Kerry Washington

Washington in 2011, photo by Helga Esteb /

Birth Name: Kerry Marisa Washington

Place of Birth: The Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: January 31, 1977

Ethnicity: African-American, African-Jamaican [African, as well as some English, Scottish, Native American]

Kerry Washington is an American actress, producer, and director. She is known for her roles in the films Our Song, Save the Last Dance, Bad Company (2002), The Human Stain, Against the Ropes, She Hate Me, Ray (2004), Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Fantastic Four (2005), and its sequel; Little Man, The Last King of Scotland, The Dead Girl, I Think I Love My Wife, Miracle at St. Anna, Lakeview Terrace, Life Is Hot in Cracktown, Mother and Child, Night Catches Us, for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf, The Details, A Thousand Words, Django Unchained, Peeples, Cars 3, in voice role; American Son (as well as the play that inspired it); The Prom (2020), and The School for Good and Evil; on the series Scandal and Little Fires Everywhere; and in the made-for-tv movie Confirmation.

She is the daughter of Valerie (Moss), an educational consultant and professor, and Earl Washington, a real estate broker. Kerry was conceived via sperm donor, something she only discovered as a 41 year-old in 2018. Her biological father was black. Earl Washington is from an African-American family. Her mother’s family is Jamaican, from St. Elizabeth, of mostly African-Jamaican background. A picture of Kerry with her parents can be seen below.

Kerry is married to professional football player, actor, and producer Nnamdi Asomugha, with whom she has two children. Nnamdi’s family is Nigerian, of Igbo background.

In an article at, Kerry stated about her background:

My mother comes from a mixed-race background but from Jamaica, so she is partly English and Scottish and native American, but also descended from African slaves in the Caribbean. My [legal] dad’s family is four or five generations Brooklyn-based, but before that from South Carolina, and we are not sure which members of his family were slaves and which were free blacks.

She has said that her mother is a cousin of U.S. General and Secretary of State Colin Powell.

One of Kerry’s grandmothers is named Isabelle.


44th Annual NAACP Image Awards - Arrivals

Kerry with her parents Earl and Valerie in 2013; photo by Prphotos


Curious about ethnicity

124 Responses

  1. Mr. Postman says:

    She has revealed that her father is not her biological father. She learned this through Dr. Gates. Her biological father was a sperm donor and all that is known is that he was Black:

  2. transemacabre says:

    Her parents are likely the Earl Washington and Valerie Moss who married in the Bronx in 1972. New York, New York, U.S., Marriage License Indexes, 1907-2018 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2017.

  3. savanna says:

    Her parents are Earl Washington and Valerie.

    Picture of Kerry and her parents:

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