16-Year-Old Riele Downs Is The Teen Actress/Activist Our Girls Need

March 30, 2018  |  
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Remember the little girl who played Morris Chestnut and Monica Calhoun’s characters’ daughter Faith in The Best Man Holiday? Or the girl who played Gabby Douglas’ sister Arielle in the Olympian’s Lifetime original movie? Well, her name is Rielle Downs and she’s almost all grown up now.

The Canadian actress began acting at the age of 3, making her debut in 2005’s Four Brothers. Now at 16, the roles keep coming as the teen’s status as a role model keeps rising. A quick look at Downs’ Instagram account proves the young girl has plenty to say on- and off-screen, using her platform of 1 million-plus followers to make bold statements about feminism, gun control, transphobia, and many other social issues. And we can’t help but feel a point of pride over the natural ‘fro she rocked at this year’s Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards with a “#StraightOuttaWakanda” ensemble she designed to match. And we love that she makes a point to let it be known her melanin is poppin’ on the ‘gram.

primarily primary #kcas2018 (designed by yours truly) 🦋🌶📒

A post shared by Riele (@rieledowns) on

#straightouttawakanda 💃🏾🌟

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As women like Yara Shahidi, Zendaya, and Amandla Stenberg get older, there will be a question of who’s there to pick up the torch. And if I had to place a bet, I’d say Rielle Downs for sure. Take a look at some of her boldest messages of acceptance activism and the example she’s setting for young Black girls on the next few pages.

one million of y'all?! dats crazy. thank you β€οΈπŸ’ƒπŸΎ

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#defenddaca #defenddreamers ✊🏾☁️⭐️

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#findourgirls #spreadtheword ✊🏾

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