Celebrity·Updated on Mar 9, 202238 Mixed-Race Celebrities Who Have Actually Talked About Their Multiracial Identity"I identify as exactly what I am — both. Equally proud."by Victoria VouloumanosBuzzFeed StaffFacebookPinterestTwitterMailLink 1. Yara Shahidi Leon Bennett / Getty Images Yara Shahidi is of Black and Iranian heritage. In a 2017 interview with Teen Vogue, where she opened up about being biracial, Shahidi said, "Being someone that is half-Black and half-Iranian and proud of both sides, it gave me a community of people that identify as Blackish." She continued, "Because so many times, if you are of any race, there is a certain feeling of this meter of like, ‘How Black am I? How Iranian am I?’ and it's hard when you're both to feel as though you can coexist as both and be fully both.'" 2. Mariah Carey Time Life Pictures / The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images Mariah Carey is of Black and Irish heritage. In a 2020 interview with Vulture, Carey discussed her identity and experiences being mixed — from childhood to stardom — even singing her lifelong refrain, "I really have been like, ‘I’m mixed. I’m mixed. I’m really, really mixed.’"In opening up about her childhood, Carey asked, "How was I supposed to fit in? I was, like, the only one that’s this weird mutant, mutt — using an antiquated phrase that I’m not asking anyone else to ever use again, but I’m embracing it — mulatto girl. I’m not even embracing it. It’s a horrible way of defining somebody. It actually means ‘mule.’" 3. Avan Jogia Jason Laveris / FilmMagic / Getty Images Avan Jogia is of Indian, English, and Irish heritage. He published Mixed Feelings, a combination of poetry and interviews with other mixed-race individuals that focuses on self-identity, in 2019. In a 2019 interview with 34th Street about Mixed Feelings, Jogia shared, "I realized the collective mixed experience is so similar. It doesn’t matter what the racial background of those mixed-nesses are. We are all unified in the similarities of the experience.""I never had anything that I could point to that I could be like, ‘Hey, this is what the mixed experience is,’" he expanded, "So, if it offers that, that to me is like the goal here, to be at least a little bit of a framework or a guideline, or at least ask the right questions that might inspire you to define or figure out who you are." 4. Keegan-Michael Key Phil Mccarten / Reuters / Getty Images Keegan-Michael Key is of Black, Polish, and Belgian Flemish heritage. In a 2012 interview with CNN, Key described being ostracized by Black classmates when they realized his mom is white, "For me, it was very hard and rough. When you’re a child, the most important thing is to be able to live a life of comfort. You want to be sure that the moon goes up at night and the sun comes up in the morning and dad comes home from work. At school, it was not comfortable."Key elaborated, "My mom would come by my school to bring me lunch — my mom is a cute, ruddy little white woman, and there’s no category for that — the kids don’t know how to respond, and so they tease: ‘That ain’t your mama!’ ‘Why you talk white?’ It’s not to say that every child in grade school talked to me that way, but that’s what I remember.” 5. Tracee Ellis Ross Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images Tracee Ellis Ross is of Black and Jewish heritage. Her parents are the famous Diana Ross and Bob Ellis. In a 2019 interview with USA Today, Ross explained, "A mixed kid in America is a mixed kid in America. And there’s a lot of very archetypal experiences that we have that are the contradictions of these two heritages." She continued, "And truthfully for me, my experiences within my family, similar to this family, was a protected safe environment, that my mixedness didn’t necessarily come up in a big way. But how you push up against the world is sort of where that gets ignited." 6. Henry Golding Frazer Harrison / Getty Images Henry Golding is of English and Malaysian heritage. He opened up about being mixed race in a 2018 interview with Bustle: "I felt like if you were an Asian mix, were you allowed to belong in any society or were you just meant to be on the outskirts?" Golding expanded, saying, "Just because by blood I'm not full Asian doesn't mean I can't own my Asianness. And I relate so much more with my Asian side." 7. Zendaya Steven Ferdman / Getty Images Zendaya is of Black, German, Irish, English, and Scottish heritage. At the 2018 Beautycon Festival, when discussing colorism and her own privileges, she said, "As a Black woman, as a light-skinned Black woman, it's important that I'm using my privilege, my platform to show you how much beauty there is in the African-American community.""I am Hollywood's, I guess you could say, acceptable version of a Black girl and that needs to change," she said. "We're vastly too beautiful and too interesting for me to be the only representation of that. What I'm saying, it's about creating those opportunities. Sometimes you have to create those paths. And that's with anything — Hollywood, art, whatever." 