Aretha Franklin has type 2 diabetes, which is related to obesity.
Damon Dash has type 1 diabetes and is a national spokesman for the American Diabetes Association.
Della Reese, a type 2 diabetic, launched the Stronger Than Diabetes campaign with GlaxoSmithKline to raise awareness around the disease.
Former NBA star Dominique Wilkins appeared on CNN last year to encourage black men to make their health a priority after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Halle Berry found out she had type 2 diabetes after passing out and falling into a week-long diabetic coma in 1989.
Jay Anthony Brown was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1996. He is now the founder of The J. Anthony Brown Foundation to help children fight diabetes.
Embattled ex-Washington D.C. mayor, Marion Barry has type 2 diabetes.
A Tribe Called Quest’s Phife Dawg famously rhymed “When’s the last time you heard a funky diabetic?”
Randy Jackson’s type 2 diabetes was the impetus for his drastic weight loss in 2001.
The president of the ANC Women’s League, Winnie Mandela, was hospitalized twice last year from complications of diabtes. The type is unknown.
In 2003, Patti LaBelle released a cookbook of recipes “suitable for anyone living with diabetes.”
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Popular TV chef Paula Deen announced today that she has had type 2 diabetes for nearly three years and plans to partner with Nodo Nordisk as their medication’s spokeswoman.
“It’s about heredity. It’s about age, lifestyle, race. I’m the only one in my family who has it,” said Deen. “My grandmother cooked and ate like I ate, and she didn’t have it.”
It has been found that blacks are affected by diabetes at a rate twice that of whites, and die from it twice as often. Type 2 diabetes is often diagnosed along with obesity. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, black children were 30 percent more likely to be overweight than non-Hispanic white children, causing increased risk for the disease.
Many black celebrities have gone public about their diabetes, connecting the disease to diet and unhealthy eating in the black community.
Follow Donovan X. Ramsey on Twitter at @idxr