In a series of bite-size videos posted to Teen Vogue's Snapchat account, 17-year-old Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg revealed that she is a "black bisexual woman" who is on a mission to encourage young girls and women everywhere to embrace their true identity, "no matter what you're being told."
"As someone who identifies as a black bisexual woman, I've been through it, and it hurts and it's awkward and it's uncomfortable," Amandla said. The videos are now compiled on her Tumblr page.
"But then I realize, because of Solange [Knowles] and Ava DuVernay and Willow [Smith], and all the black girls watching this right now, that there's absolutely nothing to change," Amandla said, referencing well-known African-American women and girls who are celebrated for being unique, true to themselves and confident.
Amandla's video was very moving as she reflected on how people who don't fit into traditional identity boxes are not encouraged to be themselves.
"It's a hard thing to be silenced. It's deeply bruising to fight against identity and mold yourelf into shapes that you shouldn't be in," she said. "We have a lot of work to do for all women of color. We need more representation in film and in television.
"And not just women of color," she continued. "I mean bisexual women, gay women, transgender women, mentally ill women. I'm sick of all the misogyny and homophobia and transphobia that I see around me, and I know you are, too.
"We cannot be suppressed. We are meant to express our joy and our love and our tears and be big and bold, and definitely not easy to swallow," Amandla said. "I definitely believe in the concept of rebellion through selfhood, and rebellion just by embracing your true identity no matter what you're being told."
Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beats, a Web series that features video interviews with scarily insightful people. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.