Yara Shahidi

by Alyx on October 25, 2012

Birth Name: Yara Sayeh Shahidi

Place of Birth: Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota, United States

Date of Birth: February 10, 2000

Ethnicity:
*Iranian (father)
*African-American [including Ghanaian] (mother)

Yara Shahidi is an American actress and model.

Her brother is actor and model Sayeed Shahidi. Yara is the daughter of Afshin Alexander Shahidi, a photographer, and Keri Shahidi (born Keri Jamelda Salter), an actress. Her father is Iranian. Her mother is African-American. A picture of Yara’s parents can be seen here.

Yara has said:

We’re Choctaw Native American and African-American—our family originated in Ghana, and then there’s a portion of our family that’s the descendants of Vikings.

Yara’s mention of Vikings is referring to the fact that Jones family of her maternal grandmother, through DNA testing, was found to descend patrilineally from Scandinavian ancestors (possibly over 1000 years ago). It is not clear if Yara’s Native American ancestry has been verified/documented.

Yara is a first cousin, once removed, of musician and entrepreneur Nas. She has said, “My momma grew up with him. He got his genealogy done at Harvard and Henry Louis Gates Jr. did his entire family background. I was a flower girl at his wedding.”

Yara’s paternal grandmother is named Forough Emami.

Yara’s maternal grandfather is Kwame Samuel Salter (the son of Samuel Leon Salter and Reva Daniels). Samuel was the son of The Rev. Moses Washington Salter and Maria Moore. Reva was the daughter of William Daniels and Gracie Marie Cobb/Cobbs.

Yara’s maternal grandmother is named Connie Sue (the daughter of Charles Rufus Jones II and Ella Mae Jones). Two of Yara’s great-great-grandparents were Charlie Rufus Jones and Rose. Ella was the daughter of Charlie S. Jones and Latisha.

Sources: Genealogy of Yara Shahidi (focusing on her mother’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Obituary of Yara’s maternal great-grandmother, Reva (Daniels) Salter – http://www.legacy.com

Death records of Yara’s maternal great-grandparents, Charles Rufus “Charlie” Jones and Ella Mae Jones – https://www.findagrave.com

Photo by PR Photos

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

bablah November 22, 2017 at 3:46 pm

Her paternal grandmother is Forough Emami.
Kwame Salter is alive.
Connie Sue is her grandmother.

bablah November 22, 2017 at 4:26 pm

Here’s Yara’s uncle posting about his family on ancestry message board
https://www.ancestry.com/boards/surnames.jones/3171/mb.ashx
https://www.ancestry.com/boards/surnames.salter/49/mb.ashx
https://www.ancestry.co.uk/boards/thread.aspx?m=36&p=surnames.cobbs&dc=

Hope you can make some sense of that. I’m not subscribed to ancestry.com, so I can’t view his family tree (if he has one), only the photos.

bablah November 22, 2017 at 4:34 pm

Ella Mae Jones is Connie’s mother.
This might be her:
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/145730558
If so, then Connie’s father is Charles Rufus Jones.

bablah November 22, 2017 at 4:59 pm

Yea, just realised Charles and Ella are Nas’ grandparents. So, they’re actually first cousins once removed, and not second cousins?

madman January 20, 2017 at 3:49 am

Her parents’ are Afshin Alexander Shahidi, a photographer, and Keri Shahidi (Keri Jamelda Salter), an actress.

From an article in InStyle:

“We’re Choctaw Native American and African-American—our family originated in Ghana, and then there’s a portion of our family that’s the descendants of Vikings.”

It also says she is a second cousin of Nas (http://ethnicelebs.com/nas):

“My momma grew up with him. He got his genealogy done at Harvard and Henry Louis Gates Jr. did his entire family background. I was a flower girl at his wedding.”

http://www.instyle.com/news/7-things-you-may-not-know-about-black-ish-star-yara-shahidi

I think one of Yara’s paternal grandparents was named Forough/Farah E. Shahidi. Yara’s father may also be related to a “Keljik”-family.

Yara’s maternal grandfather was Kwame Samuel Salter (the son of Samuel L. Salter and Reva Daniels). Reva was the daughter of Will Daniels and Gracie Cobb.

Kwame’s wife, Phyllis V. (Harris), is only twelve years older than Yara’s mother, so she isn’t Yara’s maternal grandmother. Her grandmother might be a woman named Connie Sue Randall, who appears as a relative to Yara’s mother on public records.

Obituary of Yara’s great-grandmother – http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/jsonline/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=154930206

Adamina September 15, 2016 at 7:49 pm

She is very lovely

neiltennant October 3, 2016 at 3:24 pm

yes she is she is cute like a strawberry+whip cream coconut apple pie cupcake

neiltennant June 17, 2015 at 2:13 am

she is cute but why she looks like a 50+ woman on this picture?

phaedra April 15, 2016 at 12:08 am

Yeah she looks like someone well into her late 20s.

Capricious May 7, 2015 at 9:00 pm

Her Iranian side must be really dark, because she passes as a full African. Namely Somalian or Eritrean.

Multiethnicchick June 16, 2015 at 2:51 pm

eritreans and somlaians have long had semitic influence. Many have at least 40% caucasian genotype

fuzzybear44 June 16, 2015 at 4:56 pm

Semitic is part of a language group that many people speak. Also this 40% Caucasian. stuff was just phenotypical traits acquired. From living in a certain climate or area for thousands of year and back migrating.this had nothing to do with white people.If anything the whites they share DNA with, probably once belong to this group. Breaking off and going their own way acquiring. The pale skin mutation.I don’t. See any recent infusion between the Eritreans, somalians, and white people.

Multiethnicchick June 16, 2015 at 2:51 pm

also skin color has nothing to do with how mixed someone is. Look at her facial features and hair texture as well. There are east indians darker than her.

fuzzybear44 June 16, 2015 at 4:05 pm

She looks like her mother, and she clearly States that in a video she did about taking care of her hair. So what facial features are you speaking of?

Gurrl October 3, 2016 at 5:55 pm
Gurrl October 3, 2016 at 5:56 pm
Islander_Miss December 12, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Idk who she is, but pretty kid.

westovermarching October 10, 2014 at 3:14 am

Check out blackish on ABC

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