After a federal court announced Thursday that it would refuse to reinstate President Trump's travel ban, many people heaved a sigh. This included Black-ish actress, Yara Shahidi. For the teen, who turns 17 today, it was an early birthday gift. According to an interview with People, Shahidi's grandmother "joon joon" was among the those affected by the controversial ban which barred citizens from seven countries from entering the U.S. Thankfully, the federal court's decision came just in time for Shahidi. "I have family that’s already in the states, and I have family in Iran. That was my early birthday present," she said to People. “Fortunately, none of my family was traveling. It did affect the fact that my joon joon [grandmother] was possibly coming. That’s kind of been halted until we assess what’s happening.”
Shahidi also discussed her half African-America and half Iranian lineage, something she's been vocal about in the past. “Farsi was my first language,” she said. “I grew up in Minnesota with a lot of my Iranian family, and a lot of my Black family. We rotated Thanksgiving. So one Thanksgiving I’d be eating Koresht (Persian stew), the other one it’d be sweet potato pie.” The young actress also hasn't shied away from using her craft to bring awareness to bigger, broader concerns. In a separate but recent interview with EW, she had also commented oh her background and feelings in the Trump era. "Rather than being anti-Trump, I’m anti-policy… As a young black girl with the last name Shahidi who is proud of her black and Iranian heritage, he does not stand for and represent what I stand for and represent. Neither does his cabinet, neither does his entire administration. So it has been my job to just I guess spread awareness about what we can do to affect change because ultimately policy change is the change that we’re going to see and whether it’s through SNL’s sketches or making phone calls, each [of us can] make an impact."