PS: What is your advice for media outlets to write about this in a better way?
ZC: If something feels personal to your culture or to your background, then you take that personally and you feel affected by it. You can't tell someone not to be upset about it. But when it comes to big media outlets, instead of saying, "Oh, it's a big controversy and now I'm making it bigger," they should really talk to people. Saying that people are angry furthers the "angry black woman thing," and people aren't angry for no reason. There's reasons why people are hurt by certain things, so I would suggest talking to people.
Talk to women of color and hear their personal experiences. Get to know the background, understand why people are offended by it, and [learn] how we can be more sensitive of other people's cultures — how we can enlighten ourselves. Use it for good other than just something to click on. Because you click on it and then you read about how people are upset, but you don't know why. You don't learn anything, and you just feel like people are upset for no reason.
PS: Do you have any advice — and I could be wrong here — for how celebrities like Kim Kardashian or Katy Perry can wear a style that's been traditionally a black one? Is there ever an appropriate way to do that? Or is it better just to stay away from those looks?
ZC: I don't know. I really don't know. I would be careful, I would definitely be careful. I don't know if there is an appropriate way — that's not something I can answer.
My girl Amandla [Stenberg], who is super dope, brought up another problem. She wished society loved black people as much as they love black culture. That's the truth. The credit gets taken away from us when we make certain statements or when we do certain things. That is the frustration. People want to be around for the positives and the things that we bring as far as culture, but they don't want to be around when we have problems or when we're getting shot in the streets. You know what I'm saying? You have to be there for the whole experience. You can't just decide when you want to be a part of our culture.