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Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey is one of the most electrifying athletes to enter the sport of mixed martial arts. Although serious fight fans know Rousey’s background well, some might be surprised to learn of her connection to North American Black History.

Rousey’s mother, Dr. AnnaMaria De Mars, a renowned martial artist herself, broke open the recent interest in Rousey’s racial makeup after an impromptu street chat caught on video. De Mars’ grandfather, Dr. Albert E. Waddell, was one of the first Black doctors to practice in North America.

Dr. Waddell’s journey began back in 1923 when he and his wife traveled to the states for new opportunities. After scraping by in menial jobs, Waddell left his family in New York and headed to Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada 1928. to attend medical school after being turned down repeatedly in the states because of racism.

While Canada afforded Waddell the chance of a lifetime, it was still replete with struggle and he faced skepticism from both Black and white citizens. Still, he reached out to under-served communities and was a vocal proponent of racial equality. Waddell was also charitable, once hosting Cab Calloway because the famed musician couldn’t secure a hotel room due to his race.

Waddell is the subject of the documentary, Before His Time, which recognizes the doctor’s contributions to Halifax and the surrounding communities. While there is renewed chatter surrounding Waddell’s connection to Rousey, the fighter has been very open about her heritage in past interviews.

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The Ten Most Interesting Little Known Black History Facts
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11 thoughts on “Little Known Black History Fact: Ronda Rousey’s Family Tree

  1. Hum apparently white celebrities who possess black lineage or have a black mate is the new in thing of the decade,,, maybe she will host the BET awards

  2. I don’t think she told the story to impress it was all about sharing the story. All these w folks that talk so bad about blacks if they really knew their blood line they would change their tune.

    • specialt757 on said:

      At all! They acting like they are doing the black race a favor. Please. (I just made a spittin’ sound but I didn’t know how to spell it LOL!)

      • @Specialt757, I completely agree. I feel like they are just doing it because this is some kind of IN-Thing or new Fad for them now. I am not impressed. Tell me what her mother was saying some 30 years ago or more and then we will talk. Not all white folks or blacks were so willing to say hey this is me and I am black or have a black grandfather etc.

      • Kimboo on said:

        True… and she’s still not allowed to say the N word, lol; it’s her ancestry, not her present. Someone, somewhere in that blood line, wanted to eliminate every ethnic feature, and keep it as light-white as possible, so I agree SpecialT757, soooo unimpressed by this new found information! Like I said, aren’t we all derived from Egypt? ugh, making that sucking teeth sound right now, the one your momma would pop you for if you disobeyed her, lol. 🙂

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