The African diaspora thrives in the United States

The United States is home to a thriving African diaspora that has made important cultural, scientific and civic contributions.

In anticipation of the upcoming U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, here are six members of the African diaspora:

Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley whose father is from Nigeria, is a New York City–based portrait painter who references 17th- and 18th-century portraiture to render African American subjects in contemporary settings.

Portrait painter Kehinde Wiley speaks to a journalist during an art fair December 2, 2019, in Miami Beach, Florida / ©Brynn Anderson /AP Images

In 2017, Wiley became the first Black artist to paint the official portrait of a president when the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery commissioned him to paint former President Barack Obama.


Somali American model, Iman graced runways and magazine covers for decades, but she has also been an active philanthropist.

Woman posing for photo (© Peter Kramer/AP Images)
Iman (© Peter Kramer/AP Images)

She’s the first global advocate for CARE, a humanitarian and anti-poverty organization, and has worked with the nongovernmental organizations Children’s Defense Fund and Save the Children.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala 

Nigerian American economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the seventh director-general of the World Trade Organization.

Woman standing in front of row of flags (© John Thys/AP Images)
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (© John Thys/AP Images)

She is also the first woman and first African to serve in the position since the organization was founded 27 years ago. She has been named under Forbes World’s 100 Most Powerful Women in 2022, for the 6th time in her career.

Farai Chideya

Farai Chideya, whose father is from Zimbabwe, is an American journalist, writer and radio host from Baltimore, Maryland.

Woman smiling and holding microphone (© Ernesto Distefano/Getty Images)
Farai Chideya (© Ernesto Distefano/Getty Images)

She has reported for NPR, ABC News and Newsweek magazine, in addition to being a distinguished writer in residence at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute from 2012 to 2016.

Gebisa Ejeta

Ethiopian American Gebisa Ejeta won the World Food Prize in 2009 for his research on making sorghum resilient to drought, extreme weather and diseases.

Man speaking while standing behind lectern (© Edwin Remsberg/VWPics/AP Images)
Gebisa Ejeta (© Edwin Remsberg/VWPics/AP Images)

A distinguished professor of plant breeding and genetics and international agriculture at Purdue University, Ejeta has also served as an adviser to several U.S. government agencies to address world hunger.

Amara La Negra 

Amara La Negra — a Dominican American singer, actress and television show host — advocates for the inclusion of Afro-Latinx voices in the national and international entertainment industry. She has sparked conversation about colorism and pushed for a broader representation of the Black Caribbean and Latin American diaspora.

Woman holding fist in air (© Thaddaeus McAdams/FilmMagic/Getty Images)
Amara La Negra (© Thaddaeus McAdams/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

“I have to use my voice to talk about Afro-Latinos because I feel like we’ve been ignored for so many years,” she told Allure magazine in 2018, “but mainly at the end of the day, my message is that you should never feel that you aren’t beautiful.”

Source: share.america.gov

READ ALSO: Meghan Markle reveals she’s 43% Nigerian after a genealogy test

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