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ColorQ's AfroAsian Gallery

Notable people of African and Asian/Pacific Islander descent in modern times

We would like to thank the many contributors who submitted information for the list below.

Blasian Leaders and Trailblazers
Name Heritage Information
Kamala Harris Jamaican father, Indian mother Kamala Harris is the 32nd and current Attorney General of California following the 2010 California state elections. Previously, she was elected as San Francisco's district attorney in December 2003. San Francisco Gate hails her as "the first black woman in California history to serve as a district attorney". AsianWeek anticipated her as "the first district attorney of Asian Pacific American descent".
Michael Lee-Chin Chinese grandfathers, Jamaican grandmothers The Canada-based Billionaire is Chairman and CEO of AIC and boss of Jamaica's National Commercial Bank (NCB). For more on his family. his business acquisitions, and his contributions to the community, see Billionaire Michael Lee-Chin ... 'Turning the Lights Back on in Jamaica'
John Marshall African American father, Filipino American mother Son of the first black American Supreme Court Justice, John Marshall's achievement as "first Black to head U.S. Marshals Service" is highlighted in Ebony article Marshall Marshall.
Wilfredo Lam Chinese father, African/Indian/ European mother Wilfredo Lam, a friend of Picasso, was a Cuban painter who lived between 1902 and 1982. Some believe that he is one of the most important artists of the 20th century. See his biography on Spaightwood Galleries for a summary on his work and a bibliography of relevant publications. For more on Lam's work and family background, see Wilfredo Lam bio in the Guggenheim Collection.
Halford Fairchild African American father, Hawaiian Japanese mother A noted psychologist and much-quoted writer, Fairchild served as President of The Association of Black Psychologists from 1986-1987. Halford Fairchild has been a prominent member of the American Psychological Association and contributed to the APA's authoritative review of The Bell Curve.

When his mother married his father, her family disowned her for marrying a black man, telling her that when they returned to his home in California, she would find that "he has nothing".1 Fairchild is currently a professor at Pitzer College in California.

