The Hunger Games and Sleepy Hollow star Amandla Stenberg is this week’s WOC Wednesday honoree because she laid down the gauntlet on those guilty of appropriating at the expense of the lives of black people.

Last week, Stenberg created a video that gets into people who use black culture for their own personal monetary gain while staying silent on actual issues, like black people getting mowed down by unjust police officersListen to Stenberg for yourself.

“What would America be like if we loved black people as much as black culture?” Guantlet thrown! I love how she phrased the ending of her video, because it really puts the onus on the person watching it. The viewer is uniquely challenged to address how they feel about black culture and the people that created it. I’d like to think that the thought processes many have had have illuminated a lot about how well-off they are or how much more growing and evolving they need to do when it comes to how they treat black people and black culture. I’d be intrigued to know the reactions and thoughts people came away with after viewing the video.

However, to be very cynical, there will be those out there (of any race) who will willingly be obtuse and not want to understand what she’s saying to either 1) keep profiting from black culture, whether that’s monetarily, emotionally, whatever, or 2) want to stay blind to the fact that racism and appropriation are real things. As a person who’s written about race and culture for a long while, I can tell you that you become a weary expert at putting up with these types of people. But hopefully, more people than not are receiving and adopting the video’s intended message.

I commend you, Stenberg, for being a voice for the young people and standing up for what’s right. I think Stenberg’s words have affected many people, young and old, and I hope her words resonate for everyone, especially those who insidiously use our culture just to make themselves “cool” and get paid.

What do you think about this Stenberg and her video? Give your opinions in the comments section below!

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