Amanda Seales Set the Record Straight on Her Parents, Heritage, and Autism Diagnosis

“If my father had lived with me, I would never have been the person I am now because he wouldn’t have been able to handle it.”

Jamie Lerner - Author

Apr. 25 2024, Published 4:01 p.m. ET

Amanda Seales at Women of Influence luncheon in 2022
Source: Getty Images

One of the great “Mothers” of modern-day pop culture is Amanda Seales. She didn’t just star in HBO’s Insecure, but she’s also a podcaster, a comedian, an activist, and an expert on Black culture in America. On the April 24 episode of Club Shay Shay, Amanda spoke out about her recent autism spectrum diagnosis and how her parents raised her without knowing about her internal experience.

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Amanda opened up to Shannon Sharpe about the many ways in which she experienced racism, which eventually led her to major in African-American Studies with a concentration in hip-hop at Columbia University. Between Amanda’s podcast, Small Doses, her Black American-themed game show, Smart Funny & Black, and other activism, we need to know more about her parents. So who are they?

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Amanda Seales’s mother, Annette Seales, was always supportive of her.

One major controversy that has continued to follow Amanda is that people suspect she isn’t fully Black. Throughout her career, she’s had to remind folks that both her parents are Black, which Shannon actually questioned during their interview. At one point, he said, “Your mom is white,” to which Amanda quickly responded with frustration, “My mother is not white!”

The hilarious part about Shannon’s statement is that earlier in the interview, Amanda pointed out that her mother is from the West Indies. Amanda and her mom have dual citizenship with the U.S. and Grenada, a West Indies island country in the Caribbean Sea.

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When speaking about her ASD diagnosis, Amanda shared how her mom is West Indian and how she was an incredibly supportive parent. “In this revelation, my mother started looking up symptoms of autistic children and was like, ‘Oh s--t, you exhibited all of this. But I didn’t know what to do with this,’” Amanda said.

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“She’s a single parent, she’s trying to figure it out, but I really just thank my mom because when my mom couldn’t show up for me emotionally, I realized that she was able to, at the very least — that’s not even fair to say. She was able to still let me be who I am instead of beating it out of me, which happens to so many kids who are misunderstood,” Amanda added.

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“And she’s West Indian,” Amanda stated before saying something in Grenadian Creole, “So I’m like over here being this precocious, loquacious child that’s always talking and they’re telling her, ‘Why are you always just letting her do all this talking and all that? She’s too fresh,’ and my mom was like, ‘That’s Amanda. Let her live!’”

Amanda’s father wasn’t as present in her life as her mother.

While we know little about Amanda’s father, she has shared bits and pieces about him. He is of African-American descent and grew up in Boston. But because Amanda was raised mostly by her mother, we know much more about her. On Father’s Day in 2018, Amanda even tweeted a photo of her two Black parents to prove the haters wrong.

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“Happy Father’s Day to all the dads that show up EVERY day, not just for ‘family’ pictures,” she wrote, taking a jab at her father, who showed up for the picture shared. “Real Ones, You don’t get enough recognition, but you’re integral to shaping young hearts and minds into solid thoughtful adults…”

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On Club Shay Shay, Amanda revealed that she’s actually grateful her dad wasn’t in the house. “If my father had lived with me, I would never have been the person I am now because he wouldn’t have been able to handle it. And I believe that he is autistic too,” she revealed. “He’s brilliant, he was just never seen the way he needed to be seen so it turned into narcissism.”

Growing up Black and autistic in a racist and neurotypical society couldn’t have been easy, so we’re just grateful we have Amanda here to share insight into her life so that we can make it just a little easier for future generations.

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