Yayoi Lena Winfrey African American father, Japanese mother Winfrey is a filmmaker, writer, and visual artist. She directed Watermelon Sushi. She writes regularly for Northwest Asian Weekly and Asian-American Village. She is also the editor and publisher of Brothers and Others: An Esi Black Women Writers Anthology. Yayoi writes about her childhood in the article ReclamAsian.
Bruce Harrell African American father, Japanese American mother Bruce Harrell was elected to the Seattle City Council in 2007. A high school valedictorian who went on to become a football star at University of Washington, Harrell had a long and distinguished legal career before running for public office. Bruce Harrell's maternal grandfather immigrated from Japan to Seattle in the 1920s. A couple of decades later, Harrell's paternal grandfather moved from New Orleans to Seattle. Bruce Harrell shares his family history in Pathway to Success.
Anthony Brown Choctaw and African American father, Japanese mother Anthony Brown is an internationally renowned percussionist, composer and ethnomusicologist. He previously served as curator of American Musical Culture and director of the Jazz Oral History program at the Smithsonian Institute . See his biography on Inside Oakland: Bridging Cultural Boundaries. Brown leads a multicultural, musical ensemble called African Eurasian Eclipse. In 1999, he was nominated for a Grammy for his leadership in the Asian American Orchestra. See Jazz West News: Brown Earns Grammy Nod.
Velina Hasu Houston father of African and Native American descent, mother of Japanese descent The noted playwright has been recognized three times by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, twice been selected as a Rockefeller Foundation playwriting fellow, and was a recipient of a Japan Foundation fellowship and a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Foundation grant. For more on the work of Velina Hasu Houston, see http://faculty.washington.edu/kendo/houston.html.
Kimora Lee Simmons African American father, Japanese mother The CEO of Baby Phat clothes and accessories has been interviewed by A magazine (an Asian American publication). The former model also graced the cover of A Magazine's hapa issue. Check out babyphat.com for other magazine articles on Kimora.
Kimiko Matsuda-Lawrence Japanese and Black American Kimiko Matsuda-Lawrence, a Harvard Student, is the writer and director of the play I, Too, Am Harvard, which has gained national attention for exposing the racism experienced by black students at Harvard. Many of the images in the "I, Too, Am Harvard" photo project have gone viral, sparking discussions across other college campuses in the US.
Staceyann Chin Chinese father, Black Jamaican mother Born in Jamaica to a Chinese father and black mother, Stacey Chin now lives in New York, where the acclaimed spoken word performer also works as an activist and a writer. For more on her career, see 'Staceyann Chin: Writing and Fighting' on feministing.com and AProfiler: Stacey Ann Chin on aarising.com.
Models
Name Heritage Information
Tomika Skanes African American father, Korean mother Model/actress Tomika Skanes comes from a military family. She started her modeling career in 2000 and has since appeared in many music videos. Skanes is also a computer science major with a web design company as of 2005. Official site: www.tomikaskanes.com.
Denyce Lawton African American father, Korean mother Born in Korea to a military family, Lawton was a high school honor student who went on to study pre-med in college, before deciding to pursue her true passion in the Arts and Entertainment industry. She modeled for FUBU, ADIDAS and other major companies before moving back to LA to start her Hollywood career. Lawton's many projects range from acting to screenwriting. Official Site: www.denycelawton.com.
Lashontae Heckard African American father, Korean mother Lashontae was born into a military family in Seoul, Korea. She finished high school early and attended Stephen F. Austin University in Texas. Heckard went on to start a modeling career and has since appeared in many music videos. Official Site: www.lashontae.com.
Naomi Campbell Chinese and Jamaican The supermodel is said to have a Chinese great-grandfather, the father of her grandmother. Her mixed heritage is mentioned in BBC article Naomi 'quits' top catwalks.
Film and Television Personalities
Name Heritage Information
Rae Dawn Chong Chinese/Irish father, Afro/Native American mother Daughter of comedian Tommy Chong, whose father was Chinese. Marcus Chong, her adopted brother; starred as Huey Newton in the film Panther.
Michael Yo Simmons African American father, Korean mother Known as Michael Yo in the entertainment world, Michael Yo Simmons is an actor, a standup comedian, and a co-host of The Insider on CBS.
Marpessa Dawn Filipino father, African American mother The late Marpessa Dawn was best known for her leading role in the award-winning Brazilian film Black Orpheus: The (The Criterion Collection). An international star, she spent most of her career in France. See wikipedia entry on Marpessa Dawn.
Mona Hammond Chinese father, Black Jamaican mother Hammond's birth name was Mavis Chin. She was born in Jamaica to a Chinese immigrant father and Afro-Jamaican mother. She moved to the UK on a scholarship and later cofounded the Talawa Theatre Company. In 2005, she was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) for her achievements in drama. For more on her career, see wikipedia entry on Mona Hammond.
Nicole Lyn Chinese father, black mother According to blackflix.com,her mother is black and her father is of Chinese descent. This zap2it.com interview describes her as half-Chinese and half-Jamaican.
Tatyana Ali East Indian Trinidadian father, Panamanian mother Tatyana Ali speaks about her experiences in an interview with Mavin magazine, a publication for mixed-race Americans.
Singers/Musicians/Producers
Name Heritage Information
