Jennifer Hudson, Kerry Washington and Janelle Monae all have distinct Fulani features…long noses, a particular lip shape and fullness as well as long faces. As a Fulani woman I recognize that these beautiful ladies are very likely descendants of the Fulani tribe. I see my aunt in Jennifer Hudson, my cousin in Janelle Monae and many people have told me that I remind them of Kerry Washington. These women, I’m sure are Fulbe.
Nearly all Americans with African origins are descendants of the Fulani, Mandingo, Wolof, Yoruba, Hausa, Akan, Ashanti, Jukun, Bariba and Nupe tribes. In fact there are countless stories of prominent members of these tribes being captured by enemies and sold off to slavery in the Americas. For example, Fulani prince Abdul Rahman from Fouta Djallon, Guinea was captured in war, sold off in bondage and ended up in Mississippi. Ultimately, Prince Abdul Rahman was set free by the U.S. federal government and President John Quincy Adams chartered his return to West Africa in 1829. To learn more about this fascinating story, pick up Prince Among Slaves by Terry Alford.