An Open Letter To Amandla Stenberg and the Hating Haters Who Hate Her

Can we take a moment to bow our heads in memory of the late Whitney Houston and her hit single “The Greatest Love Of All” which I have been playing on a loop a) because it’s Thursday and b) because I really do believe the children are our future, we should teach them well, let them lead the way, show them all the beauty they possess inside, and give them a sense of pride to make it easier. Because, the world is pretty tough, and the wild west that is The Internet is even tougher.

Look at the BB!!

At 13 years old, Amandla Stenberg is set to become a hot topic in the world of Hollywood casting. Most of us first saw her in the Zoe Saldana action flick Colombiana, playing a younger version of Saldana. Suffice it to say, she owned the role, and once news came around, most people were pumped to hear she would be playing fan favorite Rue in the screen adaptation of the popular YA book The Hunger Games.

But, as you may know, The Internet is not “most people”. Since her casting was announced and even after the film was released, Stenberg has been inundated with hateful messages regarding her race. Consequently, the character that she plays in the film is explicitly Black, but according to the Internet, Blackness and innocence are somehow mutually exclusive. We won’t get into too much detail here, but our friends over at Racialicious, The Mary Sue, and The Huffington Post¬†have been gracious and iron-stomached enough to follow the whole thing from tweet to vile tweet. Instead, we here at Geekquality would like to take this time to give Stenberg’s camp some words of encouragement. ¬†(If you’re on Tumblr, you can reblog this post to spread the words of support, as well as check out the heart warming number of co-signs from Tumblr fans across the web).

Dear Amandla,

You go girl! Pay no attention to the haters behind the curtain, because, as you know, you have scores of people rooting for you. You are talented, and quite frankly you’ve dealt with this whole thing better than a lot of adults we’ve seen. You are doing something that a lot of folks could only dream of, and you are doing it well. We wish you nothing but the best. And if anyone, and we mean anyone, tries to bring you down, don’t let them. You Rosa Parks this thing all the way to the end of the line, don’t give up your seat for anyone offering you less than the best, because that is what you deserve, and don’t you forget it. So get right out there in the spotlight and show them all what you’ve got. We’ll have your back.

xo-

Geekquality

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12 Responses to An Open Letter To Amandla Stenberg and the Hating Haters Who Hate Her

  1. Alice Marie says:

    cosigned, x100000000000

  2. Tanya says:

    I want to give her all the hugs and take her out for all the ice creams.

  3. Tonya J says:

    Thank you Jennifer K. Stuller, for posting the link to GeekQuality’s open letter over at Facebook. So, are you guys actually saying that this child is receiving hate mail (via the Internet, etc.) because a character explicitly described in one of the novels (and I have seen this quote) as having dark brown skin and eyes is portrayed as black in the film? Well, I thought the world was so much more despicable after reading about Daniel Zamudio, the Peruvian beaten into brain death for being gay, and the racial profiling murder of Trayvon Martin, but this is beyond that. Because kids should be off limits. I appreciate your blog and I will definitely reblog on Tumblr. What a world.

    • Tanya says:

      Yeah, if you had the heart to click through to some of the links on Racialicious/Mary Sue/HuffPo, there was some background about the racist tweets people sent in their “outrage” over Rue being played by a Black actress. You’re not alone in thinking that none of it makes sense, but it’s the sad reality of racism. Doesn’t matter if you’re young or old. :\

      Thanks for coming to our site! Are you as excited about Geek Girl Con as we are? :)

  4. K.G. says:

    Awesome letter! She was a perfect Rue.<3

  5. Andi says:

    Amandla: You are a beautiful and talented young woman, and your performance in The Hunger Games made me cry like a baby. Hopefully you don’t need anyone to tell you to stay awesome… because you already know that you are. But we’ll say it anyway! :)

  6. Alana says:

    To the very beautiful and talented Amandla, I would like to say,My family and I saw you in the Colombiana movie. You were totally awesome! We haven’t seen Hunger Games yet,but we already know because of your great talent you are gonna shine in this movie as well. Don’t let a few rotten apples get you down. Keep your head to the sky and know that your worth and value is in Jesus Christ. No one can take that away.Stay blessed sweetie

  7. Michelle D. says:

    I will just start out this by saying I am white. I actually find it rather odd starting out with that statement. I never just come out a state that fact because, to me it just doesn’t matter! I could study hard & become very educated or I could be a total idiot. I could be a jerk or I could be a very nice person. I could be selfish or I could be a very giving individual. All of these things are CHOICES that I get to decide. It does not matter what color my skin is to make these decisions! There are both extremes in every race! Every race has nice people & every race has jerks! I find it amazing that many people in my race ( I am guilty of this too) spend countless dollars and hours either laying in a tanning bed or out in the sun, to darken our skin to look more like “these horrible creatures” & whatever other stupid things these rasists say about the black people (& when I say I am guilty it was ONLY of laying in the sun or tanning bed- not being a racist)- HOW IRONIC!!! I would also like to point out something…I looked at the pictures of Amandla Stenberg and Dayo Okeniyi on wonderwall msn’s entertainment section.I must say that both of these two actors have beautiful skin! Infact it is the most beautiful skin I have seen in quite along time! It does not look any different than a person that was in the sun for along time other then it won’t be wrinkled and rough & that they don’t have to work on it so hard! If either one of you actors look at this please know not everyone is that ignorant to believe what some have written on the net! You are beautiful and you did a wonderful job playing your roles in this movie! I am VERY, VERY sorry that anyone would treat ANYONE else like that NO MATTER what color there skin is!!!!! Thank you for the great movie I enjoyed it very much( & I usually don’t like this type of movie) , it was great!!!!!!!!

  8. Lizzie says:

    Amandla, you were an amazing Rue, and and anyone who says otherwise needs to a) take a damn reading class and b) quit with the bigotry.

  9. Chantal says:

    Great letter!
    I thought Amandla did a terrific job playing Rue. Looking forward to more of her in future movies.

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