You Family? Celebs Who We Didn’t Know Were Black

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You know the one drop rule – if you’ve got a bit of Black in ya, well, that’s what you are. Nowadays, in our post-racial society, a lot of folks would challenge the fallacy of being identified by one ethnicity but hey, we thought it would still be fun to take inventory of the overlooked Black celebs in Hollywood. While it’s usually easy to spot a brotha or sista, sometimes a few manage to slip on by without being noticed. Here are a few that you may have not known belonged to the family.


Kris Humphries

Now you didn’t think Kim Kardashian would end up with a non-brotha, did you? If the NBA baller never ended up on the arms of reality royalty Kim K, nobody would’ve ever questioned Humphries heritage. He just looks like he has a great tan. But everyone knows that Kimmy Cakes has a love of chocolate and she defiinitely didn’t give that up after her fine ex Reggie Bush broke her heart.

Ethnic breakdown: Father is half black, making Humphries a quarter black.

Pete Wentz

We’ll have to admit – this was a SUPER shocker! Who would’ve thunk that the rocker, ex-hubby of Ashlee Simpson was actually black. The rumor mill started circulating when Wentz was seen donning a ‘fro all around town. We can now see that that he’s been flat ironing his curly locks all these years.

Although Wentz hasn’t directly broken down his heritage to the tee, word is that his mother is a mixed Black woman (half Jamaican and Hawaiian)

Rashida Jones

Quincy Jones’ genes aren’t very strong and the most visible manifestation of that is his superstar daughter Rashida Jones, who has been steadily been making a name for herself as a bona fide Hollywood actress. Having moved from NBC’s hit show The Office to Parks & Recreation, Jones’ non-Black appearance definitely has determined her career arc. While many Black actresses are sidelines by their ethnicity, Jones’ actually plays ethnically ambiguous roles – or rather gets to play all the roles that white women do.

Maya Rudolph

The SNL sensation is the daughter of soul legend Minnie Riperton. Like Rashida Jones, Rudolph has also gotten to play the ethnically ambiguous roles and  more often than not, plays the love interest of white men in her films like “Away We Go” and the summer hit “Bridesmaids.”



Wentworth Miller

This beautiful specimen came onto the scene with his debut in the film “The Human Stain” where he played a black man passing for a Jewish man. He became known to a broader range of fans when he played Mariah Carey’s love interest in her music video for “We Belong Together.” The Prison Break star was born in England to a Black father and white mother, and was raised in Brooklyn New York. His father is of mixed heritage although Miller refers to him as Black.

Cash Warren

Who knew Jessica Alba’s daughters were a quarter black. Yup, that’s because her fine husband Cash Warren is actually half black, unbeknownst to many who mistake him for a Latino man. His father is actually a popular African-American actor who starred in the hit television series “Hill Street Blues” in the 1980s and continues to make many guest appearances on popular shows like Lincoln Heights and Criminal Minds.

Malcolm Gladwell

The popular author of game-changing works like The Tipping Point, Blink and The Outliers is a brothaman. He was born in Canada to a Jamaican mother and a British father.

Jennifer Beals

Jennifer Beals is best known for her roles in Flashdance and the showtime series The L Word. Born to an African-American father and an Irish American mother, Beals was raised in the Chicago area.


The iconic guitarist for Guns N’ Roses can thank his African-American mother for his signature long, thick mane. His father was an English artist and his mother was a costume designer who worked with the likes of David Bowie. Having been born in England, Slash has dual citizenship. Of his heritage, Slash remarked in his autobiography: “As a musician, I’ve always been amused that I’m both British and black; particularly because so many American musicians seem to aspire to be British while so many British musicians…went to such great pains to be black.”

Soledad O’Brien

Even after watching Soledad O’Brien host all those CNN “Black in America” specials, it’s still hard to remember that she is indeed Black. Ms. O’Brien definitely has a lot to prove as someone who appears Caucasian but speaks on behalf of Black Americans as a major reporter for CNN. Her mother is Black Cuban and her father is Australian. Evidence of O’Briens heritage can be seen in the fact that she looks much younger than her 45 years of age. Black certainly don’t crack honey.

Carol Channing

Carol Channing is a legendary Broadway performer who had always been accepted as another glamourous white star. In her autobiography, released in 2002, she dropped a bomb when she revealed that her father was actually a bi-racial man. Her mother had revealed the secret to her when she was in college but Channing never said anything about it until she was in her 1980s, not wanting to jeopardize her career.

Mariah Carey

Although Carey has made a point of identifying as a Black woman, most people didn’t know she was a sister when she burst onto the scene 21 years ago. Her father is of Afro-Venezuelan and Black American and her mother is Irish-American. So where did the name Carey come from? Her paternal grandfather changed his surname in order to better assimilate into American society.

Derek Jeter

We know Jeter may not care about being identified as Black but hey, the Yankee is on our team. Jeter was born to an African-American father and a white mother. His kids with his future non-ethnic wifey will probably look like Kris Humphries.

Chris Daughtry

We have no evidence that this American Idol rock star has any Black blood running through his veins but just by looking at his tan skin and his bald head (why he keeping his head shaved, huh?), we do suspect a lil flavor in him.  He may be a part of the undercover Hollywood club called I’m black but I’ll never admit it, lest it hurt my career, which is run by the two biggest undercovers of them all: Vin Diesel and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

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