Being Black and An Iranian has Brought me a different Outlook – Yara Shahidi

Yara Shahidi
© Bang Showbiz Yara Shahidi

The 19-year-old actress – who was born to an Iranian American father and African American mother – thinks being mixed race has given her an interesting outlook on racism in America as she has been able to experience the prejudices that two different communities have faced.

Referencing President Trump’s so-called Muslim ban – Executive Order 13769 – Yara said: “It’s a unique perspective, being black and Iranian, and coming from two persecuted peoples. On one side of my family is the list of people who can’t enter the US from certain countries and on the other side are those who are familiar with what it’s like being black in America.”

The ‘Black-ish’ star is passionate about using her fame as an actress to educate her fans to the work she does in terms of voting, registration and civil engagement.

And she has been inspired to use her profile for good by the likes of Beyoncé, Margaret Atwood and Tina Tchen, powerful women who use their status to “inform politics through cultural ways”.

Speaking to the latest issue of NET-A-PORTER’s PorterEdit magazine, she said: “The ability to have my day job as an actor, while also connect deeply with the work that I want to do in terms of voting, registration and civil engagement for my generation.

“I’ve seen so many people around me inform politics through cultural ways, and I think that’s the route I’d love to take when I look at people whom I’m fortunate enough to call mentors.”

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