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Meryl Streep Ain’t African—But She’s Joining Michelle Obama on a Girls’ Trip to Africa

Remember Streep’s infamous words, “you know, we’re all Africans, really?”

Remember when actress Meryl Streep, known for classic films such as “Out Of Africa” uttered these infamous words, “You know, we’re all Africans, really” to an overwhelmingly white-panel (sigh, how predictable, #OscarsSoWhite) earlier this year at the Berlin International Film Festival, stirring controversy?


Though we know Streep ain’t African, she’s backing her words with a trip to the motherland at the end of June.

Streep is slated to join U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Malia and Sasha and grandma Marian Robinson on their trip to the continent, which includes stops in Liberia and Morocco, as part of Let Girls Learn, a U.S. government initiative focused on helping girls access quality education, People reports.

While in Marrakech, the Obama crew, Streep and fellow actress Freida Pinto plan to discuss “challenges many girls in the region face in getting a quality education,” according to a White House press release. In Monrovia, Obama will meet with Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to chat about educational barriers girls face in the country at a Peace Corps Training facility where young women are participating in a Girls Leading Our World camp.

This isn’t the first time Streep and first lady of the United States have teamed up—the pair had a conversation in 2015 featured in More magazine as part of Streep’s campaign for women’s equal rights.

While cross-racial solidarity (a.k.a. white allies) is absolutely necessary in the struggle for justice and equality, let’s hope Streep isn’t acting on a line from the white savior Barbie’s playbook.

Interview
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Nana Mensah's 'Queen of Glory' To Screen At The 2021 TriBeCa Film Festival

Ghanaian-American actress, writer and filmmaker Nana Mensah talks tenacity in filmmaking and telling immigrant stories from a joyful perspective.

Much has changed in the time since Nana Mensah first had the idea for her directorial feature debut — a dark comedy about a Ghanaian-American scientist trying to reconcile her family heritage in the wake of her mother's death — and began the Kickstarter in 2014 that would help turn it into a film. It may have taken a few years, but the movie Queen of Glory is now showcasing as part of the TriBeCa Film Festival's 20th edition, with a world premiere set to take place at Hudson River Park on June 15th.

When Mensah began working on the film, she was trying to break into an industry that lacked roles for complex, conflicted characters — particularly for Black women. So, she co-founded a production company with her friend Anya Migdal to create those very kinds of projects. She has since forged a solid stage and screen career, with roles in Netflix's Bonding and 13 Reasons Why, as well as NBC's New Amsterdam, and in theatrical productions alongside the likes of Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline and Anthony Mackie. Last year she was in Ekwa Msinga's Farewell Amor, as well as Apple's Anthology series Little America, and she'll soon be seen in Netflix's The Chair with Sandra Oh this summer and Kogonada's upcoming film After Yang, with Colin Farrell. Yet through it all, Mensah has never lost sight of finishing her first film project.

She opens up about what it took to get the film from a mere idea to the TriBeCa Film Festival.

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