November- Yara Shahidi
America has watched this young lady grow and we will continue to see her change the world as an actress and activist that is advancing her ambitions at Harvard University with a double major in Sociology and African American studies.
Many of our love fell for Yara initially as she debuted as Zoey on Black-ish since 2014, but her spinoff show, Grown-ish that started in 2018 continues to let us know that Yara is here to stay!!
Yara was born in Minneapolis, MN on February 10, 2000 and later relocate to California in her toddler years. Her father is of Iranian-American descent, and her mother is African American. I read from some articles that her mother, Keri Salter Shahidi, is Choctaw Native and other articles stated Yoruba and Fulbe. Either way her mother is GORGEOUS and the beautiful mix of Yara and her brothers shows from their parents. The name Yara is of the Farsi language, which means ‘Someone who is close to your heart.’ Yara has brought us close to her with her activism and acting.
From an Insider article released earlier this year, ’10 Things you probably didn’t know about Yara Shahidi’, out of her many accolades and talented family, I was intrigued to also find out that she is related to the famous rapper Nasir Jones. Her father is an extremely talented cinematographer who used to be a client of the late Prince and her mother is also an actress. I wonder if the family background (aside from her love of math) made her want to touch on her natural ability of acting, which she does so well.
The reason why I chose Yara is not only because of her accolade but her fight for social justice and bringing the platform for many people who go unheard. Very recently, Yara won Women of The Year by Glamour and the excerpt from her speech doesn’t even do this woman justice:
“Wow. First and foremost, I just have to say thank you [to Trevor]. It’s surreal hearing those words coming out of your mouth, and I’m so grateful, because you were one of the first people who gave me a platform to talk about what I was doing with voting, and you’ve always been that person. And so, thank you for that.
“I also have to thank Glamour for being that support system for me and for having this event in the first place. The one thing I’ve been thinking about is what it means to be born in this generation. This idea that if you are a woman, or if you are any other identity, what it means to be of the LGBTQ+ community, what it means to be an immigrant, what it means to be a person of color, you’re born telling yourself, being told, that your identity is in contrast to whatever is presented to you.
“I didn’t prepare anything today, but it was because I knew that I was going to find an answer here. And I did. I was wondering what it meant to be a woman.
“The conclusion I came up with is that to be a woman is to be an abolitionist. To be a woman is to understand the power of our yes, of course, but to understand how groundbreaking and system shaking it is to say no. But it’s because no is productive. Our no doesn’t just sit still saying, I am okay being discontent with the system in front of me. Our no takes action. Our no stands up. Our no is allyship. Our no understands that I must advocate for something greater than myself because I am you and you are me and we are of each other. Our no understands that we are tearing apart this system, what it means to connect in spite of. But it’s because of our differences in creating spaces to celebrate one another.
“Our no has made it possible for rooms like this. Our no understands that we will never settle. And I am so grateful to be part of a lineage both figuratively and literally of women who have said no. I’m so grateful to be a part of a generation of women who’ve said no. I’m so grateful to be in a space in which we are actively saying no.
“And so with that, I guess all I have to say is a big thank-you. A big thank-you and a big reminder that what this day has represented to me, to continue to bring people into the room that do not have the opportunity to. Because who are we if not each other? Thank you.”
CONGRATULATIONS YARA IN ALL YOUR ENDEAVORS AND MAY YOU CONTINUE TO BRING PEOPLE INTO THE ROOM!!
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