The 34-year-old actress was born in Ethiopia to an Irish mother, and black Ethiopian father. During her chat with Vogue, Negga details fleeing the country for Ireland with her mom at just four years old, amid an outbreak of political violence.
"We were going to America," she reveals. "But my dad didn’t get out in time."
Three years later, Negga's father died in a car accident, which they found out about via "a letter and a phone call."
While her mother never remarried, Negga says she admires her strength. "She's a survivor. Very much like Mildred," the Irish-Ethiopian beauty says, referencing her Loving character.
Unlike Mildred and her husband’s fight to have their interracial marriage legally recognized in 1950s America, Negga mother "never" experienced the same kind of racial prejudice.
On a personal level, Negga doesn’t recall feeling or being treated differently as a child, despite growing up with a large extended family of "about 23 boys," whose hair and skin were noticeably different than her own.
"I remember thinking, I'm just me," she tells the magazine. "When you’re a kid you’re just you, aren't you? It was when I moved to England that I felt it, because I was Irish and black."
By the age of 11, Negga began to connect with the works of lauded African-American writers like Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, and James Baldwin.
"I didn't have that many black people in my life, so I had to sort of search them out," she recalls. "And I didn’t grow up in America, but I identified as much with their writing about the black experience as I did with their writing about the human experience."
In regards to Hollywood’s diversity gap, Negga didn’t mince words calling the issue "unacceptable for a long time."
"It's becoming an embarrassment," she adds noting films like Moonlight and Ava DuVerney's 13th documentary as a step in the right direction.
"The film is reminding us that there’s a conversation that we need to be having still," Negga explains confessing that she and co-star- Joel Egerton, get annoyed when people say the film has a “quiet” message.
"It doesn't feel very quiet to us," she says. "It feels really loud."