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Since 2016, Yara Shahidi has captured audiences’ hearts with the comedies “Black-ish” and “Grown-ish,” which introduced the concept of a Black family.

She plays the family’s eldest daughter, Zoey Johnson, who is also her father’s favorite of the four kids. Prior to joining the cast of her own show, “Grown-ish,” Shahidi was a member of the original program’s main cast for three seasons.

The spin-off show, which debuted in 2018, focused on Zoey going to college and becoming an adult.

The key driver of Yara’s successful career is how she portrays an ordinary teenager and navigates maturity in Black humorous fashion.

Yara Shahidi

Yara Shahidi

Who Are Yara Shahidi Parents? Her Ethnicity And Background

Her parents, Keri Salter Shahidi and Afshin Shahidi, welcomed her into the world in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Yara was raised in a happy home by parents who made good money. It’s interesting that her real family history is what has drawn so much attention.

While her father is Iranian, Keri, her mother, is of African American and Choctaw descent.

Her mother’s Choctaw heritage comes from the Native American tribe who were originally based in the Southeastern Woodlands, which are now Alabama and Mississippi.

Yara’s portrayal of Zoey in “Black-ish” suits the character’s history because she is a mixed-race woman. Dre and Bow founded the Johnson family of the series with the intention of balancing Black culture while leading ultra-suburban lifestyles.

With her portrayal of Zoey, which serves as a resonant blend of her Black identity and culture, Yara has expertly merged in.

Yara’s Father Afshin Shahidi Is A Celebrity Photographer- His Wiki Biography

In addition to having a rich heritage, Zoey’s parents have successful occupations. Afshin Shahidi, her father, is a best-selling novelist and cameraman on the New York Times.

He has worked as a cinematographer and director in addition to his fame as a celebrity photographer.

Aside from that, Mr. Shahidi was a key photographer for the late musician Prince. They collaborated until the latter’s passing in 2016.

As a result of their shared professional experience, they became friends. In addition, the renowned artist saved a hand-signed image of Yara wearing a suit at Paisley Park, which is mostly seen during a VIP Tour.

Similarly, Yara’s photographer father has switched from photographing Prince to still photographing other well-known figures.

According to Vogue, the entire Shahidi family is still paying tribute to their dear friend Prince.

Afshin has established himself as a leading figure in his industry and serves as an example for the next wave of aspiring portrait photographers.

The Grown-Ish Cast Yara Shahidi Inherited Her Acting Talent From Mother Keri Shahidi

Without a doubt, Yara inherited her love of acting from her actress mother. Her mother Keri is a former producer and actor who is now a successful businesswoman.

According to Keri’s IMDb, she played Alexis in one episode of “In The Neighborhood.” After that, she portrayed Michelle Obama in a “American Dad” episode from 2010 using her voice.

She made her production debut in the meantime with the 2018 TV show “Shatterbox,” which was followed by “Hair Love” in 2019 and “Second Team” in 2020.

Mrs. Shahidi, a University of Wisconsin–Madison alumna, joined 7th Sun Productions as an executive producer and co-principal.

According to Teen Vogue, she and Yara manage the firm that develops, produces, and airs “scripted” and “alternative” programming.

Keri Salter-Shahidi is her true name, but the world knows her as ChocolateMommyLuv.

Yara Shahidi's Parents

Yara Shahidi’s Parents

Black-Ish Actress Yara Shahidi Also Has Two Sibling Brothers In Her Family; Sayeed And Ehsan

Contrary to her fictional counterpart, the well-known “Grown-ish” and “Black-ish” actress Yara also has a large family in real life.

By chance, she is the oldest of the Shahidi children, including Sayeed and Ehsan, her two younger brothers. Their cousin is the “Nas is Like” rapper Nas.

Sayeed, a young actor and model, has been on screen alongside his older sister. From 2016 until 2019, he played Adonis Culpepper on “Black-ish.”

He is also well-known for his love affair with Storm Reid, an actress.

Ehsan, the younger sibling of the two, is yet to make his media debut. The same cannot be true of Yara, aka Zoey, in real life, even though she is her father’s favorite kid in her fictional existence.

The Shahid family’s five members get along well with one another because they do not miss being close to their loved ones.

