Yara Shahidi is on a serious roll this year!
The blossoming actress, activist, and scholar is reportedly in talks to star in the movie based upon best-selling young adult novel, “The Sun Is Also A Star” by Nicola Yoon. The book was a 2016 National Book Award Finalist.
The story centers around the main character, Natasha, a young woman in New York City who falls in love just as her family is weeks away from being deported to Jamaica. To say that the relevancy to our current political climate is dead-on would be an understatement.
Tracey Oliver, the writer of the record $100 million comedy Girl’s Trip, has been tapped to pen the script.
As a proud Iranian and African-American, Shahidi’ s politics and cultural makeup parallels some of the issues that lie within Yoon’s beautifully crafted story.
After only four episodes into the first season the Freeform network ordered 20-episodes for the sophomore season. Clearly ABC executives know a good thing when they see it!
According to Deadline, the “Black-ish” spinoff has been a massive success thus far for Freeform. Its January premiere was the highest-rated comedy debut for Freeform in six years.
Grownish followed Yara Shahidi’s character from “Black-ish,” Zoey, as she goes to college and learns to navigate the world away from home at fictional Cal U. In real life the outspoken and socially conscious star was accepted into Harvard last year but has deferred her admission to launch the series.
When Shahidi appeared on The View, she talked about her appreciation for the storyline.
“What I do really appreciate about what the writers did is that a lot of the storylines on ‘Grown-ish’ are not cleanly wrapped up,” she said. “If anything, we’re trying to talk about, similar to Black-ish, the different views that every character has.”
Yara Shahidi has also been busy speaking up and speaking out about social justice issues, immigration, politics and #blackgirlmagic. This month, in partnership with Google, Shahidi wrote an open letter and filmed a video, titled “To Be a Black Girl.”
“To be a black girl is to be one of the reasons the universe thrives,” she begins. “Our lineage has taught me that I am integral, that we are important, even when society dismisses us, hiding the wonder of our presence, a trail set for and before us by generations of powerful and empowered Black women.”
And to celebrate Shahidi’s eighteenth birthday this month the socially conscious activist hosted a voter registration drive tied to her new philanthropic project Eighteen x 18, a movement to galvanize her peers to vote in the midterm elections.
Shahidi told WWD why she launched the voting initiative:
“18 by 18” is a great collaboration. As somebody who is turning 18 next year, fortunately before midterm elections, I realized that there is a disparity between what we expect adults to know and what we expect teens to know. When you’re right on the cusp, it is as though you’re supposed to catch up with all political information within a matter of months. Also, there’s a lack of knowledge about how crucial midterms are. Midterms are our opportunity to really take action against the discrimination we’ve been seeing. Gerrymandering is obviously a problem in terms of discrediting voters and so this midterm election really does elect the people who will be redrawing districts. So it’s important that we get people who represent us in there.
When asked if she had any political aspirations of her own, Shahidi was coy:
“I describe what I want to do as policy-adjacent, so I’m assuming it will be [within] the nonprofit world, but we’ll see what that morphs into.”
Well, we can’t wait to see what Yara Shahidi morphs into next as well!