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Yara Shahidi

Yara Shahidi

Yara Sayeh Shahidi (born February 10, 2000)[2] is an American actress, model, and activist. She gained recognition for her starring role as the oldest daughter Zoey Johnson on the sitcom Black-ish (2014–present) and its spin-off series Grown-ish (2018–present).[3] Her film credits include Imagine That (2009), Smallfoot (2018), and the lead role in The Sun Is Also a Star (2019).

Yara Shahidi
Yara Sayeh Shahidi

(2000-02-10)February 10, 2000
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.[1]
OccupationActress, model, activist, student
Years active2007–present
  • Sayeed Shahidi (brother)
  • Nas (cousin)
Websiteyarashahidi.com [30]

Early life

Yara Sayeh Shahidi was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the daughter of Keri Salter Shahidi and Afshin Shahidi,[4][5] a photographer.[3][6] Her father is Iranian American. Her mother is African American, of Yoruba and Fulani descent, and also has Choctaw heritage.[7][8][9] The family moved to California for Afshin's work when Yara was 4 years old. She is the older sister of child actor and model Sayeed Shahidi and they have a younger brother, Ehsan.[4] Keri Shahidi states the name Yara means "Someone who is close to your heart", the name Sayeed means "Blessing", and Ehsan means "To act as though God is watching".[4] The rapper Nas is their once-removed cousin.[10]


Shahidi in 2017

Shahidi in 2017

She began her career when she was 6 years old,[11] appearing in television and print advertisements for companies such as McDonald's, Ralph Lauren, Target, GapKids, Disney, Guess Kids and The Children's Place. She frequently worked with her mother and younger brother in various print and broadcast campaigns.

Shahidi made her cinematic debut in 2009, starring opposite Eddie Murphy in Paramount Pictures' Imagine That,[3] for which she received a Young Artist Award nomination for the best performance in a feature film category.[12] She also appeared in the Angelina Jolie action film Salt in 2010 as a next door neighbor. In 2012, she played Chloe Johnson, the daughter of President William Johnson, in the TV series The First Family.

In September 2014, Shahidi starred in ABC's prime-time comedy Black-ish as 14-year-old Zoey Johnson.[13] In December 2014 she won an NAACP Image Award in the category of 'Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy'.[14]

In 2016, she signed to model with New York's Women Management modeling agency, in hopes of providing a platform to see more women of color in diverse roles.[13]

ABC announced in 2017 that Shahidi would be headlining a Black-ish spinoff, titled Grown-ish, on its sister network Freeform. The series premiered on January 3, 2018.[15]

She was ranked one of the best dressed women in 2018 by fashion website Net-a-Porter. [16]

She was one of fifteen women selected to appear on the cover of the September 2019 issue of British Vogue, by guest editor Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.[17]


Shahidi founded Eighteen x 18 with social news publisher NowThis,[18] which "will be a platform to encourage [her] peers to vote for the very first time in our upcoming midterm elections." Her other organizations include Yara's Club a partnership with Young Women's Leadership Network (YWLN) of New York, which provides online mentorship in hopes to end poverty through education.[19][20]

Shahidi's activism was noticed by former first lady Michelle Obama, who wrote her a letter of recommendation to Harvard University.[21] She was also given the opportunity by Teen Vogue to interview Hillary Clinton in 2017.[22][23]

Shahidi has publicly supported Jussie Smollett after reports that Smollett faked a hate crime for personal and monetary gain.[24] In April, 2019, at the NAACP Image Awards, Shahidi stated, "I stand with Jussie" after Chris Rock made jokes at Smollett's expense.[25]



2009Imagine ThatOlivia Danielson
2010SaltSalt's Young Neighbor
2012Alex CrossJanelle Cross
2019The Sun Is Also a StarNatasha KingsleyNominated - Teen Choice Award for Choice Summer Movie Actress (2019)[26]


2007EntourageKandace WestEpisode: "No Cannes Do"
2009In the MotherhoodEsther5 episodes
Cold CaseMeesha Sullivan '91Episode: "Read Between the Lines"
Wizards of Waverly PlaceOliveEpisode: "Doll House"
2010Lie to MeOliviaEpisode: "Teacher and Pupils"
$h! My Dad Says*Girl ScoutEpisode: "Pilot"
2011The CapeLaylaEpisode: "Endgame"
Family GuyLittle Girl (voice)Episode: "Episode VI: It's a Trap"
Rip CityMontanaTelevision movie
2012The FinderAdinaEpisode: "The Conversation"
2012–2013The First FamilyChloe Johnson23 episodes
2013ScandalYoung Olivia Pope2 episodes
2014Bad TeacherJalissaEpisode: "Pilot"
The FostersMaddie2 episodes
2014–presentBlack-ishZoey JohnsonMain role (seasons 1–3), Recurring role (season 4–present); 79 episodes
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (2015)
BET Award for YoungStar (2017)
Nominated – BET Award for YoungStar (2016)
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice Comedy TV Actress (2017, 2019)[26]
2016–2018TrollhuntersDarcy (voice)10 episodes
2018–presentGrown-ishZoey JohnsonLead role
Nominated - Teen Choice Award for Choice Summer TV Actress (2019)[26]
2018–20193Below: Tales of ArcadiaDarcy (voice)8 episodes

