Iyanla Vanzant Grandmother Rissie Holloway Harris, Family Ethnicity And Parents

Iyanla Vanzant Grandmother

Iyanla Vanzant grandmother Rissie Holloway Harris was a native of Tsalagia/Cherokee. The granddaughter is an American inspirational speaker, lawyer, life coach, author, and New Thought spiritual teacher.

Iyanla often appears on television. She is best known for writing books, hosting her talk show, and appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

The author was recognized by Ebony magazine as one of the “100 most influential Black Americans” in 2000.

The publication states, “Her books, lectures, and television appearances have made her a multimedia high priestess of healthy relationships.”

Vanzant was ranked seventh among the 100 most spiritually significant living people in 2012 by Watkins’ Mind Body Spirit magazine.

In 2014, she co-spoke with Deepak Chopra, Mark Nepo, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Rob Bell as part of Oprah’s “Life You Want Weekend” tour, which visited eight cities.

Vanzant was included in Oprah Winfrey’s 2016 SuperSoul100 list of pioneers and powerful figures.

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Iyanla Vanzant Grandmother Rissie Holloway Harris,

Rissie Holloway Harris, her grandmother, was born on a reservation in the South Carolina foothills. She was a native of Tsalagia/Cherokee.

She worked as a domestic worker from the age of 17 to 73. She never cast a vote and passed away at the age of 102.

The author dedicated the vote in her grandmother’s name in a 2018 post on her social account about her grandmother, who she claimed had never voted in her life. She writes on her social media page that she was casting her ballot for her grandma.

Iyanla Vanzant Grandmother
Iyanla Vanzant with her Grandmother. ( Source: Facebook)

In that post, one of her followers asked why her grandma had never voted in her life. The author replied that her grandmother didn’t have birth certificates until 1960, when the white woman she worked for assisted her in getting proper identification.

She took up reading when she was 43 years old. Because her grandmother usually passed for black, she was prejudiced for her inability to read and the perception that she was black.

Iyanla Vanzant Family

Iyanla Vanzant’s first spouse was Charles Vanzant. They got married in 1973 and se left her first husband in 1980 with her three children after he began to physically abuse her.

After being initiated and ordained as a priestess in the Yoruba tradition in 1983, she was given the name “Iyanla,” which translates to “great mother.” (as mentioned in her television interview on the Conn Jackson show).

Afterward, the author married Adeyemi Bandele. Before being married in 1997, Her second husband, Adeyemi Bandele and Iyanla Vanzant dated for a while after the first meeting. Ten years of blissful marriage were spent together raising three of her kids as a married pair.

Iyanla Vanzant Grandmother
Iyanla Vanzant with her family( Source: Facebook)

Nisa, Damon, and Gemma Vanzant are the names of her children. Sadly, Gemmia Vanzant, Vanzant’s 30-year-old daughter, passed away from a rare colon cancer on Christmas Day 2003.

Iyanla Vanzant’s second son goes by the name of Damon Vanzant. He was born in 1974. In 1979, she gave birth to her third daughter, Nisa Vanzant.

Iyanla Vanzant and Adeyemi Bandele divorced in 2007 after their marriage had broken down.

Iyanla Vanzant Ethnicity And Parents

Rhonda Eva Harris, later known as Vanzant, was born in a taxi on September 13, 1953, in Brooklyn, New York. Her parents are Horace Harris and railroad carmaid Sarah Jefferson.

In 1955, when she was two years old, her mother died from breast cancer. Her other relatives raised her after that. Her ethnicity is of African- American.

She studied at Virginia Union University and Medgar Evers College. Vanzant graduated from the University of Santa Monica (USM), the Center for the Study and Practice of Spiritual Psychology, and the City University of New York School of Law, where she earned her Juris Doctor. 

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