Komon Ou Ye? 9 Of Our Favorite Celebs of Haitian Descent (And A Few Surprises Of Course!)

July 30, 2012  |  

With the large number of Haitian-born celebrities and Haitian-American (and Canadian) stars doing it big, we couldn’t pass on the chance to highlight some of our favorites–and a few we actually didn’t realize were repping Haiti. They are a variety of singers, rappers, actors and artists, but they all have one thing in common (besides being black of course), they go hard for their favorite country (or at least one of their favorites…). Enjoy!

And be ready to click…

Source: theurbandaily.com

 

Maxwell

If you hadn’t heard, my imaginary husband is indeed a Haitian brother. While his father was raised in Puerto Rico and was of Pentecostal faith, the singer’s mother grew up in Haiti and was Baptist. When helping to raise money after the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010, Maxwell spoke about his Haitian roots and his work before the catastrophe to help the fight against hunger. His song, “Fistful of Tears,” was used to help in the relief effort.

Source: wohoo.co.uk

Dawn Richard

Who knew? The former Danity Kane and Diddy-Dirty Money member was born and raised in New Orleans, and is African-American and Haitian. After the earthquake, the singer went to Haiti to learn more about her people, and was influenced to help, as she and her family had lost a lot themselves in Hurricane Katrina: “Intertwining my craft as an artist and my quest to learn of my Haitian descent, we were able to put a microscope to Haiti seven months after the Quake, and show how the Haitians are coping… and how they use their Art Culture to tell their story of pain and redemption.” Ah…the more you know!

Source: aceshowbiz.com

Wyclef & Pras

‘Clef is definitely the most outspoken Haitian-born celebrity, as way before catastrophe’s like the earthquake of 2010, he was repping the country hard and doing charitable work to fight poverty and more. The son of a pastor, Wyclef Jean was born in Croix-des-Bouquets, but moved to NYC with his family around the age of nine. He’s been the ambassador of Haiti since 2005 and created the Yéle Haiti organization in the same year, which has provided scholarships for thousands of young people. And of course, we know he tried to run for president, but because he didn’t meet residency requirements, he had to let that dream go…for now…

Coincidentally, his Fugees bandmate was also of Haitian descent, and according to Pras, the two looked at each other almost like cousins back in the day after growing up together. His full name is Praskazrel Samuel Michel, and though his bond with ‘Clef was once tight, Pras was very outspoken about his disapproval of his friend trying to run for president after the earthquake in Haiti. Because of that, ‘Clef felt betrayed and the two wound up having beef for a short while. “I love Wyclef to death … We came up together, we grew up together, we basically called each other cousins. But the reality is this, we need a real leader.”

However, the two patched things up for the country they love, with ‘Clef tweeting the following: “On my way 2 Haiti ran into Praz, what should I do make peace or go sit somewhere Else! I Made peace 4 Haiti!”

Source: fashionbombdaily.com

Garcelle Beauvais

You might know her better as “Fancy,” from “The Jamie Foxx Show,” but Garcelle Beauvais is a Haitian-born beauty. She was born to Marie-Claire Beauvais and Axel Jean-Pierre. The youngest child, she and her six brothers and sisters, along with her mother, came to the U.S. when she was young, and lived in many places, including Massachusetts and Miami. The actress later moved to NYC on her own where she went to pursue her early modeling career.

Source: Zimbio.com

Jason DeRulo

Something like an odd fusion of Chris Brown, a MJ wannabe and the wacktastic Flo Rida, Jordin Sparks’ boo is definitely an interesting character in the pop world. He’s also half Haitian. Don’t get it twisted, Jason DeRulo is actually Jason Desrouleaux, and the singer is the child of two Haitian-born parents in Miami. He says they both speak French and Creole.

Source: celebscentral.net

 

Trina McGee Davis

Apologies if I’m the only person here excited about this inclusion, but as a huge fan of “Boy Meets World” back in the day, I had to do it. Davis had a recurring role on “Boy Meets World” from ’97 to 2007, playing Shawn’s love interest, Angela. Being the lone black face I can remember on one of my favorite shows from my youth (the whole, “TGIF” era), I think she’s awesome. Anywho, Davis’ father was a Haitian political activist who, because of his comments on the evils of the former President of Haiti, Francois Duvalier (“Papa Doc”), had to run away from Haitian authorities, thus making him MIA from his family for years.

