Heyello! 11 Bahamian Celebrities We Love (And Per The Usual, A Few Surprises…)

August 28, 2012  |  

So let’s see. We’ve done Barbadian folks, Haitian folks, Jamaican folks, Trinidadian folks and more, so what’s missing? The Bahamas of course! Many of our favorite actors and performers rep the country very hard, and some even own property there or represent as ambassadors. We’ve looked up a few and thought you’d like to know which black folks are Bahamian and how they’re tied to the country. Shall we proceed?

Source: Zimbio

Persia White

The child of a black Bahamian father and a white American mother, the “Breaker High” and “Girlfriends” star was born in Miami of all places, however, the actress was raised in Nassau. Coincidentally, it was her mother who moved the family to the Bahamas when she was a child, and it was for work purposes. During her time there, she even garnered a scholarship to the Nassau Civic Ballet Company when she was only three years old (uh, what was I doing at the age of three…?). Of course, since she and her family moved back to the US when she was eight, White has been back to the Bahamas on many different occasions. She even went with Caribbean Living a couple years ago and they documented her trip.

Source: alwaysontherun.net

Lenny Kravitz

The son of “The Jeffersons” actress Roxie Roker, Kravitz’s grandfather was a Bahamian-born man by the name of Albert Roker. Kravitz even built a house and recording studio in Eleuthera as a chance to be in the Bahamas more often. To this day he still records music and takes breaks in the country, a place he finds to be relaxing and satisfying: “I have a big house in Paris, which fulfills the city side of me with the ballet, opera, museums, great food and fashion. But I’ll tell you, living in the Bahamas is far more satisfying. My day-to-day decisions are, like, “What kind of fish do I want for dinner?”

Source: forum.blackhairmedia.com

Tia, Tamera and Tahj Mowry
The twin sisters and their famed “Smart Guy” brother are the children of not only a British American father, but a Bahamian American mother. They’ve visited the Bahamas, and say that in season three of their Style Network show, “Tia & Tamera,” they plan to explore their Bahamian roots since their recent trip there was documented. During said trip, they learned that their great-grandmother left the island of Eleuthera at the age of 16, had the chance to meet long-lost cousins (some who were also twins), and more about their culture. Safe to say, they’re loving their Bahamian roots.

Source: Zimbio

Sidney Poitier

That’s SIR Sidney Poitier to you (*winks*).

The legendary actor is the son of Bahamian parents, and though he was born in Miami (and raised there for three months as he struggled as premature baby), he was primarily raised in the Bahamas. He lived on Cat Island with his family until he was 10, and then they moved to Nassau. It wasn’t until his late teen years that the actor was sent back to Miami to live with family, and inevitably wound up moving to America to work and make it. Since doing so (making it that is), Poitier has been appointed the ambassador of the Bahamas to Japan, as well as the ambassador for the Bahamas to UNESCO. Seems like he’s holding things down just fine!

Source: CNN.com

Michael K. Williams

OMAR! The man we all love from his days playing the intelligent yet grimy stick-up man on “The Wire” was born to an Afro-Bahamian mother and African American father in Brooklyn, NY. Though the acclaimed actor hasn’t talked about visiting the country, he seems to be very proud of his Bahamian roots. Rick Fox shouted him out for Bahamian Independence Day via Twitter and they had a cute exchange about the Junkanoo Parade in Nassau.

Source: contactmusic.com

Johnny Kemp

The man who made the song you live by every Friday is a Nassau-born Bahamian brother. Who knew!? The singer and dancer began performing at nightclubs in the Bahamas when he was but a young lad at the ripe age of 13 before moving to the US, getting with the band Kinky Fox as the lead singer and later recording “Just Got Paid.” Today, Kemp often performs in the Bahamas and was even there a few months back to help present a new stadium.

Source: usc.salvationarmy.org

Al Roker

Everyone’s favorite weatherman…or at least, the only weatherman a majority of people know by name, is actually the son of a Jamaican mother and a Bahamian father. In case you were wondering, Al Roker is the cousin of Roxie Roker, Lenny Kravitz’s late mother. Anywho, Roker reps the Bahamas pretty hard too, as he took the Food Network along with him to the Bahamas to film “Al Roker’s Bahamian Reunion Special.” In the special, he went back to learn more about his grandparents, and to also fish for…fish in Nassau and Exuma. He even had a cookbook that offered up a recipe for the much loved Bahamian dessert, guava duff.

