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The Influential Teens in Black America

Briana Hicks

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Time Magazine named Amanda Stenberg, Malia Obama and Zendaya Coleman as the top 30 most influential teens of 2015.

These three young African American women have actively made big strides to use their position of fame as a positive influence upon their fans.

Amanda Stenberg, 17, played Rue in “Hunger Games.” Some fans criticized her for being black. Fans of the book series depicted Rue in their imagination as white.

Fortunately, the negativity surrounding her playing Rue didn’t take away from her amazing performance. Stenberg was nominated for a Teen Choice Award, and earned a NAACP Image Award.

She also did a video for a school project that focused on black culture appropriation.

According to time.com, she took a closer look at how white celebrities have adopted black culture as a way of being “edgy.”

While on the other hand these celebrities have not spoken up about issues regarding police brutality.

Stenberg has also publicly criticized celebrity model, Kylie Jenner, for showing off her cornrolls, but neglecting to use her position to help African Americans.

Malia Obama, who is now 17-years-old, has spent the past eight years growing up in front of America. As the president’s daughter, she has maintained a level of maturity.

Obama has grown into the position of a cultural icon. Her decisions regarding fashion and colleges have been showcased in the media.

She has presented a poise that is admired and sought after by her fans across America.

19-year-old Zendaya Coleman has been praised throughout the year for many different positive moments.

Earlier in the year, Coleman was ridiculed for wearing dreads to the Oscars Awards Show.

Coleman choose to wear dreads as a way to honor the hairstyle.

Unfortunately, a celebrity regarded her hairstyle choice as an un-classy style and related it to drugs.

Instead of Coleman tearing the celebrity down as she was torn down, she chose to teach the celebrity about successful people who have dreads.

Later in the year, she made headlines in the media for earning her diploma, while she simultaneously worked hard in her career.

Coleman also promoted positive body images when her pictures were retouched without her permission.

She posted the real image onto her social media outlets and encouraged her fans to love their bodies.

These three incredible young women have used their position of power in the world of fame as a tool of encouragement to young women of color, and young women across the United States.

For that simple reason they have more than earned the right to be featured in Time Magazine’s top 30 influential teens.

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About the Writer
Briana Hicks, Staff Writer

If you want to get an idea of who I am, look at some of my stories. You can find out a little bit about me in my the way I write. Growing into the role...

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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.
The Influential Teens in Black America