Aranesa Turner, Beauty of Pomo and African Heritage

Aranesa Turner, Talented Artist of Pomo and African heritage Aranesa Turner, Talented Artist of Pomo and African heritage

Aranesa Turner of Pomo and African heritage is a member of the Big Valley Band of Pomo Indian. Her mother was born and raised on the Big Valley Rancheria reservation, and her father is Black American. She is believed to be the second American Indian to be selected for the main competition of American Idol (Charly Lowry, being the first).

"I sing for empowerment"


Aranesa wasn’t born on the reservation, but it kind of stopped at her. Everybody else was born on the reservation: her mother, grandmother, aunty, uncles, and even though she wasn’t raised on the reservation she has always visited as a young girl. They’ve always gone to pow wows, always gone to the rez; her great grandma’s house is there, so she has always been connected to her rez.

(c) Photography by Latasha Haynes


"And just seeing reservation life is, you know, pretty much poverty stricken and all the drug abuse and all the alcohol abuse and all that stuff -- it really, really has tugged on my heart since I was a little girl. I’ve always had a heart for people, especially my people. In singing, in having the gift of singing, I feel like I have to use it to give back, I have to use it for my people because we’re hungry, we’re starving for positivity; we’re real-life hungry for change. So [being American Indian] definitely, definitely plays a big part in what I do."



Her father who's Black American actually went double platinum in the ‘90s for his single. He was in a group called D.R.S. and they went double platinum for the single entitled "Gangsta Lean." … He was a singer.

"I feel like that’s why I maybe have this natural love for it. It’s definitely genetic, but I also think that it’s a gift. I feel like my influence is my heart. People keep me going. My heart for people -- that influences me to keep doing what I’m doing."

(c) Photography by Mace Ave

We'd like to congratulate her for putting herself out there and for celebrating her heritage on American Idol. We wish her plenty of success.

The Pomo people are a linguistic branch of American Indian people of Northern California. Their historic territory was on the Pacific Coast between Cleone and Duncans Point, and inland to Clear Lake.


Visit Aranesa Turner on Instagram

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African Native Americans or Black Indians? People who call themselves "Black Indians" are people living in America of African-American descent, with significant heritage of Native American Indian ancestry, and with strong connections to Indian Country and its Native American Indian culture, social, and historical traditions. Black Indians are also called African Native Americans, Black American Indians, Black Native Americans and Afro Native Americans ...

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