Herman Chin Loy Chinese father, Chinese/Black mother Chin Loy is a notable Jamaican record producer who was credited with launching the career of reggae star Augustus Pablo (see Herman's Head, Giant Robot Issue 37) and with building the the first 24-track recording studio in Jamaica (see wikipedia entry on Herman Chin-Loy), amongst other achievements. In an interview in Giant Robot magazine Issue 37, Herman Chin Loy said, "My father is a Chinaman. My mother is half-Chinese and half-black... My business comes out of one side, and the music comes out of the other. It's fusion."
Byron Lee Chinese father, Afro-Jamaican mother Byron Lee was a Jamaican musician and record producer best known as leader of Byron Lee and the Dragonaires. For more on his background and achievements, see wikipedia entry on Byron Lee.
Thomas Wong Chinese father, Afro-Jamaican mother Thomas Wong, aka Tom the Great Sebastian, was "the first Chinese Jamaican music pioneer", to whom the first dancehall sound system in the 1950s has been attributed. (See Chinese reggae pionners on Danwei.org). According to Reggae's Chinese progenitors (China Daily), Wong's father was Chinese and his mother was black.
Judith Hill Japanese mother, African American father Judith Hill, who wowed the crowd with her rendition of "Heal the World" at the Michael Jackson Memorial, (see Judith Hill: "Heal the World" Singer From Jackson Memorial Revealed) is a California-based vocalist.
Debelah Morgan Indian mother, African American father www.debelah.co.uk - the official site of this pop/R&B diva
Jerome White Jr, aka Jero African American, with Japanese maternal grandmother Jero is a star on Japan's enka scene, singing old-style ballads while dressed in modern apparel. He won Best New Artist Award in 50th Japan Record Awards on December 30, 2008. For more on Jero, see Wikipedia entry on Jero, Jero on JapanProbe.com and Japanese enka star performs at DC festival (AP article)
Amerie Korean mother, African American father www.amerie.net - the official site of this R&B chanteuse
Chris Wong Won of 2 Live Crew Chinese father, black mother In this Online Athens article, he refers to himself as "The Chinese guy". For more on the Trinidad-born artiste also known as Fresh Kid Ice, check out MTV article on 2 Live Crew.
Tasha Reid of Korean Hip Hop group Uptown Black father, Korean mother Short bio on Half-Korean stars web page.
Crystal Kay - Japanese R&B singer Black American father and Korean mother Official Site.
Sonya Kim - Korean singer Black and Korean Short bio on Half-Korean stars web page.
Foxy Brown Trinidadian and South Asian MTV interview.
Kelis Black father, Chinese/Puerto Rican mother Short bio on MixedFolks.com.
Sugar Pie DeSanto Filipino father, African American mother An award winning blues singer, DeSanto is a cousin of the famed Etta James and an accomplished artiste in her own right. For more, see Sugar Pie De Santo on Wikipedia and Sugar Pie Desanto profile on Hyphen.
Dena Cali Black, Swedish and Chinese http://www.denacali3.com/.
Ne-Yo African American father, African American/Chinese American mother Ne-Yo, born Shaffer Chimere Smith, is a singer/song-writer/record producer whose debut album reached platinum status. For more on his background, see Wikipedia entry on Ne-Yo.
Athletes
Name Heritage Information
Lia Neal African American father, Chinese mother Member of 2012 US Olympic swim team. Featured in A Brief Guide to This Summer’s Unexpected U.S. Olympians of Color and New York Post interview Lia Neal is a Brooklyn Pool Shark.
Bryan Clay African American father, Japanese mother World decathlon champion in 2008, Hawaiian-raised Bryan Ezra Tsumoru Clay is the son of a Japanese immigrant mother and an African American father. See Bryan Clay's NBC Olympics profile and Daily News article Decathlete Bryan Clay overcomes many hurdles to chase Olympic gold for more information.
Ding Hui South African father, Chinese mother Member of China's men's volleyball team. See Telegraph article China calls up its first black athlete and FIVB article Black athlete Hui Ding becomes China's new sporting for more information.
The Rock black father, mother of Samoan descent Dwayne Johnson, known as the Rock, is the son of Rocky Johnson. He entered WWF under the name of Rocky Maivia; his mother's late father Peter Maivia was a Samoan high chief. According to mixedfolks.com, he is the "first Black Champion of the WWF and one of the most popular wrestlers in the world." View bio on www.therock.com
Tiger Woods Black/Chinese/ Native American father, Thai/Chinese/ Dutch mother For more information on the world-famous champion golfer who has been the PGA Player of the Year and PGA Tour Player of the Year a record nine times each, see Wikipedia entry on Tiger Woods.
Sedrick Chin Chinese father, Jamaican mother Chin is a Boston University soccer player who was named America East player of the week in September 2003. (See Chin, Gonet Earn Week 6 Men's Soccer Awards) Chin was interviewed for an Asian Week article in 2003: A ReggaeBoy in the Making - Sedrick Chin hopes to heal and play. For a biography and photograph of the Jamaica-born player, see the Sedrick Chin bio on the Boston University site.
Sheila Hudson African American father, Korean mother Olympic track star. Pictured here in gotlucky.net's hapa section.
Pete Westbrook African American father, Japanese mother http://www.peterwestbrook.org.
Sachio Kinugasa African American father, Japanese mother Known as Japan's Ironman of Baseball, Sachio is the son of a Japanese woman and an American GI. He is known to American baseball fans as the holder of the World Record for consecutive games played before Cal Ripken Jr. broke it in 1996. Bio and picture available on Rob's Japanese Baseball cards.
Michael Takahashi African American father, Japanese mother One of the best players on Japan's "All-Japan Basketball Team." Short bio on Mixedfolks.com.
Hines Ward African American father, Korean mother Pro football player. Short bio on Mixedfolks.com.
Johnnie Morton African American father, Japanese mother Pro football player. Short bio on MixedFolks.com.