Yara Shahidi Bio

Yara Sayeh Shahidi is an American actress and model who was born on February 10, 2000. She became well-known for playing the lead character of Zoey Johnson, the oldest daughter, on the comedy Black-ish (2014–2022) and its spinoff series Grown-ish (2018–present). Her filmography includes the leading part in The Sun Is Also a Star, Smallfoot (2018), and Imagine That (2009). (2019). She was listed among “The 30 Most Influential Teens of 2016” by Time magazine.


Yara Sayeh Shahidi

February 10, 2000 (age 22)

Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.

Education Harvard University (BA) 
Occupation Actress, model
Years active 2007–present
  • Sayeed Shahidi (brother)
  • Nas (cousin)

Early life

Yara Sayeh Shahidi is the daughter of Keri Salter Shahidi and Afshin Shahidi, who is a photographer. She was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her mother, Keri Salter, is from African-American and Choctaw ancestry, while her father, Afshin, comes from Iranian ancestry. Prior to the artist Prince’s passing away in 2016, Afshin served as one of the musician’s primary photographers. In addition, Prince saved a signed photograph of Yara wearing his editing suit at Paisley Park; visitors on the VIP Tour will have the opportunity to view this photograph. When Yara was four years old, her family uprooted their lives and went to California so that Afshin could pursue his career there. They also have a younger brother named Ehsan. She is Sayeed Shahidi’s older sister, who became famous as a child actor and model. A relative is the famous rapper Nas.

According to Yara’s mother, Keri, the meaning of the name “Someone who is dear to your heart” in Persian describes her daughter perfectly.

In addition, Shahidi is a prevalent surname in Iran that derives from the Muslim religion.

The year 2017 marked Shahidi’s graduation from Dwight Global Online School. Shahidi started his undergraduate education at Harvard University in the fall of 2018, with the intention of majoring in both Interdisciplinary Sociology and African American Studies.


When she was only six years old, she began her career by making appearances in television commercials and print advertisements for brands such as McDonald’s, Ralph Lauren, Target, GapKids, Disney, Guess Kids, and The Children’s Place. She is still active in the industry. She frequently participated in a variety of print and TV campaigns with both her mother and her younger brother.

In 2009, Shahidi made her debut in the film industry, playing opposite Eddie Murphy in the film Imagine That, which was produced by Paramount Pictures For her work in the film, she was nominated for a Young Artist Award in the category of best performance in a feature film.

She also had a role as Angelina Jolie’s next-door neighbor in the 2010 action picture Salt, which Jolie starred in. In the television series The First Family, which aired in 2012, she portrayed the role of Chloe Johnson, the daughter of President William Johnson.

Shahidi got her start in the part of 14-year-old Zoey Johnson on the ABC prime-time comedy series Black-ish in September of 2014. She played the role on ABC.

She was awarded the NAACP Image Award for “Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy” in December of 2014, and she took home the trophy.

In 2016, she signed a contract to become a model with the Women Management modeling agency in New York, in the aim of establishing a platform for more women of color to be seen in a variety of roles.

In 2017, ABC revealed that Shahidi would be taking the lead role in a Black-ish spinoff that would air on its sister network Freeform and be titled Grown-ish. The first episode of the series was broadcast on January 3, 2018.

According to the fashion website Net-a-Porter, she was one of the ladies who had the best overall style in 2018.

The cover of the September 2019 issue of British Vogue, which Meghan, Duchess of Sussex served as guest editor for, will feature her as one of fifteen women chosen by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

Shahidi and her mother established their production firm, 7th Sun, in the year 2020 and inked a partnership with ABC Studios to produce television shows. In the upcoming Peter Pan adaptation titled Peter Pan & Wendy, she will play the role of Tinker Bell. It will be featured in the anthology series Extrapolations that is available on Apple TV+.


Together with the social news publisher NowThis, Shahidi established Eighteen x 18, which “will be a platform to inspire [her] peers to vote for the very first time in our forthcoming midterm elections.” Shahidi is the founder of Eighteen x 18. Yara’s Club is another one of her organizations, and it is a partnership with the Young Women’s Leadership Network (YWLN) of New York. This organization offers online mentoring with the goal of ending poverty through education.

Michelle Obama, the former first lady of the United States, took notice of Shahidi’s efforts and subsequently recommended that she attend Harvard University in a letter. Additionally, in 2017, she was granted the opportunity to conduct an interview with Hillary Clinton by Teen Vogue.

Yara Shahidi became a part of the Dior Stand with Women campaign in the year 2021.

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