Angelina Jolie Praises Daughter Zahara As An "Extraordinary African Woman"
The humanitarian sat down for a virtual conversation with Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate
Angelina Jolie has been using her platform to raise awareness amid the Black Lives Matter protests happening around the world, using her role as contributing editor for Timemagazine to hold deep and thought-provoking discussions that speak of both her own experiences, as well thsoe of influential advocates.
This week, the actress and humanitarian sat down for a virtual conversation with Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate for a conversation about activism and the current climate crisis. The discussion turned to the Black Lives Matter movement, with Jolie sharing how daughter Zahara influenced her life after she adopted her from Ethopia in 2006.
"One of the things that’s also been interesting is the education," Jolie said. "I don’t know about the schools in Uganda, but I know in the United States there’s a very big question particularly about the, my daughter is from Ethiopia, one of my children. And I have learned so much from her. She is my family, but she is an extraordinary African woman and her connection to her country, her continent, is very, it’s her own and it’s something I only stand back in awe of. But what I see in, for example, American history books and how limited they are, they don’t — they really start teaching people who are Black about their lives through the Civil Rights movement, which is such a horrible place to begin."
"I think what people really need to first understand is that Africa is not just a country," Nakate responded. "It’s actually a continent with 54 countries. I remember the history that we learnt about [in school], and it talked so much of slavery and all that. I think that that is a narrative that needs to change."
It's not the first time Jolie has been vocal. The Maleficent star has long been an advocate for change, marking decades of dedicated charity work with organisations such as the Afghanistan Relief Organisation and Amnesty International, even working with a Special Envoy of the High Commissioner for Refugees to bring attention to the challenges that refugees face around the world.
Speaking to Harpers Bazaar U.K.Jolie shared she sees the current protests as a positive, but admits to knowing that the process will have to involve major changes to laws and institutions.
"A system that protects me but might not protect my daughter — or any other man, woman or child in our country based on skin colour — is intolerable," she said. "We need to progress beyond sympathy and good intentions to laws and policies that actually address structural racism and impunity. Ending abuses in policing is just the start. It goes far beyond that, to all aspects of society, from our education system to our politics."
As for the advice she'steaching her six children, Jolie simply said: "To listen to those who are being oppressed and never assume to know."
Grace BackGrace Back is a journalist and was formerly the Digital Culture Editor across ELLE and marie claire Australia. When not stuck in a seemingly endless Instagram scroll, you'll find Grace with her head in a good book.