16-Year-Old Riele Downs Is The Teen Actress/Activist Our Girls Need
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.
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.
i'm so proud to see the people of my generation take a stand for such an important cause. i'm inspired by your courage and I stand with you all! 🗣 i found @molly.jackson's post to be really informative, so check that out for some more info on the walkout and events to follow ❤️ #nationalwalkoutday #bethechange
it's now past midnight, but happy belated birthday to Trayvon Martin 🙏🏾 he would have turned 23 today, if his life wasn't cut short by an act of racial profiling. situations like these are still prevalent, but the fight will not cease until justice is served. #restinpower #blacklivesmatter #sayhisname 🤴🏾
I am thankful for every brave action Martin Luther King Jr. took in order to pave the path to a brighter future. This year, let's follow his lead and take on some of the issues still deeply embedded in the fabric of our society. May we continue to empower one another with his words, refusing to stop until we achieve equality for all. #MLKday #WeHaveADream ❤️✊🏾
#Repost @grantgust ・・・ A human is a human. This reality star President is trying to turn back the clock all across the board. This isn't a "liberal" thing. I believe in equality for all people, including the negative people that come out of the woodworks to troll on posts where people are trying to help the world be more progressive and open. Open your eyes, people. Try to empathize with people that have different struggles than you. Find a common ground. Help each other out. Love above all else.