Melina Abdullah

Birth Name: Melina Rachel Reimann

Place of Birth: Alameda, California, United States

Date of Birth: September 18, 1972

*father – Ashkenazi Jewish
*mother – African-American

Melina Abdullah is an American academic, civic leader, and politician. She was chair of the department of Pan-African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles. A leader of Black Lives Matter (BLM) in Los Angeles, she was an original member of the group that founded BLM; she also co-founded BLM’s Los Angeles chapter, as well as Black Lives Matter Grassroots, the latter of which she has been co-director of. She has hosted the radio shows Move the Crowd, Beautiful Struggle, and This Is Not a Drill.

She is an independent candidate for Vice President of the United States in 2024, as the running mate of presidential candidate Cornel West.

Melina is the daughter of Linda M. (Fowler) Blackston and John Reimann, a union organizer. Her father was born in New York, to an Ashkenazi Jewish family. Her mother was born in Texas, and is African-American. It appears that her mother remarried to Oji “Baba” Blackston, the “oldest man in hip-hop,” of the music group Arrested Development.

Melina has three children with her former husband, filmmaker Phaylen Abdullah. Phaylen is African-American.

Melina is a Muslim.

Melina’s paternal grandfather was economist and writer Günter Reimann (born Hans Steinicke, the son of Georg Gabriel Steinicke and Hedwig Isaac). Günter was born in Angermünde, near Berlin, Germany, to a wealthy German Jewish family. He left Germany in the mid 1930s, moving to Paris, London, and the U.S. by the late 1940s. He had been the economics page editor for the German Communist Party’s newspaper, and was founder and editor of business publication International Reports. Melina’s great-grandfather Georg was the son of Jonas Steinecke and Adeline Edel Adolphine Frankenstein, who was born in Pszczew, Lubuskie, Poland. Melina’s great-grandmother Hedwig was born in Gartz, Kreis Randow, Prussia, the daughter of Julius Isaac and Dorothea Zirker.

Melina’s paternal grandmother was Miriam Weber/Wolf Wasserman (the daughter of Joseph Ira Weber and Anna Wolf). Miriam was born in New York. Joseph was the son of Austrian Jewish parents, Jacob Weber and Katie Lichter. Anna was the daughter of Russian Jewish parents, Max Wolf and Edith Levien.

Melina’s maternal grandfather was Allen George “A.G.” Fowler (the son of Allen George Fowler and Nellie Hunter). Allen was born in Texas.

Melina’s maternal grandmother was named Maxine Eloise Minor. Maxine was born in Texas.


Interviews with Melina’s father –

Genealogy of Melina’s paternal grandfather, Günter Reimann/Hans Steinicke –

Obituary of Melina’s paternal grandfather, Günter Reimann/Hans Steinicke –

Article by Melina’s father about her paternal grandmother, Miriam Weber/Wolf Wasserman –

Melina’s paternal grandmother, Miriam Weber/Wolf Wasserman, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

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