Yes, Black Folks Live In Iowa! Surprising Celebs From The Hawkeye State

October 31, 2013  |  
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Yes―Black people do live in Iowa! In case you didn’t know, quite a few have grown up in the Hawkeye state. Iowa isn’t the most diverse place, considering African Americans count for 2.9% of the population, but there are a handful. Click through to see who is from the big Midwest state.

Source: WENN


Femi Emiola

Femi Emiola was born in Iowa City, Iowa, but raised in the Phillipines and Nigeria. When she was a teenager she returned to the US and attended Iowa State University where she studied theatre arts. She has also studied acting in New York City and is best known for her role on “Wicked Wicked Games.”


Hill Harper

Hill Harper was born in Iowa City, Iowa too and graduated from Bella Vista High School in California before he went on to Brown University. He also attended Harvard Law School where he received a J.D., and Master of Public Administration from Harvard University. He then went on to pursue acting and has been seen in Spike Lee’s “He Got Game” and many other projects. He’s best known for his role as Dr. Sheldon Hawkes  on CSI: NY.

Source: Twitter


T-Boz was born in Des Moines, Iowa, but was raised in Atlanta, Georgia from the age of nine. She went on to become a member of the legendary girl group TLC with Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas and Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes.

Source: WENN

Nia Long

Nia Long was born in Brooklyn, New York and was raised in Iowa City, Iowa from the age of two to seven when she then moved to Los Angeles, California where she began her acting career. She starred in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,  Boyz n the Hood and many other films.

Source: WENN

Danai Gurira

Danai Gurira was born in Zimbabwe and raised there until the age of 5 when she moved to Grinnell, Iowa. She graduated from Grinnell High School and went onto Macalester College in Minnesotea and then earned her MFA at New York University. She is best known for her role as Michonne of The Walking Dead television show.

Source: WENN

Phil Morris

Phil Morris was also born in Iowa City, Iowa to actor Gregg Morris and Leona Morris. He has starred in many films and television shows such as Seinfeld and Smallville.

Source: WENN

Lolo Jones

Lolo Jones was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa where she lived for most of her childhood. She attended Theodore Roosevelt High School in Des Moines. In high school she continued to excel in track where she won Gatorade Midwest Athlete of the Year and set a record at the Iowa state track meet with 13.40 seconds mark in the 100-meter hurdles.


Roger Craig

Roger Craig of the San Francisco 49ers was born in Davenport, Iowa. During his rookie year, “…he scored a combined 12 touchdowns rushing and receiving as the 49ers reached the NFC Championship game that year.” He is best known for his distinctive high-knee running technique and he is still the only running back to lead the NFL in receptions for a single season, and the only one ever to record over 100 receiving yards in a Super Bowl.


Darren Daye

Darren Daye was born in Des Moines, Iowa, but later moved to Los Angeles where he attended UCLA. He went on to play five NBA seasons for the Bullets, Chicago Bulls, and Boston Celtics. He retired in 1997.



Darren Sproles

Darren Sproles was born in Waterloo, Iowa and raised in Kansas. He graduated from Kansas State University where he played college football. He went on the become the running back for the New Orleans Saints.

Source: WENN

Dana Davis

Dana Davis was born in Davenport, Iowa and attended Davenport North High School. She graduated with a music degree from Loyola Marymount University. She’s been seen in several television shows, including Veronica MarsThat’s So RavenThe O.C.Gilmore GirlsPoint Pleasant,Pushing Daisies, and Hidden Palms.


Tracie Spencer

Tracie Spencer was born and raised in Waterloo, Iowa where she pursued modeling and singing. She won Star Search in the 80s, which led to a record deal with Capital Records where she released her self-titled album. She’s best known for her singles “Hide and Seek,” “Symptoms of True Love,” and “Imagine.”


Kelly O’Neil Jackson

Kelly O’Neil Jackson was born in Iowa City, Iowa and raised in Waterloo. He’s been acting and performing since the age of six. He later moved to Los Angeles where he attended the Performing Arts Magnet Center at Pacoima Junior High School. After graduating he joined the Marines, but returned to acting.  He’s been on several television shows, such as “Prison Break” and “Friday Night Lights.” He played Darius Blackmon in the film “Hiding In Plain Sight”.



Sandy Colton

Sandy Colton was born in Des Moines, Iowa and has traveled all over the country performing as an actor and dancer. She has performed alongside some of the greats, such as Bill Cosby, Lou Rawls, Savion Glover, Gregory Hines and the Nicholas Brothers. She was an Ironette Dancer in “Iron Man 2,” has been a Los Angeles Lakers dancer and is an University of Oregon graduate.


Chris Roe

Chris Roe is a talented producer born in Iowa City, Iowa. He was the executive producer on the film “The Employer” starring Malcolm McDowell. He has also produced several other films.

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