Amandla Stenberg Talks Lemonade, #BlackGirlMagic and Womanhood

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Three months ago, Beyoncé impressed all of us (even the haters) with new album and short film Lemonade. None of us were more impressed with Bey than Amandla Stenberg. The 18-year-old actress, best known for role as Rue in The Hunger Games, had a cameo in the short film. Glamour magazine spoke to Amandla about her incredible experience about what it was like on set and the first time she met Beyoncé. The mag interviewed her  about what it means to her to be a woman in 2016.

Her idea of womanhood in 2016

My conception around being a woman in 2016 has definitely been shifting over the past year, because I feel like I’m proud of womanhood, and I feel attached to it, and at the same time I’m someone who doesn’t believe in having a gender binary, and so often times I separate those two concepts in my mind—the concept of being a woman and the concept of being a girl or being female, being kind of attached to a certain gender identity.

So now I’d say my relation to being a woman is, I mean being a woman is whatever you want because the concept of gender is not really real, you know? And so for me it’s about being comfortable in myself. It’s about allowing myself to express who I am in any way that I want to, whether that be through my clothing, the way I present myself to the world, whether that be through like my gender identity and my pronouns. It’s just really about allowing yourself to really be expressive and creative.

Amandla Stenberg on first meeting with #Beyoncé

And so then we get to the set, and Beyoncé comes up to me, and she goes, “Hello, Amandla. I just wanted to tell you I want Blue to be just like you,” and I felt like the hands of God were like gently caressing my entire body and soul, like I felt like I had reached nirvana, and I was like, “Thank you very much.” I think I said something really lame and gushing about her to her face [laughing].

What it was like filming on a slave plantation

Me and Zendaya had the task of climbing up this ladder into this tree that was very far off the ground, and we were wearing these like petticoats that were so long, like dragging on the ground and heels, and we had to climb up these ladders, and we were joking with each other, we were like, “If this is how we die, that’s okay.” [Laughing]. It’s okay because we’re at a Beyoncé shoot, and we could die for her, and it’d be fine, but we ended up sitting up on that branch for a couple hours, and we like really had to pee, and our legs were going numb, but we were just like blissed out [laughing].

Her hopes for the #BlackGirlMagic movement

I hope that kind of this movement centered around black women becomes more inclusive because there is a lot of colorism within the movement that even I benefit from, and so I hope it’s more inclusive of dark-skinned women. I hope it’s more inclusive of sex workers. I hope it’s more inclusive of girls who haven’t gone natural and still have straight hair, wear weaves, I hope it’s inclusive of all kind of different representations of blackness instead of one that’s become more mainstream, that’s become more acceptable, you know.

#AmandlaStenberg wants the first line of her Wikipedia page to say that she is a social activist and artist and a lover of the 2007 emo scene as well as Trader Joe’s cookies.

Read the full article Glamour

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