After Her Death, Many Discovered Actress Carol Channing Was Black…And Why She Hid It

Posted On : June 4, 2021
Carol Channing

As the world mourned and celebrated the life of a great African American icon, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, on his January 15 birthday in 2019, ironically the world also mourning the loss of another Black icon…whom most never knew was actually Black — actress, Carol Channing. The hilarious, raspy-voiced actress and singer passed away on Jan. 15, 2019 at 97 years young. She died at her Rancho Mirage, CA home.

Channing was best known for her Broadway play, “Hello Dolly,” her Oscar nominated film, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and for her work with the Sesame Street “Muppets.” In the wake of her passing, fans are stunned- not because she died at 91, but because they never knew her Pops was Black.

Prior To Her Passing, Channing Explained Why She Kept Her Blackness Hidden For Years

Carol Channing made her African American bloodline known to the world until 2002, with the release of her memoir, Just Lucky I Guess, at the age of 81. According to Black Enterprise Channing ‘spoke of the need “to pass” to achieve success.’

However, Here’s When She Found Out She Was Black

Her Parents Fought A Lot; Mom Told Her She Was Black During An Argument
Channing was about to leave for college when her Mother surprisingly told her not to be surprised if she “had a black baby,” because her Dad is half Black. “Nobody ever knew that,” said Channing. “But I know it. Every time I start to sing or dance, I know it. … When I found out. I was 16-years-old and my mother told me.”

How She Reacted To Her Mom

Carol Channing

Carol Channing: “And you know, only the reaction on me was, Gee, I got the greatest genes in show business. … I’m proud as can be of [my Black ancestry]. …I’m so grateful.”

Peep The Details She Gave About Her Black Father

“My father was a very dignified man and as White as I am. My [paternal] grandparents were Nordic German, so apparently I [too] took after them [in appearance].

He was a devout Christian Scientist. My mother was a practitioner and my father was editor in chief of the ‘Christian Science Publications.’ Finally, that was his final job.” – Carol Channing

But They Also Had Turmoil

“They had many discussions and disagreements and things,” Channing said about her parents. She also revealed that the only reason her Mom told her she was Black was to “get even” during a heated argument with her father, who was still passing for White.

So Did She Actually Have ‘A Black Baby?

Carol Channing’s son

Carol’s son, Channing Carson, is a renowned editorial cartoonist, who goes by the name, Chan Lowe. From his more recent pics, he looks Caucasian, but check out his photos from back in the day…

What’chall Think- Biracial Or Nah?

Throwback photo of Carol Channing’s son

In the above photo the only thing that could in fact give us biracial vibes about Chan Lowe is his curlier hair texture. So was Carol’s Mom correct, when she warned her about ‘her baby possibly coming out Black?’ Eh…not quite.