Being “Biracial, Light-Skinned American” Stopped Her From Being in Black Panther, Says Amandla Stenberg


By Victor Trammell

Photo credits: Getty Images

Amandla Stenberg (pictured) is a young woman of color who is a rising star in Hollywood.

However, Stenberg’s reasons for deciding against being a cast member in Marvel’s “Black Panther” might not make much sense, depending on who you ask. In any case, her decision to turn down a role in the box office smash definitely made her miss out on an epic part of history and a chance to raise her stock as an actress.

Stenberg, 19, recently interviewed with CBC and sat down to talk with CBC Arts reporter Amanda Parris. In her discussion with Parris, Stenberg talked about several things, including her rationale for walking away from a chance to star in the biggest black American science fiction film of all time.

“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,”‘ she said.

“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,” Stenberg also said.

You could probably blame youth, inexperience, or a lack of education for the tenor of Stenberg’s comments in her interview. It would behoove her to know that there are women who were born and raised on the continent of Africa who do not consider themselves “bi-racial” that look just the way she looks.

Not identifying herself as black is Stenberg’s business and she has the right to represent both sides of her family tree when classifying herself. However, when you see Stenberg doing this in an interview right after a film she turned down explodes on a global scale, it makes you question her timing. Sour grapes, anyone?



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