Absolutely Amandla
Amandla Stenberg Fansite

Homepage // About Amandla // Biography

Amandla Stenberg was born on October 23, 1998 in Los Angeles, California. Her name means “power” in Zulu and Xhosa. Her mother, Karen Brailsford, is African-American, and her father, Tom Stenberg is Danish.

Her first modeling job was for the Disney catalog in 2002 when she was 4 years old. She landed her first role as a young Cataleya Restrepo (older version of whom is played by Zoe Saldana) in Colombiana in 2011. In March, 2011 she starred in Hallmark’s A Taste of Romance. Later that year it was announced that she had been cast to play Rue in The Hunger Games. Both these films were released in 2012. Amandla was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture and won a Teen Choice Award with Jennifer Lawrence (who played Katniss Everdeen) for Choice Movie Chemistry, both for The Hunger Games.

Since then, Amandla has played Paula Patton and Robin Thicke’s daughter in Mercy, and was on Funny or Die’s Child Star Psychologist 3 with Kiernan Shipka, where she makes fun of how often her name is mispronounced. In 2013 Amandla played Captain Frank Irving (Orlando Bloom)’s daughter, Macey, on Seasons 1 and 2 of Sleepy Hollow. She also starred as Halle Foster in Season 1 of Mr. Robinson in Summer 2015. Not only has Amandla acted in movies and TV shows, but she has also voiced characters in animated films, such as Bia, Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway)’s daughter in Rio 2 in 2014.

Outside of acting, Amandla also plays instruments. She plays the violin, drums, and guitar. In 2009, Amandla played the violin at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex with the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Honors Orchestra. She participated in the RockSTAR Music Education Program, through which she was able to play the guitar and drums at places like the House of Blues and Hard Rock Cafe, and even a studio session with Gerry Brown when her band won RockSTAR’s Battle of the Bands. They started playing with Zander Hawley in 2013, and the duo released an EP in August of 2015 under the name Honeywater, which is a reference to when they were at a summer camp and ran out of water, so they turned to a mixture of honey and water instead. The two first started making music together when Zander approached Amandla when she was in 9th grade asking her to play violin with him for their school talent show.

Amandla also has a big influence on social media. She started discussions about cultural appropriation when she posted her school project “Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows” on Tumblr in April 2015. In July of 2015 Amandla used a picture Kylie Jenner posted of herself with cornrows on Instagram to talk about cultural appropriation in the United States and Hollywood. Amandla also came out as bisexual on Teen Vogue’s Snapchat on January 7, 2015. She co-wrote “Niobe: She is Life” with Sebastian Jones from Stranger Comics, which was published on November 4, 2015.

Amandla is also a youth ambassador for No Kid Hungry, which works to make sure that kids have access to healthy food. Its umbrella organization is Share our Strength, for which Jeff Bridges is a spokesperson. She also supports the Ubuntu Education Fund which started by providing school supplies to children in South Africa, specifically in Port Elizabeth. Eventually, Ubuntu grew to include providing other things.