Amandla Stenberg Gives Up Major Role in Black Panther for Darker Skinned Women to Shine

March 19, 2018

    Marvel's latest box office hit, Black Panther has received much praise for both its cultural standpoint and its use of African Americans (especially ones with darker skin tones),  as the major roles. Although the film , along with it's exceptional cast,  has reached much success,  there is one person who recently admitted to purposely giving up a part in the, now, 9th highest grossing film in the US. “The Hunger Games” actress, Amandla Stenberg, did a recent interview with CBC’s host Amanda Parris discussing Shadeism and Colorism in Hollywood. While there, she acknowledged that darker skinned women ar e missing opportunities due to lighter skinned women taking on many movies. Stenberg eventually went on to discuss the character that she had recently received, but eventually pulled out due to not perceiving herself as “a good fit”. “One of the most challenging things for me to do was walk away from Black Panther. I got really, really close and they were like, ‘Do you want to continue fighting for this?’ And I was like, this isn’t right,”the actress recounted.
            Stenberg was going for the role of Shuri, played by Letitia Wright, T’Challa’s genius little sister, the teen who keeps everything together through technology. Stenberg continued with her thoughts on being biracial and how that played a part in whether she would take on the position. “These are all dark-skinned actors playing Africans, and I feel it would have just been off to see me, as a biracial American with a Nigerian accent, just pretending I’m the same color as everyone else in the movie. That was really challenging, to make that decision, but I have no regrets.”
            Stenberg’s decision to take on roles that physically fit her will be displayed in “The Hate U Give”, a film  based on a young Adult novel about Black Lives Matter by Angie Thomas. The actor was previously shown in the 2017 film, “Everything, Everything”  as a biracial character and in 2012 in her role as Rue in “The Hunger Games” who is described as having “dark brown skin and eyes”.  Her decision to stand as an actor/activist means speaking about important issues in Hollywood and she does just that. “I recognize 100 percent that there are spaces that I should not take up and when I do take up a space it’s because I’ve thought really, really critically about it and I’ve consulted people I really trust, and it feels right.”

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