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Zendaya Studio Session

Source: Bill McCay / Getty

Disney star Zendaya Coleman collaborated with Immigrant Heritage Month 2015 for Z For Zendaya, a cool video where she goes in depth about her roots. The bi-racial beauty chats with her Caucasian-American mother, and African-American father, about where they’re from.

Zendaya’s mom is of German and Scottish ancestry while her dad traced his roots back to Nigeria on his mother’s side, and even Iceland on his father’s side (this was a surprise, but his father was a light skinned Black man). Zendaya’s mom, Claire Stoermer, talked about how her father is fifth generation California (from Germany), her grandfather was a Hollywood photographer. Her maternal grandparents and great grandparents were from Scotland and emigrated to Canada. Her mom came to the United States for College.

Zendaya’s dad, Kazembe Ajamu, was born Samuel David Coleman, but “reclaimed his African name,” he is the descendant of sharecroppers.

“I am proud of the fact that I know where I am from,” Zendaya says in her video celebrating #ImmigrantHeritageMonth. “As a young person, it’s just so important to teach other young people to be aware of who they are. I started off from birth knowing who I was. It’s all in my name.”

Check it out:

How cool is that? People like to claim this and that, and be prejudiced against people for where they’re from. However, if more people discovered what was really in their DNA, they’d be quite surprised and perhaps it would change the way we treat each other.

Have you traced your ancestry? I have. There’s a lot going on in my DNA (Various parts of Africa, Europe and there’s some Native American ancestry), but the coolest part was discovering my African roots. I am obviously a descendent of West Africa (the highest amount of African in my blood is Ghanaian, presumably Ashanti, by 26%), but also Southeastern Bantu, and more.

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