8. Taika Waititi Rachel Luna / Getty Images Taika Waititi is of Māori (Te Whānau-ā-Apanui), Russian Jewish, and Irish heritage. In a 2018 interview with Daze, Waititi talked about growing up half-Polynesian in New Zealand, "Growing up it was very normal to go into a store and they would say, ‘What do you want?’ And you’d be like, (muttering) ‘I’m just looking at chips, man.’ I remember getting a job at a dairy and they would never give me a job at the till, I was always at the back washing vegetables." He went on, "And then one day one of the owners asked me if I sniffed glue — like, ‘Are you a glue-sniffer?’ In my head I was like, ‘Motherfucker, you grew up with my mum!’ And I knew for sure that he didn’t ask other kids in the store if they were glue-sniffers." 9. H.E.R. Emma McIntyre / Getty Images H.E.R. is of Black and Filipino heritage. In an interview with WWD, she said she "identifies strongly with both sides," and that her home as a kid was distinctly Filipino. She took her shoes off at the door, and her grandparents lived with her — always cooking. She continued, "My dad would throw down with the soul food when we had our Black side over. Black culture, to me, is so important and I identify with young Black women. I represent young Black women, and I’m proud of that." 10. Maya Rudolph Valerie Macon / Getty Images Maya Rudolph is of Black and Jewish heritage. In a 2018 interview with the New York Times magazine, Rudolph recalled, "When I was a kid, and people would come up to me or stare at me because of my mom, I didn’t like it. I really didn’t like it. I used to think, 'Oh, they’re staring at my hair because it’s so big and ugly.' Because I didn’t realize people were just staring at my mother, like, ‘Wow, that’s her daughter!’ I didn’t know; I was a kid. And kids always personalize things.”When asked if people often question which side she identifies with more, Rudolph answered, "Yeah," and added, "Meeting other mixed kids has always affected me. It was like part of a secret society." 11. Shakira Rodrigo Varela / WireImage / Getty Images Shakira is of Colombian and Lebanese heritage. In a 2002 interview with Faze magazine, Shakira said, "I am a fusion. That’s my persona. I’m a fusion between black and white, between pop and rock, between cultures — between my Lebanese father and my mother’s Spanish blood, the Colombian folklore and Arab dance I love, and American music." 12. Devon Aoki Stephen Lovekin / WireImage for amfAR / Getty Images Aoki is of Japanese, German, and English heritage. In a 2006 interview with Rotten Tomatoes, Aoki discussed her identity, "My mom is German-English. I grew up with my mom, but I can’t escape the way I look, and my whole life I’ve had a strong sense of self because of it. I’ve watched my father (Benihana restaurateur Rocky Aoki) and all of the achievements he’s made; I’ve always wanted to follow in his footsteps in some ways in changing the dynamic of how Asians are interpreted."She then expanded, "There weren’t a lot of people who were even allowed to represent for our culture, being from the East. So every movie I do, that’s a thought in my head that I have to represent for Asian people. That’s really important to me." 13. J-Cole Bryan Steffy / Getty Images J-Cole is of Black, Irish, German, English, and Scottish heritage. In a 2011 interview with XXL Mag, when asked how he deals with his racial identity, J-Cole answered, "You know what it is? My mother was white, but to me, I never looked at her like that. I would only become aware of that when we were in public or when she would pick me up from school. I would be like, 'Oh, man, everybody gonna see my mom is white. I know I’m about to get clowned.' You would get clowned on in fourth or fifth grade. ... That was the only time I’d be aware."He concluded, "I can identify with white people, because I know my mother, her side of the family, who I love. ... But at the end of the day, I never felt white. I don’t know what that feels like. ... I identify more with what I look like because that’s how I got treated. Not necessarily in a negative way. But when you get pulled over by the police, I can’t pull out my half-white card. Or if I just meet you on the street, you’re not gonna be like, 'This guy seems half-white.'" 