Joan Smalls

Birth Name: Joan Rodriguez Smalls

Place of Birth: Hatillo, Puerto Rico

Date of Birth: July 11, 1988

*African-Virgin Islander, Irish (father)
*Puerto Rican [Spanish, Taino, Indian] (mother)

Joan Smalls is a Puerto Rican fashion model.

Her father, Eric Smalls, is from Saint Thomas, an island in the Caribbean, and has African and Irish ancestry. Her mother, Betzaida Rodríguez, is Puerto Rican, and has Spanish, Taino (Indigenous Puerto Rican), and Indian (from India) ancestry.

Joan has said:

I’m just an island girl. I’m West Indian, I’m Puerto Rican, I’m African, I’m Taíno, I have some Irish in me, I have some Indian, so I’m just a proud mutt.

Photo by PR Photos

13 Responses

  1. Taylor11 says:

    Of course her parents didn’t tell her she was Black. Why would they? She isn’t black. She is of Mixed-race.

    Besides in Puerto Rico they don’t use that ridiculous one-drop rule. Puerto Rico had no segregation or Jim Crow Laws.

    They refer to themselves not by race but by their ethnicity/Nationality. Boricua!! Puertorriqueño (Puerto Rican).

    There are two famous sayings in Puerto Rico when describing themselves.

    Yo soy Boricua, pa’que tu lo sepas!!!
    (I am Puerto Rican, so that you know!)
    Boricua de pura cepa!!

    …anyway, I found a picture of her as a young kid, and as a baby.

    • mariposita says:

      Dear you are so wrong. There isn’t exactly a name for the One Drop Rule in Latin America but it does exist. I’m Puerto Rican and I’ve studied this topic. How many people get angry about a “mixed” person calling themselves black but are silent about mixed people calling themselves white? In Latin America, depending on the country, the majority of the “white” people are of native and/or African descent. I can provide proof, assign you reading, and provide hundreds of examples of how the demographics are drastically skewed towards white. In Puerto Rico the Spanish even classified some natives as honorary spaniards, listing them as white on the census. So please don’t go blaming the U.S. for any racism.

      • marjanel says:

        Do you think that in Usa many of the whites don’t have any indigenous or black in them?being a pure white in the Americas is diffucult.Also Census in Latín Americans countries are barely done.In Puerto Rico are done because Usa’s influence.

  2. midori29 says:

    I also think as a Puerto Rican her mother has African ancestry as well, most if not all Puerto Ricans do. I guess her parents did not tell her she was black.

  3. midori29 says:

    Her dad looks like a regular African American black man. I did not think she was biracial though. She looks like a typical black West Indian island person, most black West Indians have the same things in greater or smaller portions. She sounds like Zoe Saldana.

    • Multiethnicchick says:

      you’re an idiot. Half my family is from the west indies and they are full black no admixture. they look nothing like her. she’s clearly mixed. You’re an idiot

  4. ihatemostpeople says:

    I knew she was mixed and not just black.

  5. Gurrl says:

    To be specific, her Puerto Rican mother is of Spanish, Taino Amerindian and (south) Indian descent. Her father is Afro-Irish.

    “I’m just an island girl. I’m West Indian, I’m Puerto Rican, I’m African, I’m Taíno, I have some Irish in me, I have some Indian, so I’m just a proud mutt.”

    Her parents:
    She looks like an afro-influenced version of her mother.

    • SpaniardIam says:

      In the picture clearly it shows that the father is black and mother is a mixture of Spanish and Indian Taino. The result of this mixture was a beautiful model.

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