a form of expression for you?

When I was younger, I struggled with my hair a lot because it was too hard to deal with—it was too poofy, it was too big, and I just wanted it to go down, flat against my head. I put treatments in my hair to try to make it look straight, and in the past year, I realized that that’s so not necessary. I really love my natural hair texture and my curls and so I went totally natural and had to do the big chop…and the curls sprung back to life.

And all of the sudden, it gave me so much more confidence. I’m so much more comfortable with my hair, my body, and everything. So hair is super central to how I express myself because it’s just kind of part of the Black experience: Doing your hair is always an event. I really love my hair, I really embrace it, and I’m so glad that I made the decision to wear it natural…

Read the entire interview here.

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