An article in The Irish Echo examines the different ways black Americans have dealt with their positively Irish surnames and possibly Irish ancestries.
These days, some prominent African-Americans, including Detroit's mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, are keen to make a public proclamation of their Irish background. Kilpatrick is reported to once have wryly described himself as America's first "6-foot, 6-inch Irish African American" mayor.
Still, not all black celebrities are rushing to wrap themselves in Irishness. "I'm not Irish," basketball superstar Shaquille O'Neal informed the New York Times on St. Patrick's Day 2003. "I'm from the Brick City - Newark, New Jersey - and don't pinch me on the butt if I'm not wearing green." [Link]