Amandla Stenberg Said No To ‘Black Panther’ Because She Was Light Skin

by Krystal Franklin

March 1, 2018

Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for A+E Networks/Lifetime

Now this is something you hardly ever see in our community. Amandla Stenberg revealed she turned down Black Panther because she was aware of how her lighter complexion may have been perceived.

In a conversation at the TIFF Next Wave Festival, the 19-year-old explained why she walked away from the Ryan Coogler directed box office hit, “One of the most challenging things for me to do was to 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.”

And while there are Africans of every hue, Stenberg’s selflessness stemmed from a divisive hump African-Americans still can’t get over — colorism.

“These are all dark skin actors playing Africans and I feel like it would have just been off to see me as a bi-racial American with a Nigerian accent just pretending that I’m the same color as everyone else in the movie,” she said.

Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage
Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic
Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage

She continued, “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.”

While we’re not sure which role Stenberg was offered (our best guess is Princess Shuri, played by Letitia Wright), kudos to the young actress for her self-awareness in a competitive industry. With young people like her and the Harvard bound Yara Shahidi, our future just might prove to be alright.

Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

TELL US: Do you think Amandla made the right decision?

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