Source: magweb.com

Jamie Hector

Who else couldn’t stand Marlo on “The Wire”? *Raises hand* But in real life, Jamie Hector is not a fighter, but a lover and community organizer. The activist (he’s got a non-profit organization called “Moving Mountains”) and actor is the son of two Haitian-born parents, and was born in Brooklyn. Though the earthquake happened in 2010, Hector said that he had been helping people in Haiti way before then, rallying support for a project called Love ‘N Haiti. The recycling effort helped to turn trash into energy.

Source: amdesignperspectives.wordpress.com

 

Jean Michele Basquiat

I’m sure you can see from the name that this iconic brother was Haitian, but in case you didn’t know…

Definitely one of Haiti’s most outstanding talents, the late painter and graffiti artist’s work is still selling for millions, and continues to inspire a great deal of creative people, including rappers like Jay-Z, producer Swizz Beatz and more. Born in Brooklyn, Basquiat was the son of a Puerto Rican mother (Matilde Basquiat) and a Haitian father (Gerard Basquiat). His father was born in Port-au-Prince.

Source: Rollingstone.com

Ben Quddus Phillipe

Once again, who knew!? Probably one of the best looking veejays MTV had come around, “Quddus” was a host of MTV’s “Total Request Live” and most recently, the host of the reality singing competition, “Duets.” The Haitian-Canadian fella is the son of a Dutch mother and a Haitian-born father, and the two met while his mother was in Haiti doing charity work, trying to start a rural school project. So yeah, as BIG would say, “If you don’t know, now you know…”

Who would you like to add to the list?

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  • Rebecca

    Sidney Poitier’s dad was from Haiti and immigtated to the Bahamas

  • D

    …So if BOTH his parents are Haitian, how is he only HALF-Haitian?!

  • Tina

    What about WEB Dubois and Numa Perrier. Lol. But I too am pumped to hear the homey Angela is Haitian!

  • Deb

    where is my Jamaican list that would definatly be the longest without a doubt…lol

  • CarribeanLorelei

    Not to be rude but it’s koman ou ye

  • cassie

    i know about all except the MTV vj…all black ppl have a connection to the islands or Africa. none r true American.

  • yeah all of these were known to be Haitian or at least Islanders.. as are a million other people that we meet either claim to be from New York and some of them actually get angry when I say oh New York by way of Haiti .. Jamaica.. Pr.. Trinidad. ect. cause you may not know it but Americans know who is and who ain’t.. it is hard to fool us. not to be rude but I do not know why man so many like to fake being born and raised in America when in conversation so many of the same people from the Islands claim ” oh Americans are stupid, spoiled and do not take advantage of the good things here.. I just come and take what I want.. ” they fail to realize that America loves to give to people who were not born and raised here.. but make it very difficult for those who are born and raised here ..even in the way of allowing big American companies to outsource the jobs that kept America a super power and kept Americans able to afford to live in America.however, we Americans could not go to any other Country and be handed a green card .. a home.. a job and a food stamps paid for by their Country Populated workers..so it is not Americans but American Politicians that gave it all away to foreigners. Mean while instead of being grateful.. they come and insult us to our faces.. so far for the record I have not heard of these particular celebrities making such statements.. however.. I have with my own ears heard plenty of their Statesmen and women utter such insults.

  • Ebony

    I always though Trina McGhee Davis was very beautiful. She still is.

  • tamar paoli

    you forgot lela ronchon from waiting to exhale and a quarter of the nfl…but any way I am happy ppl are finally giving haitians props : )

  • Youknowwhatiitis

    This discussion is so stupid, we all came off the same slave boat.

  • Youknowwhatiitis

    This discussion is so stupid, we all came off the same sl@ve ship, just in different locations.

  • RelationshipDNA

    Where’s the LOVE button for this list?!

  • universal

    Garcelle Beauvais is a haitian beauty queen. its jus too bad she couldnt find a good blackman to marry, but its alright, as long as she’s happy, thats the most important thing, right?

  • FekNr

    Donald Faison is Nigerian

    • neema

      he is not on the list hun but thanks for the info

  • Gina

    I <3 my Haitian Culture

  • Baddvixentype

    I was very excited to see Trina McGee Davis on the list. I was all up in that TGIF era and Boy meets world was my show!

  • Mari42

    What about actress Lela Rochon from Waiting to Exhale, singer Usher RAYMOND? (he
    admitted that he father was of Haitian descent a few years before is dad passed away), WNBA player Marie Ferdinand-Harris, NBA player Samuel Dalembert, rapper Tony Yayo, and Papoose (I had to do some research for my students; the Palm Beach County, Fl school district celebrates Haitian Heritage Month in May).

