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“Premature” Is A Raw Portrait of Black Teen Summer Love

by BUST Magazine

Co-written and directed by Rashaad Ernesto Green 
Out February 21

Premature is a multi-layered coming-of-age love story, admirably co-written by and starring Zora Howard in her screenwriting debut. Howard plays Ayanna, a 17-year-old Harlemite navigating the summer before she heads off to college out-of-state. Filled with uncertainty about the future and wanting to belong, Ayanna finds herself stressing about her mother’s many romantic entanglements and seeking sanctuary amongst her homegirls, all while stumbling into her own love affair with 20-something musician Isaiah (Joshua Boone). Black teen romance as it is depicted here feels like a trapeze act—each unbalanced step forward is as shaky as the last, with no certainty that anyone will make it across to the other side. And by the end, Ayanna is left facing even more decisions than she had when she started.

Premature is an extremely vulnerable portrait of a Black teen girl in love. The narrative nails the awkward pacing of first relationships—full of haste, half-truths, and earnest efforts to reach understanding. It’s also a necessary reality check for those who may have forgotten what real teen love looks like. (5/5)

By Bry’onna Mention



This article originally appeared in the Spring 2020 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today! 

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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