Born in Mexico, Lupita Nyong’o grew up in an artistic family in Kenya. She self identifies as Kenyan-Mexican with dual citizenship. She came to the U.S. for higher studies and received a BA from Hampshire College. She graduated with an MFA degree from Yale School of Drama in 2012. In her youth spent in Kenya, she was active in theater, starred in a TV series, and directed and produced the documentary In My Genes about the discriminatory treatment of Kenya’s albino population in 2009. A proponent of women’s and animal rights and historic preservation, she authored a bestselling children’s book titled Sulwe.
Her major breakthrough came in the movie 12 Years a Slave in which her acting was critically acclaimed. She won an Academy Award for ‘Best Supporting Actress’ for her role in this movie and is the first Mexican-Kenyan actress to receive this honor. With other key roles in movies and Broadway under her belt, Nyong’o has won numerous awards/nominations and accolades. Her next projects are to produce and star in Born a Crime, a film adaptation of Trevor Noah’s memoir and in a television series based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Americana.
J. Kevarlo curates Black main character books to cultivate confidence and joy. All books featured on our signature Top Black Book List are mom-recommended and personally curated from quality booksellers by educator, author, and mom, Dr. Jenn Edwards and family. We recommend little kid, big kid, and teen reads.