Source: industryallaccess.com

Trina

The self-proclaimed “Baddest B***h” is of Bahamian descent (she’s also of Dominican descent on her father’s side), which probably explains her connection to Miami of all places. I know you’ve noticed the trend. Her mother is Afro-Bahamian, and she even told Necole Bitchie that she spent many weekends with her family traveling to the Bahamas. She also has shouted the country out in her lyrics: “I’m in Bahamas drinking Nuvo straight.”

Source: blogs.vh1.com

Rick Fox

A Canadian actor with a Bahamian father and an Italian Canadian mother, Rick Fox was born in Toronto but moved with his family to the Bahamas when he was but a wee young’n (a three year old that is). The very delicious actor attended school in Nassau and was a star on the high school basketball team at Kingsway Academy. I haven’t noticed any type of accent (hey, I guess it’s been too long since he’s been back in the states), but Fox has spoken many times about his years in the Bahamas, and how he initially was made to feel like an outsider in The United States:

“Growing up in the Bahamas, race was not an issue as it was a mixed country. As a result, I consider myself of mixed heritage. But here in the States, I saw how important it was for people to define themselves as part of a specific group. I felt like an outsider in that respect.”

Source: blogbydy.com

Esther Rolle

“DAMN, DAMN, DAMN!!!”

Sorry, but I always think of her dropping that glass bowl in the kitchen on “Good Times” after James Evans died when I think of Esther Rolle. Anyway, the actress was born in Miami (Florida seems to be the hot spot for Bahamian children) to parents from the Bahamas. She was the 10th child out of a whopping 18. Her parents migrated from the island of Exuma to Pompano Beach, Florida.

Source: people.zap2it.com

Calvin Lockhart

Shoooooot, I’ve had a thing for Calvin Lockhart since I saw him in Let’s Do It Again with Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby, and now that I realize he was born in the Bahamas, I see why  I like him so much! Lockhart lived there until he was 18, which is when he moved to New York City to start a career in film. After a long and successful career, Lockhart returned to the Bahamas in the ’90s and was a director there for the Freeport Players Guild. He died in Nassau (he was born in Nassau too), and in his honor, his wife and son created a scholarship fund to help Bahamian students interested in acting and working in film behind the scenes get their feet off the ground.

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  • G Eike

    You left out David James Ellliott from Jag he grew up in Exuma and his mother is a Bahamian

    • skindeep

      That’s because he isn’t a black Bahamian.

  • They missed Shakara Ledard!

  • very well written and very interesting. I’m just getting through season 2 of the wire and “Omar” is one of my favorite characters. Had no idea that he had Bahamian roots.

  • sassy

    you miss a few i am sure about Gerald DeVeaux he is a song witer very popular in the uk and a few others

    • J

      They also left out Beyonce Knowles!

  • Vincent

    Thanks very much for the Bahamian Highlight. I appreciate it very much. I personally knew Sir Sidney Poitier and Calving Lockhart. They are both great actors and ‘good people.’ You are so right, Bahamians don’t make much distinction on race. We are all Bahamians, however, we do sometime refer to the white Bahamians as “Conchy Joes” when we talk about them in private.

    • Bahamas242

      SO true about the “Conchy Joes”

    • skindeep

      I think it’s easy to say “Bahamians don’t make much distinction on race” if you happen to be in the majority, but I have to differ. As a mixed Bahamian, firsthand experience has shown me that racism is prevalent (and arguably its getting worse because of the huge American influence on the country). It just so happens that the racism in the Bahamas is the opposite of what you see in the US. At its ugliest, I have had members of my family told that they, “weren’t black enough” to get certain promotions. Sadly, we don’t have the non-discrimination protections to stop behavior like this from continuing in the future.

      • Clint

        i beg to differ on that. In the bahamas and the caribbean alike light skinned and white skinned people since the days of slavery to date have enjoyed the privilege position until this day. I school with both girls and boys to have a mulatto skin was considered beautiful while being darker was something we would tease each other about. mango skin as they say in the bahamas. so this notion that your not dark enough is a load a rubbish. in fact the lighter you are the better your chances in getting a good or first class partner and jobs alike.

  • islandman

    Big Up all my west Indian massive…LOL..To add to some of the sentiment of the commenters the english speaking Caribbean do not have a race issue per se but more a class issue. If your family is rich/distinguish it really do not matter if the person is black,white,asian,indian they all going to intermingle,intermarried,etc.

