It’s Famous Friday!

Jordan Peele

“One of the best ways to enter the conversation about race is through art.  If we can have a shared experience in a movie theatre, it gives us more of a basis for conversation.”

Jordan Peele (Born Feb. 21st, 1979) is a famous biracial American actor, writer and director.  He is well known for staring on the, Key and Peele Show, which ran on Comedy Central from 2012 to 2015 and for writing & directing the critically acclaimed horror film, Get Out, in 2017. Key and Peele won a Peabody Award in 2013 “for its stars and their creative team’s inspired satirical riffs on our racially divided and racially conjoined culture.” One of my favorite sketches on the show was called, “the substitute teacher” in which they poke fun of the way the suburban students’ names are pronounced.

The movie Get Out was enormously successful, earning over $250 million dollars worldwide, and was nominated for multiple Academy Awards in 2017.  It was even nominated for Best Picture.  Jordan Peele was nominated for Best Director and Peele won an Oscar in the category of Best Original Screenplay.  Peele described the movie as a “social thriller” where society itself is the villain.

Peele’s biracial heritage is African-American and Caucasian, as his mother was white while his father was black.  He was raised in New York, in a single parent home after his father unexpectantly died when Peele was only 6 years old.  In a recent biography, “Peele admitted that being biracial often made him feel like an outsider, such as when he had to place himself in the racial category of ‘other’ when taking standardized tests (he began selecting ‘African American’ as he grew older).  Some of his classmates didn’t believe his mother was white, and growing up he sometimes felt his voice sounded too ‘white.’”

Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images for Museum of Modern Art, Department of Film



Famous Friday!

Madison Pettis



For this week’s Famous Friday, I decided to shine some light on Madison Pettis. She was a very large presence during my childhood. She has had several leading roles in movies as well as television shows. My two personal favorites were “Cory in the House” and “The Game Plan.” Madison Pettis has done far more than acting in her career; she has also modeled, danced, sang, and worked in advertising.

Madison Pettis was born on July 22, 1998, and her ancestry includes African- American, Irish, French, and Italian. Although she grew up in the spotlight, she didn’t let that influence her in a negative way. She has used her fame to build her brand, and inspire other young people to do the same thing. Madison’s education has never come second.  When she is away on set of a movie or TV show, there is always a tutor around to teach her lesson of the day. “I love researching, that’s one of my favorite parts of school.” –Madison Pettis

To see someone my age, who has accomplished so much, all while getting an education and staying true to herself, is very inspiring. It’s a great reminder that no matter how young we are, we can positively impact the world around us. One of my favorite Madison Pettis quotes is, “I want people to realize that they can dream big.” By following her dreams and working really hard, Madison has been able to accomplish so many things. She is a great role model for multiracial teens everywhere.

Lexi Brock


Famous Friday!

Vin Diesel

Mark Vincent, otherwise known as Vin Diesel, was born on July 18th, 1967 in New York, New York. Diesel by no means had an easy path to success, for he was forced to live life without the role model of a father (who abandoned him before his birth). Vin did, however, have an acting instructor as a Stepdad, which helped make Diesel the fantastic actor he is today. He first established himself as an actor in Saving Private Ryan when he played Private Caparzo, a member of the platoon sent to bring Private Ryan home. He has been in several other blockbuster movies since then such asFast Five, Fast and Furious 6, The Pacifier, and Riddick. Diesel is multiracial, as his father is African American and his mother is Caucasian. Diesel is yet another example of someone we all should look up to; he overcame adversity to become one of the most well known actors in all of Hollywood.

Source: Tommy McManus, Project RACE Teen President

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