Birth Name: Kali J. Reis
Place of Birth: Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
Date of Birth: August 24, 1986
Ethnicity: African-Cape Verdean (likely 62.5%), African-American, small amount of Wampanoag Native American, possibly 1/128th Aboriginal Australian
Kali Reis is an American boxer and actress. She was a world champion in two weight classes, winning the WBC female middleweight title in 2016 and the WBA, WBO, and IBO female light welterweight titles from 2020 to 2022. She has also starred in the film Catch the Fair One. She is nicknamed K.O. Mequinonoag. The word “Mequinonoag” means “many feathers” or “many talents,” and was given to her by her mother.
Kali’s father was musician Flinky Reis. Kali has stated that she is of Cape Verdean and Native American descent, and described her mother as “the medicine woman of our Seaconke Wampanoag tribe.” She has specified that her Native American ancestry is Cherokee, Nipmuc, and Seaconke Wampanoag.
She was raised by her mother in East Providence, Rhode Island. She has said that she attended powwows as a child. Kali is a supporter of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) movement.
Kali’s paternal grandfather was named Frank N. Reis.
Kali’s paternal grandmother was Alvira J. Miranda/Meranda (the daughter of Manuel Mathis Miranda/Meranda and Julia Maira Brito/Britto). Alvira was born in Massachusetts, to parents who were born on Cape Verde. Manuel was the son of Mathias Santana Miranda and Anna Maria. Julia was the daughter of Mary Vito.
Kali’s maternal grandfather was Walter L. Baptista (likely the son of Manuel Baptista and Dora L. Williams). Manuel was born in Cape Verde, and was black. Dora was born in Virginia, and was African-American.
Kali’s maternal grandmother was named Edith Elizabeth “Blue Swallow” Washington (the daughter of Gladys D. Washington). Gladys was the daughter of Charles Washington, whose parents were African-American, from Virginia, and of Georgiana Elizabeth Fisher, who was the daughter of an African-American father, from North Carolina.
Georgiana’s mother, Kali’s great-great-great-grandmother, was named Georgiana Elizabeth Elderkin. Georgiana was born in Rhode Island, the daughter of John Lewis Elderkin and Martha Ann Miller. John was the son of Marcus Aurelius Elderkin and Elizabeth Slocum. Martha was the daughter of John Miller and Susan Slocum.
On the 1880 U.S. census, John Lewis Elderkin’s father is listed as having been born in Australia. On the 1850 U.S. Census, Marcus Aurelius Elderkin is listed as born in New Holland, an old name for Australia.
Kali’s five-times great-grandmothers Elizabeth Slocum and Susan Slocum were sisters, and were born in Seekonk, Massachusetts, the daughters of Primus Slocum and Mary. It is believed that Primus was a freed African-American and that Mary was a Wampanoag Native American.
Sources: Obituary of Kali’s father – https://thekeefefuneralhome.com
Kali’s paternal grandmother, Alvira J. Miranda/Meranda, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Obituary of Kali’s paternal grandmother, Alvira J. (Miranda/Meranda) Reis – https://www.legacy.com
Kali’s paternal great-grandparents, Manuel Mathis Miranda/Meranda and Julia Maira Brito/Britto, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Obituary of Kali’s maternal grandmother, Edith (Elizabeth) Baptista – https://mountpleasantfh.com
Obituary of Kali’s maternal great-grandmother, Gladys D. Washington – https://sv.findagrave.com