North Carolina teen Ammarah Haynes is only a sophomore in high school, but she’s doing everything she can to tear down offensive stereotypes.
We meet Haynes in episode two of our ESSENCE Black Girl Magic docuseries. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich, the episode follows Haynes, a Black Muslim teen, as she uses her grandmother’s history of activism as inspiration to dispel stereotypes against Muslims at her new Durham, North Carolina high school.
“Islam is my faith and what helps me do right in the world,” Haynes said. “I want people to understand that.”
Haynes says that she and her sister are the only two students at her school who wear hijabs, but Haynes, who is also an avid martial artist, wants to jumpstart conversations at her school to show students that she wants to be treated just like any other teen.
“It’s not easy being a Muslim teenager in America,” she said. “It has take some time to find other students who want to make a difference like I do. We are learning how to educate other people so that everyone can be treated equally.”
Watch the episode in full above. If you missed episode one, you can watch it here.