    • Sasha

      Yea, I most def agree with you. Though we don’t discrimniate through race in the Caribbean, we have a huge issue with Classism for sure.

      • TRUTH IS

        Agreed, it more about class in the island (rich & poor)

  • BBBEE25TEE

    Just got paid, Friday night…..lmao I remember that song. Anyhoo I thought Tia and Tamara were Trini but they are Bahamian, that’s cool. I’ve always though Sidney was Haitian. Oh well. Good to know.

  • Jimowife

    This not a real Bahamian list, these people don’t even know where the Bahamas is.

  • Chanda

    Pretty cool list. A couple of surprises in there. Can y’all do a Puerto Rican and Dominican list? Enquiring minds want to know.

  • JustJay

    This made me feel so proud to be Bahamian…I definitely did not know Trina was Bahamian…thats whats up!!!

  • poetsgroove

    Oh Lenny…you are so beautiful!

  • Rainy

    Can I see some of Vincentians descendants.

    • Dana

      Belizean would be nice too!

    • TRUTH IS

      SVG have any except for Kevin Lyttle?!?

  • d

    can we have a jamaican, trinidadian, and haitian post please…. theres more talented celebs from those islands

    • Farida

      Can you read? Clearly she said she already did those ones.

    • Treacle234

      They did Trinidadian already I remember Nicki Minaj and Tatayana Ali and Carlton and Hilary (sorry do not know their real names.)

    • Bahamas242

      your a true Bahamian hater get a life…..

  • Nika

    LOL hhaha @ the Miami quip usBahamians love us some shoppin in Miami

  • TRUTH IS

    Very interesting and surprising list right there.
    To add to Rick Fox statement; majority caribbean island, race is not an issue. Too bad in the USA, it’s such a big deal; and not in a good way.

    • TRUTH IS

      *Rick Fox’s
      *islands

    • Piecana

      Over the weekend my cousin visited me from Haiti. I have a caramel complexion and she is very light skinned with natural blond/brown hair. We met with a few of my African American friends/associates and they kept commenting on not only her complexion and hair, but how different we look and and much they are suprised that she’s Haitian. I tried explaining that it’s not a big deal but THEY WOULD NOT LET IT GO. You can tell she was uncomfortable. Later my poor cousin told me she not only felt like an outsider, but that she felt she had to defend the validility of who she was and where she came from solely because of her skin color. I understand this from first hand experience and am saddened that I became so desensitized America’s fascination it’s need to fit a person in one group before this incident. :/
      Anyways: much love to my Bahamian brothas and sistas! 🙂

    • maggie

      Caribbean people are delusional about race too. The comments about hair, what is considered attractive, or the push to speak professional (your master’s language) are pervasive on the islands. Those who speak spanish almost always denounced any African blood. There are more examples. It is just uncomfortable to point them out. Bias against color and the consequences of slavery and racism is global, not American.

      • L-Boogie

        Truest ish ever spoken.

      • TRUTH IS

        As Ive stated majority…am sure there are some with that issue and I said make a big deal not in a good way. Blacks are the majority on the small islands so other races know their places.

        • Are any of you commenting from the Caribbean? Cause I am Bahamain and each island has its own dynamic so you can’t speak in totality for all of us! Jamaica, Trinidad, Guyana, Cayman and Barbados have a huge melting pot of races, with East Indians, Chinese, white and Native/Native American, ancestry that came to the islands as indentured people. And while we have issues with those of mixed ancestry and those of predominantly african descent. The issues of race in America due to slavery is a completly different animal!

          • Anita Jo

            AMEN girl!

          • Bahamas242

            Thank u my Bahamian sister Bahamas 242 for life….

          • PJ

            Was slavery solely in america? No, there was slavery and the effects of such in the caribbean as well. Let’s not kid ourselves by thinking that just because slavery happened in america and the effects it happened here, that the same slavery didn’t have the same effect elsewhere. Any people who are the descendents of those that were enslaved, have suffered some kind of effect because of it. It is naive to think, that the aftereffects of slavery do not exist, in the lands that slavery was prevalent in.

            • Jinx242

              She’s not saying that we didn’t suffer from it, she said, “The issues of race in America due to slavery is a completly different animal!”

    • Treacle234

      In the Caribbean whites, Syrians, Lebanese, Chinese, Koreans are in the minority and they are integrated fully in society. In the US race is always an issue and many blacks walk around with a chip on her shoulder. In the Caribbean, they are less incline to walk around with the thought ‘that everyone is against them’ as many do in the US.