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President Obama Visit To Ireland - Day One

Source: Mark Cuthbert / Getty

The St. Patrick’s Day turn up is already real for the Irish — but imagine being Black and Irish.

“I’m Black, Irish and German. It’s a fun mix. Im practically a superhero.”- Jstack89

There is an entire demographic of Black Irish whose story began in Ireland as early as the 18th century. According to Historian Lenwood Sloan, African-American women had an average life expectancy of 36 while Irish women could only be expected to live to 18. So out of necessity, “a system of placage was established in which African-American women were placed in the security of white Irish men, creating three to four generations of intermarriage.” – Irish Central

But as we all know, people of European descent aren’t keen on acknowledging anyone with African blood, whether their Irish or not.

“The relationship between Irish-Americans and African-Americans has been strained and, particularly for Irish people, not always a source of pleasant memories of our or our ancestors’ attitudes and actions. The conflict often included violence shown by Irish people towards African-Americans.” – Irish Central

Throughout the centuries, the divide between Irish people and African-American has grown greater. However, they failed to come through. Abolitionist abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison responded with deep disappointed in his compatriots, saying,

“Even to this hour, not a single Irishman has come forward, either publicly or privately, to express his approval of the address, or to avow his determination to abide by its sentiments.”

Two centuries later and the relations between Black and Irish folk are somewhat better. In fact, “the 2006 Irish census recorded 40,525 people of Black African ethnicity and 3,793 people of any other Black background resident in the Republic of Ireland out of a total population of 4,172,013, meaning that 1.06 percent of the population self-identified as Black.”- Wikipedia

Did you know these stars were Irish and Black?

1. Mariah Carey

MC’s grandparents are immigrants who hail from Cork.

 

2. Barack Obama 

Obama’s roots have been traced back to Moneygall in County Offaly, Ireland in the 19th century.

3. Vin Diesel

The blockbuster star’s mom is of English, German, Scottish, and Irish ancestry.

 

4. Soledad O’Brien

On January 12, 2016, O’Brien appeared on PBS’s TV genealogy program, Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s Finding Your Roots and discovered her Irish roots

 

5. Alicia Keys 

Alicia is the daughter of an Irish-Italian mother.

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