Basketball Racism, NBA

Sooo… what is Stephen Curry’s race, ethnic background?

stephen-curry-mixed-race background

Having won several NBA championships, MVPs, and continues to re-write the three-point chapter in the NBA record books, Stephen Curry has become a household name. With the ever-increasing visibility, everything about Curry goes under the microscope, but there’s a topic that isn’t often touched upon, but a lot of people wonder, and that’s Curry’s race and ethnic background.

We recognize Steph’s amazing shooting skills, his tight handles and underrated playmaking, we know Curry’s daughter and father, and all about his team’s historic start to the 2015-16 season, but what isn’t clear to the majority of the United States is whether Curry (and his brother Seth and sister Sydel) is mixed race and if so, does it include Caucasian?

I’d venture to say that unless you’re African-American, you’re probably confused and curious about Curry’s racial identity.Is Steph Curry White, Black, Mexican… Haitian or Half-Filipino?

In the large scheme of things, whether Curry is white, black, or mixed with another race doesn’t matter on the court, but off the court, I know that it’s a question that many wonder when they see Steph’s (and his brother Seth’s) lighter skin color and hazel eyes. This curiosity about his race is all but confirmed two years later with the large amount of traffic this post gets on any given day.

When you type in “Stephen Curry is” or “Is Stephen Curry” into Google you’ll see that some of Google suggestions are people searching aout Curry’s race, ethnicity and background:

is stephen curry mixed

If you play around with the suggestions like I did, you’ll see a lot questions around Steph Curry’s background:

  • stephen curry ethnicity
  • is stephen curry black
  • stephen curry race
  • where is stephen curry from
  • is stephen curry half white
  • what nationality is stephen curry
  • stephen curry white
  • stephen curry mother ethnicity

Knowing that many were curious about Steph’s racial composition, as they are also about his backcourt mate Klay Thompson, Blake GriffinDevin Booker, and recent #1 draft pick Ben Simmons, I wanted to dig deeper into Steph’s background. In part it’s to give a maybe complicated answer to the straightforward question (as there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information out there) but also in part to educate others about the complexities and layers that go into race/ethnicity. And I was sure I’d learn a thing or two along the way, too.

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Steph Curry’s Parents and Grandparents

The first place to go is the parents. If you follow the NBA or Golden State Warriors closely, you probably know that his father is Dell Curry, a former NBA player of African-American descent (and currently on the broadcasting team for the Charlotte Hornets). Dell played 15 years in the NBA with the Hornets, Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors.

So, what of Curry’s mother and grandparents? According to NBAfamily Wikia: “(Sonya) Curry is an African American Creole and Haitian ethnic background from both her parents side” and Ethnicelebs mention that Steph Curry’s grandparents (on both sides) are all African-American.

Steph Curry family photo

Kevin Durant on Steph Curry

To further add some information on Curry’s racial background, Kevin Durant also mistook Curry’s African-American-ess. During a 2014 event to promote the NBA2K video game, Durant was on a panel with Curry, Anthony Davis, and James Harden. The 6-11 OKC star talked about first meeting Curry when they were 10 years old and he tells how Durant saw Curry, racially, the first time he saw him:

“I told Steph this… I was about 10 years old, and our AAU team drove down to Charlotte to play. And there was this… one, like, I thought (Curry) was white but he was this yellow kid, right? I’m just being real now, right? Where I come from, in the hood, we don’t see that. We don’t see the light-skinned guys around. It was all guys like me.”

Curry (and Harden) couldn’t help but laugh at Durant’s recollection. It’s a fun video and there seems to be of an inside joke/understanding, but doesn’t overtly answer the question about Steph Curry’s racial identity.

stephen-curry-race

What about Steph’s sister and brother?

Despite thousands of articles and posts about Curry, there just wasn’t much information worth mentioning on Steph’s ethnicity. So I started to look for any information from his siblings that might give us a clue.

A quick search turned up this tweet from Curry’s sister Sydel in response to an insensitive comment about Steph’s jumpshot coming from the white part of his family:

Is Steph Curry half-white mixed

In her reply, Curry’s sister Sydel indicates that she and her brothers aren’t “half white” as many have mistaken them for. This gives us more understanding as to how Sydel views their racial identity.

There’s more in that same thread. Scrolling through the first few replies, it becomes even more definitive, at least to Sydel:

we just light skinned

Sydel’s response to a Twitter user asking her “What are you guys mixed with? do you mind me asking that?” was simply: “nothing. Lol we are just light” meaning that Sydel, Steph and Seth consider themselves African-Americans, just light-skinned African-Americans.

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What we’re really asking is…

If we’re to assume that Sydel speaks for the Curry perspective, then there you have it.

Though the question that brought you to this post is whether Steph Curry is of mixed race, there’s no question that Stephen Curry is at least part African American. The real underlying question that’s being asked here is “Is Steph Curry half white?”

Race is a complicated subject, but what’s clear here is that Steph Curry isn’t half white as most assume by looking at him. Steph Curry is of mixed-race, though that mix is of African-American lineages and therefore considered African-American when this question is asked.

* Are you intrigued in discussing more about the topic of race and basketball? Comment below or join the conversation about Stephen Curry’s race in our forum.

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