14. Chrissy Teigen Frazer Harrison / Getty Images Chrissy Teigen is of Thai and Norwegian heritage. In a 2018 interview with SheKnows, Teigen discussed her own childhood growing up mixed-race and her thoughts on her daughter Luna's experience, "I remember feeling confused when I grew up, filling out the forms on those standardized tests. I was like, ‘Am I Pacific Islander? What am I? I don’t even know!’" "And then there was ‘Other,’" she noted, "But I always said ‘Asian’ for some wild reason, even though it’s a perfect 50/50. Still, I remember the biggest question growing up was, ‘What are you? What are you? What are you?’ And you’re like, ‘Oh, my God.’ I worry sometimes that Luna is going to be so much in the middle that she’s not going to know, but I think by the time she grows up, it’s such a melting pot, this whole world now." 15. K.J. Apa Steve Granitz / WireImage / Getty Images K.J. Apa is of Samoan, Scottish, English, and Irish heritage. In a 2017 interview with Vulture, he spoke about his Samoan heritage, saying, "I have a massive Samoan family. And the Samoan culture has always played a massive part of my life. I’ve got hundreds of family on my dad’s side that live in Samoa and in New Zealand. I’ve just been surrounded by the culture ever since I was a kid." He continued, "I actually used to speak Samoan, but me and my sisters all kind of lost it. We go there at least once a year to see family. And my dad recently just got a traditional Samoan tattoo. He’s a chief in Samoa, so he got that tattoo to commemorate it." 16. Lenny Kravitz Gie Knaeps / Getty Images Lenny Kravitz is of Black, Russian-Jewish, and Native American heritage. In a 2013 interview with HuffPost, Kravitz expanded on his ethnicity when talking about how he filled out the 'race' sections on school forms, "My great-grandmother’s Cherokee Indian. My father’s a Russian Jew. My mom’s Bahamian. [I thought], 'What the hell do I put on this thing?' The teachers came over and [said], ‘Black. That’s what you are.’ And so, so many parts of your heritage are just squashed. ‘That’s it. You’re that.’ I didn’t like that."Kravitz also recalled the first day of first grade, when a boy approached him and his father, "He yelled, ‘Your father’s white!’ I didn’t understand what that was about and why that was an issue. That was the first day that I had to think about it. It just let me know, okay, this is how folks think." 17. Lisa Bonet Time Life Pictures / The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images Lisa Bonet is of Black and Jewish heritage. In a 2018 interview with Net-A-Porter, Bonet discussed growing up mixed-race in the '70s, "The world wasn’t ready for what I represented, the merging of these two races. I didn’t always feel welcome – in my mom’s family, in my school. So I sheltered myself by always withholding a bit, because I didn’t always feel safe."If she could speak to her younger self, Bonet said she'd say, "Try not to internalize the disdain and hate that was projected onto me." 18. Zoë Kravitz Cindy Ord / Getty Images Zoë Kravitz is of Black and Jewish heritage. In fact, her parents are the aforementioned Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet. In a 2017 interview with Allure, Kravitz spoke on her identity, "I am definitely mixed. Both my parents are mixed. I have white family on both sides. The older I get, the more I experience life, I am identifying more and more with being Black, and what that means — being more and more proud of that and feeling connected to my roots and my history. It’s been a really interesting journey because I was always one of the only Black kids in any of my schools." She further elaborated, "I went to private schools full of white kids. I think a lot of that made me want to blend in or not be looked at as Black. The white kids are always talking about your hair and making you feel weird. I had this struggle of accepting myself as Black and loving that part of myself. And now I’m so in love with my culture and so proud to be Black. It’s still ongoing, but a big shift has occurred. My dad especially has always been very connected to his history, and it’s important to him that I understand where I come from.” 