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10 Famous People of Color Who Shared Their Fertility Journeys

A list of 10 people of color and their infertility stories, brought to you with the help of The Broken Brown Egg

August 31, 2020
Miriam Reid

People dealing with infertility, especially women, will often find that the world is not as full of as much compassion and understanding toward these kinds of medical conditions as it should be. For women of color, this problem is compounded by racism. Thankfully, as always, people experiencing these problems are not experiencing them alone, as is proven by the stories of these 10 women of color who dealt with infertility and shared their stories with the world.

This article was compiled and written with the help of the amazing resources found over at The Broken Brown Egg. The Broken Brown Egg seeks to “inform, and advocate for those questioning or experiencing the impact of infertility, with an emphasis on the Black experience of it.” Be sure to check out their resources for more amazing stories!

Josephine Baker

French Entertainer

Josephine Baker
"I suffered a lot because I couldn't have children of my own.  I felt inferior because of that."


For years, Baker dealt with painful surgeries and infertility, not to mention the backlash that racism brought her. She pushed back against the odds and went on to adopt her “Rainbow Tribe” of twelve children from various nationalities.

Tyra Banks

American Television Personality

Tyra Banks
“I’ve had some not happy moments with that, very traumatic moments,” she says. “It’s difficult as you get older. It’s not something that can just happen.”

Banks had wanted children for years, and was incredibly vocal in describing her difficult journey through infertility. She underwent IVF treatment while continuing to come into work with a smile, but was never afraid to speak out against the difficulties she faced. In 2016, she had a son via gestational character.

Gabrielle Union-Wade

American Actress

Gabrielle Wade
"Every family is unique. How each family is created and comes together is special. Kaavia James Union Wade’s journey into our arms was long and at times brutal. There were heartbreaks that nearly broke us and streams of tears that turned into raging rivers. And then came Kaavia James."

Union was diagnosed with adenomyosis in her 40s, but had known since her 20s that she had the condition. As she highlights in her own telling of the story, she faced decades of misdiagnosis, doctors not taking her seriously, and pregnancy loss. Thanks to a gestational carrier, she and her husband Dwayne Wade had a daughter in 2018.

Aisha Tyler

American Actress and Comedian

Aisha Tyler
"And I wanted people to feel — men and women — it's okay to say, 'I love my marriage, I love my life, I choose not to have children."

While Tyler’s usual style is humorous through and through, she opened up about her infertility on her show The Talk with candor and deep emotion. Unlike many other infertility stories, Tyler’s happy ending does not involve children: rather, it involves accepting that it is okay to not have children, regardless of what those around you say.

Eve

American Rapper

Eve
“Obviously, I’ve talked about my struggle with getting pregnant and I didn’t talk about it for a long time because I felt shameful. [...] And people, since I’ve shared, people have been so sweet to me. Even in the audience, people have actually come to me and hugged me and said ‘You deserve it, it’s going to happen for you.’ "

Another host of “The Talk,” Eve also used the talk show’s platform to open up and spread awareness about infertility. She highlighted her sense of inferiority, and the struggle of dealing with people thinking she owed her husband children. Eve is vocally against these outside pressures and reminds audiences everywhere that “We are trying, for anybody who is asking, but it’s up to God and the universe. Just stop asking questions.”

Garcelle Beauvais

American-Haitian Actress

Garcelle Beauvais
"I remember clearly the day the doctors said that I might be infertile.  I mean, I cried all the way home because I just couldn't believe it. And it felt like, why is it happening to me?  I don't hear anyone else talking about stuff like this. I don't hear it in the media."

Beauvais struggled with secondary for five years with her ex-husband before giving birth to twins in 2007 with the help of IVF. In 2011, Redbook Magazine produced a video project titled “The Truth About Trying,” and Beauvais participated and opened up about her journey with infertility.

Tamar Braxton

American Singer

Tamar Braxton
“But this is still a struggle. And sometimes when I’m alone, I feel less than a woman… I just wish people would be more sensitive and maybe ask ‘How can I help you? Is there anything I can do?’”

While filming Braxton Family Values, her family’s reality show, Braxton - in trademark candid and offhand style - began discussing her experiences with infertility. Braxton touched on everything from egg freezing and surrogacy to unsuccessful IVF treatment and miscarriage. Most importantly, she focused on the stress infertility can bring to self esteem, and how it is vital to remember that just because things are hard, doesn’t mean they’re worth giving up on.

Tia Mowry-Hardrict

American Actress

Tia Mowry
“I'd never really seen someone African American in the public eye talking about endometriosis or their struggles with infertility. And when you don't know or see anyone else who looks like you talking about what you're going through, you feel alone and suffer in silence.”

As is unfortunately the case with so many women, Mowry had a hard time finding a doctor who was willing to listen to her and give her a proper diagnosis: endometriosis. She has been a vocal advocate for endometriosis and infertility awareness. She also openly discusses the depression she experienced throughout her journey, including depression after receiving her diagnosis and postpartum after having her second child in 2018.

Michelle Obama

Former First Lady of the United States

Michelle Obama
“I felt lost and alone and I felt like I failed because I didn’t know how common miscarriages were, because we don’t talk about them. We sit in our pain, thinking that somehow we’re broken.”

Michelle Obama’s book “Becoming” touches on a number of important and personal topics, one of which is her experience with miscarriage and IVF. She openly discusses the stigma surrounding miscarriage and infertility, and the feelings of loneliness that come with thinking you are the only one going through those kinds of experiences.

Reminisce "Remy Ma" Smith

American Rapper

Remy Ma
"It wasn’t until I came out with it that I realized a lot of other women go through what I went through, because I definitely felt like I was the only person on the planet who went through it.”

Remy Ma discussed her experiences with ectopic pregnancy, loss, and IVF as part of her story arc on Love & Hip Hop. She focuses on self-love and acceptance for black women experiencing infertility. Since welcoming a daughter in 2019, Remy Ma has been considering creating an IVF fund for other black women.



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