Amandla Stenberg, the 17-year old actress and activist has made quite the name for herself this past year. Because of that, the young inspirational teen will find herself on the cover of Teen Vogue’s February 2016 issue.
It gets better — for the cover story, none other than Solange Knowels will be the one interviewing Amandla.
The two discussed how Amandla became infatuated with her race and being a young woman of color, her “Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows” video, her comic book Niobe: She Is Life, and much more. Solange reflects on her experience interviewing Amandla, which you can read below courtesy of Teen Vogue:
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 around you.
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.”
So here we are, connecting as two nonconforming black girls. Connecting as two trailblazers who recognize the borders that have been built around us as we steadily tear them down, dancing through life while coloring outside every line. Connecting as two lovers of music, art, and the color orange. Connecting as two chicks who are over talking about our hair — although we know it’s badass! Connecting as two descendants of powerful queens who made the journey before us and whom we hold in the highest regard. I may not have prepared, but I sure as hell felt inspired by our honesty with each other and ready to take on the world — sprinkling black girl magic in every crevice of the universe. Listen in…—SOLANGE KNOWLES