Actress Angelia Jolie got her props for how she showed up to her daughter Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitts‘s homecoming despite her celebrity status. The mom of six has biological and adopted children of different backgrounds and ethnicities. Zahara was adopted as a baby from Ethiopia in 2005.
The 17-year-old began her freshman year at the historically black Spelman College this summer. Jolie announced the exciting news on social media with a photo of “Zahara with her “Spelman sisters.”
Growing up with a father who was an actor, Jolie is no stranger to being in the spotlight and often has security on hand when she is out in public. However, this time was different. Students and visitors at Spelman College looked shocked in viral footage of the Oscar winner casually walking around campus on Saturday, Oct. 22. She took photos when asked and posed with a fan, who held a sign supporting Democratic nominee for the governor of Georgia, Stacey Abrams.
“So I just met Angelina Jolie @ Spelhouse Homecoming….shook,” wrote one person on Twitter.
Another fan said, “Yo! Angelina Jolie is real one! She was in the middle of SpelHouse homecoming crowds w/her daughter. No security or anything!”
A Jolie fan page shared a video of her walking up to greet fans nearby, who screamed, “OMG….you are so beautiful.”
They tweeted, “Angelina Jolie attends Spelman College Homecoming that goes through 16-23. Her daughter Zahara Marley is attending the said College. ‘so down to earth and beautiful.'”
Other Twitter fans observed how Jolie came to visit without bringing the chaotic paparazzi or drawing much attention away from her daughter. The movie star was friendly with everyone, but many knew she was there solely for Zahara. Some believe her composure sends a clear message to non-white individuals about “showing up in black spaces.”
One person said, “I appreciate how Angelina Jolie shows up in Spelman spaces and doesn’t make it about her. (I kinda hate how we often make it about her.) There’s a lesson there for non-black folks showing up in black spaces.”
A second observer replied, “She goes as a parent and supporting her child.” Another added, “And I love how it’s just that. She’s not her rich, actor parent.. she not even Angelina Jolie… she a mom. there for the views & s–t.”
According to footage from Spelman’s homecoming, Zahara and Jolie equally enjoyed themselves. But an HBCU homecoming is much more than a football game compared to predominantly white schools. Some believe the scene of Black folks gathering over black college sports, food and culture would be a lot for Jolie to digest.
One person said, “Angelina Jolie walked by me today at Spelhouse homecoming and I just KNOW this is the Blackest s–t she ever seen in her life.” Another replied, “Then you missed the electric slide video from when she dropped her daughter off.”
In July, Jolie attended a celebratory event for incoming freshmen hosted by the alumni of Spelman College and Morehouse College in Los Angeles. The proud mom was captured in another viral clip attempting to copy the dance moves to the electric slide. After a few failed attempts, she laughed her way off to the side, in the arms of her future graduate.
Jolie has always shown up and spoken up for Zahara, especially when it impacts her care. As previously reported, the contributing editor for Time magazine spoke with medical student Malone Mukwende about the racial bias in his field. She explained how her daughter’s race impacted her after care following a recent surgery.
“I have children from different backgrounds, and I know when there was a rash that everybody got, it looked drastically different depending on their skin color. But whenever I looked at medical charts, the reference point was always white skin,” Jolie told Mukwende. “Recently, my daughter Zahara, whom I adopted from Ethiopia, had surgery, and afterward, a nurse told me to call them if her skin ‘turned pink.’ “