    • IknowYouknow

      Wow, nice work…besides Dalembert, I hade no clue the rest u mentioned had Haitian affiliations.

  • Chanda

    Keep the lists coming! Now MN has to come up with a Puerto Rican, and Cuban list ’cause it isn’t just Jennifer Lopez.

  • I same thing, how is that half? I keep asking for, who’s the editor, but never get an answer!

  • funny gal

    Where’s Sidney Poitier, Celia Cruz, Lela Rachon, Donald Faison etc…

    • Yah

      celia cruz is cuban, not haitian

      • RESPECTS

        Yes Celia Cruz is haitian but was raised in Cuba

    • Guest

      I’m pretty sure non of the ppl you mentioned are Haitian.

      • Ayiticheri

        Sidney Poitier’s parents are Haitian, as well as Lela Rachon and Donald Faison. Celia Cruz is half Haitian. Her mother is of Haitian decent.

        • permafrost

          Sidney Poitier parents were Bahamian.

    • beautyishername

      don’t get it twisted my dear, Sidney Poitier is Bahamian.

  • just2hurtu

    Isn’t Gabrielle Union Haitian?

  • JP

    This article shocked me, I HAD to click on it! I love it that us Haitians are finally getting recognition & some positive publicity πŸ™‚ L’Union Fait La Force!

  • Nancy

    You guys forgot Lenny Kravitz. His half haitian and doesnt claim it for some reason and his my cousin.

    • Chanda

      I thought that Kravitz and Al Roker were Bahamian.

      • Ms. Kai

        There are both Bahamian and are cousins. His mother was Roxie Roker from the Jefferson’s. So people need to stop with the stories bout ” he is my cousin, in your head of course”

    • Ms. Kai

      Nancy lay off the bath salts booboo…….I am Bahamian and Lenny Kravitz black side is fully Bahamian . he lives on the island half the year. he has never denied this fact. So stop the sniffing my girl.

    • beautyishername

      Nancy you are a liar. Lenny is Bahamian

  • Alexa

    I love you MN! You guys must’ve read my comment last week about doing a story on Haitian celebs! Lol

  • Ci Sam

    Wow learned something new today.. Proud to be Haitian

  • I’m gonna be on this list in 5 years. Watch!

    • Alexa

      Jillian! Lol

    • marj

      Go for it! Reach for the stars! πŸ™‚

    • Tina

      Yes, go get them.

  • NONNI

    MN get it together so Jason DeRulo is the son of two haitian born parents but he is half haitian? am i the only one who is confused here…

    • I picked up on that too. LOL!!

    • A person can be born in Haiti and NOT be Haitian — buy a clue.

      • meena

        well misss know it all if that was the case here then am sure madamenoire would have mentioned it eg haitian born parents of brazilian origin getit?

      • DiamantNoir

        i guess u can’t afford a clue. Jean Michel Basquiat was half Haitian. meaning one parent was Haitian the other was Puerto Rican. If you were born here (US) and have two Haitian parents you can all yourself American or Haitian or Haitian American, but not half Haitian. get it?

    • marj

      Because he was born in the USA!
      Therefore, HAITIAN-American

  • Nana Quaison-Sackey

    OK, Time for the Ghanaian list!

    • Efua

      boris kodjoe in the house!!!!!!!

      • gracie

        Can you count more than 1celeb of ghanian descent?

        • Nana Quaison-Sackey

          I sure can’t! That’s why I’m waiting for Madame Noire to create the “Surprising people of Ghanaian descent” lol

          • dimbo

            please no Ghana list, Nigerian list that’s ok

            • jem

              I’m half Nigerian and half Ghanaian and I want both lists!

        • Miss D

          Idris Elba is half Ghanaian.

          • guest

            erm no he’s half sierra leonean πŸ™‚
            lol

        • Tina

          The Boateng brothers are half Ghanian they’re hot soccer players haha. I”m Haitian but I’m like “challenge accepted!” I’m sure there are a gang of famous Ghanian’s out there.

    • Guest

      Where’s my Kenyan list? I want that too.

  • sabrina

    I’m sure Alexa will be very happy to see this.

  • Woot, I love my fellow Haitians~

  • tia

    FInally! Liked this site before now I love it. It’s nice to see something I can relate to as a haitian american