Esperanza Spalding

by ethnic on February 14, 2011

Esperanza Spalding at the Clive Davis And The Recording Academy'

Birth Name: Esperanza Emily Spalding

Place of Birth: Portland, Oregon

Date of Birth: October 18, 1984

Ethnicity: African-American, and some Welsh, Hispanic, and Native American

Esperanza Spalding is an American jazz bassist, cellist, and singer.

She has said:

I don’t know my exact ethnic heritage, but I do know that my family has Welsh, Hispanic, and Native American roots in addition to the un-identified roots from Africa.

Photo by s_bukley/

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Kasey September 28, 2011 at 11:20 am

I think she claimed her “black” heritage by very classily NOT terming it as “black”. She clearly steers away from labeling herself as a color, and goes into what makes her heritage unique –quote: “my family has Welsh, Hispanic, and Native American roots in addition to the un-identified roots from Africa”. She would normally be shunned by the black community for this but she’s too damn good of an artist. I LOVE her very clear message that she will not have one group of people define her.

countrygrl July 25, 2011 at 12:02 am

I read something that said she was Mexican(mother)and African American(dad); but that she doesn’t claim the black; which I do not understand because it is sooo obvious. Well, not to get off track; I heard she doesn’t claim the black side cause her dad was a “no show” in her life. Boomer

person November 15, 2013 at 2:22 pm

obviously she considers herself Black. She has a whole song called Black Gold talking about African heritage

nancy June 6, 2011 at 10:08 am

she is mexican. I like latina over hispanic. hispanic is a made up term by the last pope and does not include our african roots (ie brazil).

sam February 14, 2011 at 2:26 pm

you should put spanish instead of hispanic, i think she said esperanza is a spanish name in an interview with E! Entertainment news

afroaristocrat June 4, 2011 at 1:27 pm

She isn’t Spanish. Her mother is Mexican. Mexican people speak Spanish which is why she has a Spanish name.

ava June 7, 2011 at 1:08 am

so she is mexican of spanish descent

SpanishPrincess April 14, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Actually no. Any person who comes from a Latin American country will have a Spanish surname despite there descent. She could be of Spanish descent. But her last name doesn’t determine that. It’s just because Latino people speak Spanish. But some Latinoes can have basque, castillian surnames as well. (Provinces in Spain) Doesn’t mean there full Latino make-up is that. Just means years ago the very first person who carried that name was that ethnicity but married, had kids who married other ethnically diverse Latinos, had kids, but passed on the surname even though they were racially mixed.

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