19. Jason Momoa Brook Mitchell / Getty Images Jason Momoa is of Native Hawaiian, German, Irish, and Native American heritage. (He's also married to and has two kids with Lisa Bonet.) In a 2018 interview with The New Paper, Momoa talked about Aquaman's significance to mixed-race people, saying, "And honestly, to be the first mixed-race superhero in 2018... that is a huge honor."He noted, "And also just to play it so close to who I am, with all of Arthur's imperfections. I don't have to be Superman — I am not. But I got to play it as someone who really is split between two worlds, and I am excited for the world to see it." 20. Kimora Lee Simmons J. Vespa / WireImage / Getty Images Kimora Lee Simmons is of Black, Korean, and Japanese heritage. In an article for Working Mother, she wrote, "I was a loner growing up. I was a mixed-race girl with a Korean-Japanese mother and an African American father, and none of the other kids at my school were like me. I was nearly six feet tall by the time I was 11 years old. And I was an only child being raised by a single mother."She then revealed, "They called me 'chinky giraffe.' I cried all the time. But my mother wanted me to turn my tears into something else, something positive." So her mother signed her up for modeling, where Karl Lagerfeld eventually dubbed her "the face of the 21st century." 21. Jordan Peele Mario Anzuoni / Reuters / Getty Images Jordan Peele is of Black and English heritage. In a 2013 interview with NPR, Peele talked about his identity, "And I think the most trying part it is, involves how I speak. I think that's always been the part that I felt most insecure about. Is that the... is that the world has wanted me to speak differently than I speak. You know, I speak like my mom; I speak like, you know, like the whitest white dude; I speak like a Def Comedy Jam comedian doing an impression of a white guy."He continued, "And I even remember, you know, when I was a kid that, you know, there was a, you know, every now and then you'd come upon somebody who would sort of question how I spoke, whether or not, you know, I was trying to be something I wasn't." 22. Olivia Munn Steve Granitz / WireImage / Getty Images Munn is of German, Irish, English, and Chinese heritage. She predominantly grew up in Japan, though the moved back to Oklahoma for her last two years of high school. When asked about the struggles she encountered trying to establish herself in a 2019 interview with Prestige Hong Kong, Munn revealed, "I’d go out for so many auditions, for everything. And then I’d be told, 'You’re too Asian' or 'You’re too white.' I remember someone telling me, 'Don’t feel bad. One day they won’t be trying to match you to fit with anyone else. You’ll just be hired for you.' So you can’t help but get frustrated. That’s part of it all." 23. Halle Berry Steve Granitz / WireImage / Getty Images Halle Berry is of Black, English, German, Irish, and Dutch heritage. In a 2017 interview with Refinery29, Berry opened up on growing up mixed-race — especially after she transferred from an inner-city school to high-school in the suburbs, "Now, all of a sudden we were in an all-white school with all-white kids. I got bullied a little bit...because of the color of my skin, and at that time, we were 'Oreos.'" 24. Aubrey Plaza Albert L. Ortega / Getty Images Aubrey Plaza is of Puerto Rican, English, and Irish heritage. In an interview with Latina magazine, Plaza explained how she struggled with her identity, "I was winning the diversity awards and people were always calling bullshit on me. I won the Hispanic teenager of the year and I felt terrible. I always felt like I didn’t deserve to win because I was really half [Latino].” 25. Kamala Harris Alexander Tamargo / Getty Images Kamala Harris is of Jamaican and Indian heritage. In her 2019 memoir The Truths We Hold, Harris explained that she and her younger sister Maya "were raised with a strong awareness of and appreciation for Indian culture," but that her mother still "understood very well that she was raising two Black daughters. She knew that her adopted homeland would see Maya and me as Black girls, and she was determined to make sure we would grow into confident, proud Black women."In an interview with the Washington Post, Harris asserted, "...when I first ran for office that was one of the things that I struggled with, which is that you are forced through that process to define yourself in a way that you fit neatly into the compartment that other people have created. My point