Famous Blaxicans That Helped Us Mixed Kids Feel Seen When We Were Growing Up
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It’s no secret that, in the U.S., racial identity is described almost exclusively in binary terms. You’re either Black or white. White or Asian. Asian or Latino. There is very little room for nuance when discussing race and ethnicity in this country. But we know that ethnic and racial identity isn’t as cut and dry as that. Mixed race people exist, but they often feel erased — and Blaxicans feel that just as strongly as any biracial group.
Born to Black and Mexican parents, Blaxicans often feel like they’re straddling two worlds, but never fully accepted by either. However, most Blaxicans also feel like they totally belong in both spaces. After all, identifying as both is their blood right. Now, when more Americans are identifying as multiracial than ever before, people are finally becoming more open to seeing people for their entirety. In honor of that progress, we’ve compiled the definitive list of famous Blaxicans that you may or may not have never known about before.
Kid Cudi was born to a Mexican-American father and an African-American mother. In fact, he even has an alter ego called “Juan Pablo.” In an interview with MTV via Complex: “Juan Pablo is that character that I created. He was raised in a Mexican family, but he’s Black.” When Kid Cudi’s father died when he was 11, Cudi was devastated. The sorrow he felt as a child has informed his music ever since.
2. Natalia Bryant
Of her mixed-race parentage, Natalia said to Teen Vogue: “I’m biracial. When I was younger, I didn’t really understand … how I’m both. As I got older, I was able to understand.” Natalia’s mother, Vanessa Bryant, is Mexican-American and her father, Kobe Bryant, is Black.
3. Tayshia Adams
Last year, Tayshia Adams became the first Blaxican lead of “The Bachelorette.” Tayshia told mitú that being cast as the Bachelorette is a “win” for minorities who “haven’t felt seen before on the show.” Tayshia, whose father is African-American and whose mother is Mexican, has close ties to her Mexican roots. She told us that she would spend summers in Mexico when she was a kid and return home speaking Spanish.
Miguel has been candid about how his audience has struggled to understand his Blaxican identity: “Most people think of me solely as a black artist, but there’s a reason why my name is Miguel,” he said in an interview with Vice.
6. Devin Booker
Phoenix Suns shooting guard Devin Booker was born in Michigan to a Black father and a Mexican-American mother. “When I was drafted by Phoenix, I finally got to see the Hispanic culture around me for the first time in my life,” Booker said in a profile for the Phoenix Suns. “You drive around the city, you look into the stands at the game and you see it. That made me want to learn about myself much more honestly because I just hadn’t been around. Being here in Phoenix has made me aware of living in the culture.”
7. Tessa Thompson
Tessa Thompson opened up about her Mexican mother at the Essence Hollywood festival: “My mom is a woman of color even though she might not be readily identified as such and I feel like because of that, she always gave me space to explore my identity; get in touch with who I am. She understood the void of not having enough guidance, in that. Even though she is not a Black woman, throughout my life, she filled me with such pride of being one.”
Cassie Ventura is of Filipino, Mexican, and Black descent. Ever the mysterious public figure, Cassie hasn’t talked much about her racial identity or her ethnic background.
9. Stacy Dash
Despite being Blaxican, Stacey Dash tweeted out “Build the Wall” in 2018. She added “My mother was Mexican,” in the tweet as if that gives her an excuse to be shallow-minded.
10. Lauren Ridloff
You may know Lauren Ridloff as “Connie” in “The Walking Dead.” The deaf actress says that growing up in a mixed-race Blaxican family where she was the only one who was deaf makes her identify with deaf culture instead of a race, according to The New York Times.
11. Marques Houston
Marques Houston may look vaguely familiar to you, but you may not be able to pinpoint exactly where you know him from. Well, he’s actually Roger from “Sister, Sister.” Marques Houston’s mother, Carolyn Houston, was Mexican-American and his father is African-American.
12. Jaylen Barron
Blaxican actress Jaylen Barron is known for her roles as Dominique Winslow in the Showtime series Shameless and is currently on Blindspotting on Showtime. Of her identity, she told TV Over Mind; “I am a mixed-raced person; my mother is Mexican and my father, Black…I don’t think within my family no one side is more present than the other. My mom and dad both have brought me up to be proud about everything that makes me, me.”
13. Lee Rodriguez
You may recognize Blaxican actress Lee Rodriguez as queer, Afro-Latina best friend of Ravi on Netflix’s show “Never Have I Ever”.
14. Lupita Nyong’o
And of course, we couldn’t talk about famous Blaxicans without talking about the legendary Lupita Nyong’o. Born in Mexico to Kenyan parents, Lupita still identifies as being Afro-Latina. “I’m Mexican and Kenyan at the same time,” she told El Mañana. “I’ve seen the quarrels over my nationality, but I’m Kenyan and Mexican at the same time.”
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