Amandla Stenberg’s newest movie The Hate U Giveis a timely, impactful movie that confronts police brutality and the intersection of racism and blackness. And the movie seems to be hitting a nerve with white folks too.
“We have a lot of white people crying, which is great. I’ve never seen so many white people crying before,” Stenberg told Trevor Noah during an Oct. 16thinterview on The Daily Show.
She explained: “We wanted to make sure that those who have been affected by the ways the media misconstrues these events actually have a real sense of empathy and are able to place themselves into the shoes of our communities.”
“It’s supposed to be a tool of empathy,” Amandla explained. “It’s meant to ground [the issue] in a personal narrative, and hopefully people will have a sense of empathy because of that.”
Starring Stenberg, Russell Hornsby, and Regina Hall, The Hate U Give has been causing a buzz since it hit theaters in limited release October 5.
The critically acclaimed film loosely based on the killing of Oscar Grant, is told from a Black teen girl’s perspective and how she navigates the aftermath.
“We rob black children of the opportunity to be children,” Amandla said. “They have to be so careful about the way they act and present themselves from such an early age because they understand that they are not afforded a childhood in the way their white counterparts are.”
Revealing a Painful Past
Stenberg said she too was silenced and damaged by two sexual assaults that she was reluctant to call rape even though she didn’t consent. The traumatic teenage experiences left her broken, she said, and sitting in a “soup of guilt and shame that often follows an unwanted sexual experience.
After experiencing her second assault, she recalls: “I woke up to a text message that said I should ‘probably find a plan B,’” she said as she outlined her journey into getting the pill designed to prevent a pregnancy.
“This proved to be much more challenging than I anticipated, and ultimately required a trek to a women’s clinic on the outskirts of town. The train bench felt like a murky pool under my thighs. I was sitting in that soup of guilt and shame that often follows an unwarranted sexual experience. My body hurt and my mind was on a one-track loop, dissecting all the things that I was culpable for, that must have led me to my predicament. I felt stupid. My mama had taught me better than to put myself in positions of vulnerability that could lead to these possible ramifications.
“I blamed myself. This was my fault for not having been smarter,” she said.
Stenberg said she knew the man who violated well.
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