Amandla Stenberg turns 17 today!
The actress, activist and all-around badass teen has attracted a legion of new fans over the last few months who admire her humility and honesty. From denouncing cultural appropriation to defending black women, Stenberg speaks the truth -- and we're sure she'll continue to spread these important messages as she celebrates another amazing year.
In honor of her 17th birthday, we wanted to highlight 17 ways Stenberg has defined what it means to be carefree, creative and non-conforming. Let the countdown begin!
1. She schooled everyone about cultural appropriation and warned the world: "Don't Cash Crop My Cornrows." The video, which was initially done as a school project, has nearly two million views on You Tube.
2. She was called a "voice of her generation" in her fabulous feature in "Dazed" magazine.
3. She called out Kylie Jenner for being a culprit of cultural appropriation after Jenner posted a picture of her hair braided in cornrows above a caption that read, "I woke up like disss."
5. She went to prom with Jaden Smith in May and the two became the world’s coolest, carefree black couple (p.s. they’re just friends).
6. She switched up her look when she flawlessly rocked these grey braids and proved to everyone she's effortlessly dope.
7. She’s encouraging young girls everywhere to participate in STEM. Stenberg co-hosted an event in August where she spoke with young girls and encouraged them to pursue their dreams because, she said, "we’re the generation that’s really going to make a change."
8. She’s named after Miles Davis' 1989 album, "Amandla," which means "power" in Zulu.
9. She’s juggling work and school while pursuing her dreams to make a difference in the world by empowering young black girls.
11. She plays the violin and is part of a band called, "Honeywater." In fact, the band recently released an EP on iTunes.
12. She rocked in her role as Rue on "The Hunger Games," despite critics who were disappointed a black girl was cast for the character.
13. She wants to put an end to the “angry black girl narrative” and speaks out when she is labeled as such.
14. She consistently uses social media to speak up about Black Lives Matter.
15. She uses her platform and her voice to speak up specifically for black women, whose voices often go ignored.
16. Oh, and she speaks out about race and gender issues without thinking twice about the haters.
17. To sum it up, Stenberg is the ultimate carefree black girl. She is #BlackGirlMagic.
Happy birthday, girl!
Also on HuffPost: