Amandla Stenberg

by Glendon Francis and Ammarah Rehman

Amandla Stenberg

ACTOR, ACTIVIST, & SINGER

Amandla is a nonbinary African-American and Danish-American activist, actor and singer. Amandla is known for their acting prowess in films and performances such as, Colombiana (2011),  The Hunger Games (2012),  Sleepy Hollow (2013), As You Are (2016), and Beyoncé: Lemonade (2016).

Amandla Stenberg was born on October 23, 1998 in Los Angeles, California to parents Karen Brailsford and Tom Stenberg. Amandla's name means power and strength in Zulu and Xhosa. At the age of four, Amandla made their public debut when they were featured in a Disney catalog and went on to star in numerous commercials for brands including McDonald's and Walmart.

Amandla made a transition into film in 2010 when they began filming the action-thriller Colombiana (2011). Since then they have demonstrated an innate ability to capture the hearts of viewers worldwide. For their role as Rue in The Hunger Games (2012), Amandla was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture. Amandla is also a talented musician and can play the violin, drums and guitar. In 2013 Amandla began performing violin and singing at venues across Los Angeles. Later the same year, they dropped their self titled EP. 

Amandla Stenberg is a voice for young, Black, and LGBT millennials. Amandla is passionate about fair and diverse representation evidenced by their viral video “Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows” which unpacked the baggage of cultural appropriation. Amandla was invited to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Foundation to participate in the dedication ceremony where they paid tribute to the four young girls who were killed in the tragic Birmingham church bombing. Amandla is one of the most brilliant and outspoken actors of their generation. They take a multimedia approach to activism using film, social media, and music to bring more diversity in media, to build safer spaces, and to create more political agency for all people.

Dazed Magazine called Amandla Stenberg “one of the most incendiary voices of [their] generation.” Time Magazine named Amandla one of the 30 Most Influential Teens of 2015 and again in 2016. They have been interviewed by Solange Knowles for Teen Vogue and have been deemed an "icon of change" by ELLE UK. Oprah Winfrey recognized Amandla's work and invited them to talk about authenticity in activism for Super Soul Sunday. Amandla is also the recipient of the BET Awards’ Young Stars Award. They have also been named Feminist Celebrity of the Year by the Ms. Foundation for Women. Amandla is a youth ambassador for No Kid Hungry and supports the Ubuntu Education Fund.