See also


Citation Linkwww.yarashahidi.com"About Yara". Yara Shahidi — Film, Television, and Voice Over. Retrieved September 6, 2019 – via www.yarashahidi.com.
Sep 29, 2019, 5:40 PM
Citation Linkwww.tvguide.com"Yara Shahidi Actor". TVGuide.com. Archived from the original on October 2, 2016.
Sep 29, 2019, 5:40 PM
Citation Linkyarashahidi.com"All about Yara". June 1, 2009. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved March 22, 2010.
Sep 29, 2019, 5:40 PM
Citation Linkweb.archive.orgJ., C. (January 24, 2015). "C.J.: Mother of Minneapolis-born "Black-ish" star is having a good day when there's no eye twitch". Star Tribune. Minneapolis, Minnesota. Archived from the original on August 9, 2016.
Sep 29, 2019, 5:40 PM
Citation Linkiran.usembassy.gov"Yara Shahidi, [Prominent Iranian-Americans]". Virtual embassy of the United States, Tehran.Iran (in Persian). U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on October 5, 2016. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
Sep 29, 2019, 5:40 PM
Citation Linkwww.drfunkenberry.comBrother Troy R. Gibson II "Yara Shahidi: A Star On The Rise". Drfunkenberry.com. October 22, 2010.
Sep 29, 2019, 5:40 PM
Citation Linkwww.blackenterprise.com"Nas Wiki: 10 Facts About the Rapper". October 3, 2014.
Sep 29, 2019, 5:40 PM
Citation Linkweb.archive.orgShams, Alex (June 3, 2016). "Yara Shahidi, the Iranian-American Star of 'Black-ish,' Is Breaking Stereotypes On & Off Screen". Muftah.org. Archived from the original on June 7, 2016. Zoey, the Johnson’s eldest daughter, is played by a sixteen-year-old, Iranian American actress. Born to Iranian father, Afshin Shahidi and mother of mixed African American and Native Choctaw heritage, Keri Salter, Yara Shahidi lived in Minneapolis before moving to California at a young age.
Sep 29, 2019, 5:40 PM
Citation Linkwww.instyle.comStern, Claire (April 23, 2015). "7 Things You May Not Know About Black-ish Star Yara Shahidi". InStyle. Time Inc.
Sep 29, 2019, 5:40 PM
Citation Linkwww.bckonline.comShahidi on the Fuse TV series White Guy Talk Show, transcribed by "Yara Shahidi Gives the Inside Story on Her Life as Nas' Cousin". BCKOnline. April 10, 2015 – via BCKOnline.com (Black Celebrity Kids, Inc.).
Sep 29, 2019, 5:40 PM
Citation Linkwww.youngblackstars.com"Yara Shahidi". Young Black Stars. Archived from the original on April 5, 2016. Retrieved July 16, 2016 – via www.youngblackstars.com.
Sep 29, 2019, 5:40 PM
Citation Linkwww.youngartistawards.org"Nominations and Special Awards". 31st Annual Young Artist Awards. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
Sep 29, 2019, 5:40 PM
Citation Linkwww.vogue.comOkwodu, Janelle (April 19, 2016). "Black-ish's Yara Shahidi Is a Model With a Cause". Vogue.
Sep 29, 2019, 5:40 PM
Citation Linkwww.blackishfans.com"Blackish Nominated for Six NAACP Image Awards". Blackish Fans. December 10, 2014. Archived from the original on December 23, 2014.
Sep 29, 2019, 5:40 PM
Citation Linkfreeform.go.comWagmeister, Elizabeth (May 19, 2017). "'Black-ish' Spinoff Starring Yara Shahidi Greenlit at Freeform". Variety.
Sep 29, 2019, 5:40 PM
Citation Linkwww.net-a-porter.com"Best Dressed 2018". Net a Porter.
Sep 29, 2019, 5:40 PM
Citation Linkwww.irishtimes.com"Meghan Markle puts Sinéad Burke on the cover of Vogue's September issue". The Irish Times. July 29, 2019.
Sep 29, 2019, 5:40 PM
Citation Linkvariety.comSpangler, Todd (April 18, 2018). "'Black-ish Star Yara Shahidi Kicks Off Political-Engagement Campaign With NowThis". Variety.
Sep 29, 2019, 5:40 PM
Citation Linkportal.issn.orgSeligson, Hannah (November 27, 2015). "'Black-ish' Star Yara Shahidi Is a Role Model Off-Screen". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.
Sep 29, 2019, 5:40 PM
Citation Linkwww.forbes.comBerg, Madeline (November 16, 2017). "Meet Yara Shahidi: The 17-Year-Old Actress And Activist". Forbes.
Sep 29, 2019, 5:40 PM