It's been eight months since Amandla Stenberg, the actress who played a young Cataleya in Colombianatook to YouTube to voice our frustrations around cultural appropriation. It has been more than 1,815,360 hits since the starlet who pierced our hearts as the tiny tenacious Rue in The Hunger Games became our real life champion. Today she graces the cover of Teen Vogue. Let that sink in. Stenberg, who made it her business to educate the masses on behalf of every black girl whose lips and hips and butts were too big or not right (until seized by the dominant culture) is the cover star of an iconic brand that wrote and ratified the laws on fashion henceforth and forever more

“I think that as a black girl you grow up internalizing all these messages that say you shouldn’t accept your hair or your skin tone or your natural features, or that you shouldn’t have a voice, or that you aren’t smart,” she says, “I feel like the only way to fight that is to just be yourself on the most genuine level and to connect with other black girls who are awakening and realizing that they’ve been trying to conform.”
She says all of this in the impeccable transparent fashion that has become her trademark

As if that weren’t enough black girl magic for one issue, Stenberg’s interviewer is none other than fashion icon, “natural girl don’t care” role model and overall badass, Solange Knowles

Put all that energy together and viola! Or, as Solange describes it, “there is a secret language shared among black girls who are destined to climb mountains and cross rivers in a world that tells us to belong to the valleys that surround us. You learn it very young, and although it has no words, you hear it clearly. You sense it when you walk into rooms with your hair in full bloom, each coil glorious, your sway swift and your stance proud. You feel it like a rhythm you can’t shake if you even dared to quiet the sounds around you." That rhythm permeates their conversation as they allow us to eavesdrop on their journey toward self-love, acceptance, and carving out their own niche while inspiring us to do the same

Check out the Teen Vogue feature here.