Amandla Stenberg
Source: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Amandla Stenberg's Contributions to Social Justice Movements


Dec. 20 2023, Published 9:47 a.m. ET

Amandla Stenberg is using her platform as a fast-rising actress to promote social justice. Even as an entertainer, Stenberg has experienced her fair share of racial injustice.

Her role as Rue in The Hunger Games exposed her to racist attacks – because some fans of the novel, on which the movie is based, were against the casting of a person of color for her role.

This experience with explicit racism and the subtle racism she had faced while attending a predominantly white private school made her feel like being less obtrusive, quieter, or smaller would have been better.

However, she would later choose to stand up and become a social justice activist – a decision that has shaped her personal and private lives.

Black Lives Matter

The events that followed the deaths of Eric Garner in New York and Michael Brown in Ferguson at the hands of police officers inspired Stenberg to become a social justice activist. The actress saw the chaotic aftermath of these events. She saw how everyday people were calling out racial injustice and demanding police reform through protests. As the Black Lives Matter movement took shape, Stenberg (who was joining junior high school at the time) decided to stand up and make her voice heard. In an interview with the New York Times, she stated, “It made me feel like I could do something, or, at least try to inform people.”

Article continues below advertisement

From this point on, the young star decided to integrate activism into her career. The first opportunity for her to do this came when she chose to take up the lead role in the film The Hate U Give. The book that the movie is based on is a dramatization of some of the events that led to the emergence of the BLM movement. Stenberg was able to bring this perfectly timed family drama and coming-of-age story to life with her impeccable acting skills. According to George Tillman Jr. (the director of the film), “She has this ability to make you feel like you’re seeing the real deal.”

Article continues below advertisement

Stenberg has also been able to extend her social justice activism to her sponsorship decisions. In the New York Times interview mentioned above, the actress is said to have declined “a great opportunity” out of principle. A major fashion brand made the offer through her agent.

In the interview, she stated that she was less interested in participating in fashion – because, in her opinion, it was the perfect example of a white institution where you have to adjust yourself just to fit in.


Stenberg is also charting the way forward when it comes to feminism. In a 2016 interview, Stenberg stated that she was not sure whether she could be a feminist without believing in the gender binary.

However, as she gained more knowledge of herself and the issues at hand, she realized that she could be proud of women without having to identify as one. Since then, Stenberg activism has played a key role in the feminist movement.

It’s not just a magazine. It’s a lifestyle!

Sign up for our newsletter for early access to content, special promotions and giveaways.

Dope content. No spam. We promise.


Opt-out of personalized ads

© Copyright 2024 Bombshell. Bombshell is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.