Amandla Stenberg proves once again that Black girls are magic in her Teen Vogue cover story penned by Solange. Yes, her full on fro-bob on the cover of the February 2016 issue is everything. But this isn’t just a beauty piece. We have two non-conforming mavens who have ruled our social media sitting together and talking everything — from the politics of beauty and hair to girl power and learning to loving their blackness — and the results are inspiringly epic.
The piece is honest and reflective, beginning with Solange’s opening statement that connects you to her personal understanding of the deeper significance that black hair and beauty have in our day-to-day lives:
There’s 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.
Stenberg’s own reflections are powerful, poignant and belie her teenage years:
“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.“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.”
Flip through for more images from the gorgeous shoot photographed by Ben Toms and click here to find out where Stenberg stands on being revolutionary, playing a “rad black elf” in her forthcoming comic book, Niobe, and finding her voice.