Congrats are in order for Iranian-American actress Yara Shahidi, who is set to star in the Black-ish (Black-ish) spin-off series, Grown-ish.
Shahidi is best known for her role as Zoey on ABC’s Black-ish, a role she began at 14. The show aired September 2014 and in 2017 the show was renewed for a fourth season.
Black-ish centers around an upper-middle-class African-American family where Shahidi is the eldest sibling and stars alongside veteran actors and actresses Anthony Anderson, Laurence Fishburne, Ruby Johnson and Tracee Ellis Ross.
Black-ish was created by Kenya Barris and executive producers include Barris, Larry Wilmore and Laurence Fishburne. The show has received critical acclaim as well as Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.
On Jan 3rd, Shahidi will make her debut in Grown-ish on ABC’s Freeform network.
The move by Barris and his team is definitely reminiscent of The Cosby Show and A Different World. The Cosby show starring Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashad, focused on the Huxtable’s, an upper-middle-class family.
A Different World centered around Denise Huxtable and the Historically Black College she attended, Hillman College.
Both A Different World and The Cosby Show were some of the most influential Black shows in the 1980’s.
A Different World had appearances from a slew of young Black actors and actresses including Jada Pinkett-Smith. Tupac Shakur even made an appearance on the show as Pinkett’s friend from Baltimore who came to visit.
In real life, Shahidi recently got accepted into Harvard with letter of recommendations from people including Michelle Obama. She also recently interviewed Hillary Clinton at a summit hosted by Teen Vogue.
Shahidi is well known on social media for her consciousness and advocacy towards social issues and has established herself as a voice of light and reason for her generation. She loves James Baldwin, comes from a tight-knit family and is cousins with rapper Nas.
At 17, Shahidi is living a life of substance and abundance. Continue to shine young Yara and congratulations!