was: I am who I am. I’m good with it. You might need to figure it out, but I’m fine with it." 26. Amandla Stenberg Andreas Rentz / Getty Images Amandla Stenberg is of Black and Danish heritage. In a 2018 interview with Variety, Stenberg discussed how the media perceives her, as a lighter-skinned, biracial actress, "Something interesting has happened with me and Yara and Zendaya — there is a level of accessibility of being biracial that has afforded us attention in a way that I don’t think would have been afforded to us otherwise." She expanded, “Me and Yara and Zendaya are perceived in the same way, I guess, because we are lighter-skinned Black girls, and we fill this interesting place of being accessible to Hollywood and accessible to white people in a way that darker-skinned girls are not afforded the same privilege." 27. Shay Mitchell John Shearer / Getty Images Shay Mitchell is of Filipino, Irish, and Scottish heritage. She talked about struggling at school due to her cultural background in a 2016 interview with Cosmopolitan, explaining, "I was so uncomfortable being Filipino. I’d get ‘Oh, is your mom a nanny?’ It’s like, No, fucker, but even if she was, do you know how hard that is? Could you do it? No." 28. Meghan Markle Chris Jackson / Getty Images Meghan Markle is of Black, Dutch, English, and Irish heritage. In her 2015 essay published in ELLE Magazine, Markle wrote, "Navigating closed-mindedness to the tune of a dorm mate I met my first week at university who asked if my parents were still together. 'You said your mom is black and your dad is white, right?' she said. I smiled meekly, waiting for what could possibly come out of her pursed lips next."Markle continued, "'And they're divorced?' I nodded. 'Oh, well that makes sense.' To this day, I still don't fully understand what she meant by that, but I understood the implication. And I drew back: I was scared to open this Pandora's box of discrimination, so I sat stifled, swallowing my voice." 29. Naomi Scott Mike Marsland / Mike Marsland / WireImage / Getty Images Naomi Scott is of Indian and English heritage. Speaking to her background in an interview with Teen Vogue, she said, "There were moments growing up where you’re like, 'Oh, I don’t really feel Indian enough.' But now I’m at a place where I’m like you know what? It’s okay." "It doesn’t make me any less Indian, or any less half Indian," she asserts, adding, "My two favorite meals — one is my mum’s curry and one being a roast dinner. And that is me in a nutshell." 30. Rashida Jones Danny Moloshok / Reuters / Getty Images Rashida Jones is of Black and Jewish heritage. In a 2005 family interview with Glamour, Jones discussed being mixed-race with her older sister, Kidada, and their parents, Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton. While Kidada spoke of identifying as Black — as everyone perceives her to be — Rashida elaborated:"I had no control over how I looked! This is my natural hair, these are my natural eyes! I've never tried to be anything I'm not. Today I feel guilty, knowing that because of the way our genes tumbled out, Kidada had to go through pain I didn't have to endure." 31. Nicole Scherzinger Gregg Deguire / WireImage / Getty Images Nicole Scherzinger is of Filipino, Native Hawaiian, and Russian heritage. She was born in Hawaii, and, in an interview with Pacific Citizen, she said, "My mother, growing up, would dance the hula and Tahitian with her family. My mother taught me hula when I was really young."She also opened up about being a mixed-race artist, explaining she faced challenges getting work "especially because I started out in theater, and a lot of people didn't understand what my nationality was or what race I was. So, they were a little confused on how to cast me or what my place was. But it was really confusing at first because people wanted me to be like the Puerto Rican girl, the sidekick, the Puerto Rican best friend." 32. Slash Amanda Edwards / Getty Images Slash is of Black and English heritage. In a 2018 interview with Rolling Stone, Slash explained what his background means to him, saying, "It’s never been part of my makeup, to be able to differentiate myself from anybody else because of color. I went through a lot of that as a kid — in school, you’re pigeonholed into being more aware of your background. When I started doing my own thing, especially playing guitar, it wasn’t so much of a thing. I never really cared to have to identify one way or another."He laughingly added, "It was always confusing on school questionnaires. You know, 'other.'" 