A Journey through Adoption, War, and Forgiveness
Sarah Culberson was born in Morgantown, West Virginia, to an African father and a white mother. As an infant, she was put into foster care, then adopted by a loving white WV family.
She grew up contemplating and dealing with questions about her identity and her biracial roots. She fell in love with theatre in early childhood and won an undergrad acting scholarship to West Virginia University. She earned her MFA at The American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and joined the Los Angeles acting community.
Culberson has danced and acted on stage as well as in films and TV. She has been a guest performer with the Urban Latin Dance Theater Company CONTRA-TIEMPO. However, her biggest role so far came when she decided to locate her biological parents. She learned that her biological mother died when she was just 11, and her father lived in a village in Sierra Leone, West Africa. From him she learned about her royal family, and that she is a Mahaloi, the granddaughter of a Paramount Chief, with the status of a princess. She also learned of the difficulties and privations of Sierra Leone’s people following a brutal 11-year civil war that ended in 2002.
“Your voice connects the world and makes a difference.”
Sierra Leone Rising
Fostering Education, Public Health & Female Empowerment
Discovery of her unique heritage and her response to this new information changed her life forever. Now, as co-founder of the non-profit Sierra Leone Rising (formerly the Kposowa Foundation), she and many others work to support Education, Public Health and Female Empowerment in Sierra Leone.
Being a princess is about responsibility. That’s what this has taught me. That’s one of the biggest gifts in the world. And getting my family on top of it, meeting my half-brother and half-sisters, singing songs with them, dancing with them, talking. That’s priceless.”
Sarah's story has been featured nationally and internationally around the world.
Princess Sarah Culberson’s story has been featured nationally and internationally in The Singapore News, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, BBC radio, NPR, “Oprah and Friends” radio show, and in magazines such as Reader’s Digest, Newsweek, People, and Glamour. She also appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, Inside Edition, and more. Culberson’s book, A Princess Found, co-written with Tracy Trivas and published by St. Martin’s Press, was released in Barnes and Noble and other bookstores in 2009 and has been used at Pepperdine University in an ethnic identity class.