Amandla Stenberg Says She Turned Down 'Black Panther' To Make Space For Darker-Skinned Women

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Letitia Wright may play Shuri in the record-breaking film Black Panther, but word on the street is Amandla Stenberg was in the pool of actresses up for the role. At the time, Stenberg decided it'd be best to step away from the opportunity. And her reasoning is one of the most applaud-worthy, respectful, genuine, mindful and necessary rationales.

The 19-year old The Hate U Give actress revealed that she stood a good chance of being Shuri in the film, but taking it just "didn't feel right." 

"I was in the audition process for it, then I decided to not continue with the process because I thought that it wouldn't be right for me as a biracial, light-skinned American to be playing [the role]," Stenberg told ESSENCE. "I don't think visually it [would've] make sense and it wasn't appropriate for me to go after that role. Black Panther is one of the only films that we have that has darker-skinned representation. That's what was so beautiful about it." Dang, girl. I love how real this response is.

When you think about it, her response makes sense. A study found that dark-skinned actors and actresses have a harder time getting the lead roles in films.

Praise has been rolling in for Stenberg since she shared her decision to back out of the role.

We couldn't be prouder to see someone so young take such important action. Bravo, Amandla!

About The Author

Abbey is a junior at the University of Wyoming and is currently majoring in Journalism. She couldn't imagine a world without Jesus, coffee, The 1975, Twitter or her family. You'll usually find her at a concert or cafe somewhere, which is where she spends majority of her free-time. Talking to band members after their shows is a hobby, along with thrifting & indulging in all aspects of pop culture. After college, she plans to spend more time at concerts, getting paid to write about music and bands.