Intersectional feminism gets another major boost from a crucial young voice in pop culture. The Hunger Games' Rue, Amandla Stenberg, will publish her new comic NIOBE: She Is Life that features a young, black female heroine. Once again, the young actress and activist proves that we have nothing to worry about with the next generation.
NIOBE: She Is Life will tell the story of Niobe Ayutami, a half-human, half-elf character who learns who she is through her adventurous journeys. Stenberg spoke out about her new comic and her main character with The Telegraph, identifying herself in her heroine.
I was drawn to give voice to Niobe and co-write her story because her journey is my journey. I connect to her mixed racial background and quest to discover her innate powers and strengths, to learn who she truly is. ...She is on a path to a destiny that will test her faith and her will, something we can all relate to. But there's never been a character quite like her — one who shatters the traditional ideal of what a hero is. We need more badass girls!
Stranger Comics will produce the comic, and its CEO Sebastian A. Jones gushed about why he wanted to partner with Stenberg in particular, to The Huffington Post:
I first met Amandla with her awesome mother Karen at Mixed Remixed -- an event that celebrates all cultures. It did not take long for me to know she was the person I needed to develop the most beloved character in a franchise I have been brewing for more than two decades -- a hero that has the weight of the world on her winged shoulders, a woman who will bind nations....I may be mixed, but I am not a young, black, teenaged woman, so it would have been idiotic and morally insensitive of me to not team up with someone who could really engage with Niobe’s soul and state of being.
Stenberg has been a public champion of intersectional feminism since her role in The Hunger Games thrust her into the spotlight. Racist fans took to Twitter to express their outrage at Stenberg's casting in the role of Rue. Stenberg herself is of mixed-race: her mother is African-American and her father is Danish. "Fans," argued, despite outright evidence in the book, that Rue should be white.
But Stenberg didn't let this racist controversy get her down — she instead continues to speak out as an advocate fighting against racism and one-size-fits-all feminism. NIOBE: She Is Life is just another step forward in her journey and fight.
If you didn't know the name Amandla Stenberg yet, get to know her. She's one of the most crucial voices for young (and grown-up) America right now. You can start by getting her comic at your favorite local bookstore November 4.