Happy St. Patty’s: 10 Brown People With Irish Roots
My how time is flying. We’re already well into March and St. Patrick’s Day is officially here. While many of us will use this holiday as a day to break out our favorite green ensemble and knock back a few at a local pub, we wanted to take a look at a few Black celebrities who have the luck of the Irish by way of their ancestry.
Sports icon Muhammad Ali fully immersed himself in his Irish heritage back in 2009, taking a trip to Dublin to visit the home of his great grandfather Abe Grady. After leaving Ireland, Grady made his home in Kentucky before marrying a freed slave. Odessa Lee Grady, one of the couple’s grandchildren would give birth to Cassius Clay (better known as Muhammad Ali) in 1942.
In 2007, former President Barack Obama learned of his connection to the Emerald Isle after a genealogist from Ancestry.com slowly began to put the pieces of his family tree together. His connection to Fulmoth Kearney, a man who came to the United States in the early 1850s after a relative bequeathed his family a parcel of land, tied the Commander-in-Chief to a rich family history in Ireland.
So where exactly did Derek Jeter get those incredible looks, sexy eyes and adorable smile from? While we’re not sure which characteristics came from which parent, we do know that Jeter is the result of one heck of a gorgeous mix. His father is Black, while his mother boasts ancestry from Ireland and Germany.
Ireland can lay claim to one of the most gifted songstresses of our generation. The beautiful, if not slightly eccentric, Mariah Carey has a bit of Irish ancestry on her mother’s side of the family.
With a voice that will leave you speechless, Alicia Keys is one of the most talented, most prolific and most memorable musical talents in the game today. But did you know that this New York native can claim some Irish ancestry? Her mother has Scottish, Italian and Irish heritage.
The beautiful Rosario Dawson can check many a boxes on her census form. The star of such movies as “Top Five” and “Sin City,” is of Puerto Rican, Cuban, Irish and Native American ancestry.
Salli Richardson, best known for her role in “A Low Down Dirty Shame” and on the television series “Eureka,” is a beautiful biracial mix of African-American and Native American on her mother’s side and Italian and Irish on her father’s.
Oh Vin Diesel. We’re not going to lie: The minute we saw him in the “The Fast and the Furious” we were sold! Buff and badass — plus that voice. We knew a special combination of something came together to give us a little Vin in our lives. Turns out Vin (or known by his birth name Mark Sinclair) is well-aware of his mother’s heritage — English, German, Irish and Scottish ancestry — but knows nothing about his father’s ancestry.
We were always bummed that Irish singer and actress Samantha Mumba struggled to find fame after her hit “Gotta Tell You.” Somehow the luck of her ancestors didn’t pull through.
Accomplished journalist and broadcast personality Soledad O’Brien can thank her father for her Irish ancestry, while her mother brought her Afro-Cuban heritage to the table.