Priah Ferguson—An inspiration to young Black girls (Merecedes’ column July 3)

NETFLIX’s “Stranger Things” is a hit with viewers. Priah Ferguson, pictured above, will begin her second season on the show on July 4. (Photos courtesy Pittsburgh Pirates)

by Merecedes J. Williams, For New Pittsburgh Courier

There’s clearly no age requirement for Black Girl Magic. In recent months, we have seen a 14-year-old movie producer (Marsai Martin) and a 94-year-old icon grace the cover of Time magazine (Cicely Tyson). Now, to join the ranks and sprinkle her own magic around the world is 12-year-old Priah Ferguson.

The breakout Netfl ix star is on the verge of appear-ing in her second season on the hit show, “Stranger Things,” which will be released on Independence Day. On June 21 here in Pittsburgh, I had a chance to sit down with Ferguson and chat about some things we can expect from her in the near future.

THE COURIER’S MERECEDES J. WILLIAMS interviews Priah Ferguson, left, who plays Erica Sinclair on the Netflix show “Stranger Things.”

Ferguson also threw out the first pitch at PNC Park, where the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the San Diego Padres, 2-1. Ferguson might have been a good luck charm because the Bucs went on to sweep the three-game series.

On a press tour for the third season of the science fi ction thriller, Ferguson says viewers “can expect a bigger role” from her character, Erica Sinclair. This season, Ferguson de-clares that Erica and her group of friends are “on a mission.”

Ferguson, who has also appeared in the Em-my-award winning series “Atlanta,” prepared for this role. From listening to ‘80s music to rummag-ing through her grand-mother’s photo albums, she got a pulse of what it means to be a kid 35 years ago. “I have a little bit of Erica in me,” she said.

Speaking of that Black Girl Magic, this articulate preteen has a message for young girls of color:

PRIAH FERGUSON was in Pittsburgh, June 21, threw out the first pitch at the Pirates game, and made public address announcements with Pirates’ PA Announcer Tim DeBacco.

“You can do it!” As simple as it sounds, the message behind the statement has some context. Through her work, she hopes to “empow-er them, inspire them, and create content with girls of all shades.”

Priah Ferguson is a polite, bright, and bubbly young lady. She is fully aware of her environ-ment, understanding the under-representation and inferiority of dark skin girls. She possesses a maturity of someone well beyond her age. And she is goal-oriented and setting her sights on projects beyond “Stranger Things.”

In addition to acting, Ferguson is the spokes-person for the United Way of Greater Atlanta where she performs community service projects to help the homeless. She also plans to expand her professional career to script writing and nail care.


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