33. Bruno Mars Carlo Allegri / Reuters / Getty Images Bruno Mars is of Flipino, Spanish, Puerto Rican, and Jewish heritage. In a 2017 interview with Latina magazine, Mars reflects on not being easily categorizable, "There are a lot of people who have this mixed background that are in this gray zone. A lot of people think, ‘This is awesome. You’re in this gray zone, so you can pass for whatever the hell you want.’ But it’s not like that at all. It’s actually the exact opposite."Mars continued, "What we’re trying to do is educate people to know what that feels like so they’ll never make someone feel like that ever again. Which is a hard thing to do. Because no one can see what we see and no one can grow up with what we grew up with." 34. Halsey Angela Weiss / Getty Images Halsey is of Black, Italian, Hungarian, and Irish heritage. In a 2017 interview with Vulture, Halsey discussed her childhood, "When I was little, if someone saw me and my dad walking through, like, a grocery store parking lot, women would come up to us and be like, ‘Sweetie, are you okay?’ Because they saw a little white girl walking with a Black man.” She conluded, “Maybe people won’t accept that I’m half Black, but they could be not accepting me because I am, and that’s much worse.” 35. Barack Obama Nurphoto / Getty Images Barack Obama is of Luo, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, German and Swiss heritage. In a 2016 interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates for the Atlantic, Obama said, "...there is no doubt that as a mixed child, as the child of an African and a white woman, who was very close to white grandparents who came from Kansas, that I think the working assumption of discrimination, the working assumption that white people would not treat me right or give me an opportunity, or judge me on the basis of merit—that kind of working assumption is less embedded in my psyche than it is, say, with Michelle." He elaborated, "There is a little bit of a biographical element to this. I had as a child seen at least a small cross-section of white people, but the people who were closest to me loved me more than anything. And so even as an adult, even by the time I’m 40, 45, 50, that set of memories meant that if I walked into a room and it’s a bunch of white farmers, trade unionists, middle age—I’m not walking in thinking, Man, I’ve got to show them that I’m normal." "I walk in there, I think, with a set of assumptions: like, these people look just like my grandparents," Obama explained, "And I see the same Jell-O mold that my grandmother served, and they’ve got the same, you know, little stuff on their mantelpieces. And so I am maybe disarming them by just assuming that we’re okay." 36. Chloe Bennet Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images for FIJI Water Chloe Bennet — born Chloe Wang — is Chinese and white. She was once criticized for changing her name and responded: "Changing my name doesn’t change the fact that my BLOOD is half Chinese, that I lived in China, speak Mandarin or that I was culturally raised both American and Chinese... I had to pay my rent, and Hollywood is racist and wouldn’t cast me with a last name that made them uncomfortable.” 37. Pete Wentz Frazer Harrison / Getty Images for Spotify Pete's mother is half-Black and his father is white, and he trended on Twitter in 2020 when a lot of people realized that he is biracial. Talking about his childhood, Pete said, “The only thing that was a little weird is our family is mixed race, and it was a super-white neighborhood, so it was like, ‘Oh…I don’t look like any of the people that I live near in this community.’ But there was no great sadness to it. If anything, it made me be like, ‘Well, I’m just who I am.’ It gave me armor.” 38. And Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Kevin Winter / Getty Images The Rock is of Black and Samoan heritage. His father is former professional wrestler Rocky Johnson, who was the first black Georgia heavyweight champion. His maternal grandfather, Peter Maivia, was a Samoan American professional wrestler.After a Twitter debate regarding how he identifies, Johnson tweeted, "Glad I came across this and I’ll give you guys some context [and] truth. I identify as exactly what I am — both. Equally proud. Black/Samoan." Anyone else you'd hoped to see on this list? Let us know in the comments! And if you're mixed too, do you relate? Tell us about your own thoughts or experiences below!