Janet Jackson

by ethnic on July 7, 2010

Birth Name: Janet Damita Jo Jackson

Place of Birth: Gary, Indiana, U.S.

Date of Birth: May 16, 1966

Ethnicity: African-American

Janet Jackson is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Having sold over 100 million records worldwide, Janet is ranked as one of the best-selling artists in the history of contemporary music.

Born in Gary, Indiana, and raised in Encino, Los Angeles, she is the youngest child of the Jackson family of musicians, and is the daughter of Katherine/Kattie Esther/B. (Scruse) and Joseph Walter Jackson. Among her many siblings are musicians La Toya Jackson and Michael Jackson. She is the aunt of Paris Jackson and musicians 3T (Tariano Jackson, Taryll Jackson, and Tito Jackson), among others.

Janet is African-American.

Janet has a son with her husband, Qatari business magnate Wissam Al Mana.

Janet’s father had stated that he has Native American ancestry. Janet’s brother Jermaine has said this also. It is not clear if this ancestry has been verified/documented. Joseph also stated that he had some caucasian roots. It has also been said that Janet’s mother has Blackfoot Native American ancestry, also as yet unverified, at least publicly.

Janet’s paternal grandfather was Samuel Joseph Jackson (the son of Israel Nero Jackson and Emeline Williams). Samuel was born in Mississippi, and was said to be of partial Choctaw Native American descent (as well as having black ancestry). It is not clear if this has been verified. Israel and Emeline are listed only as “Black” on United States censuses. Israel was the son of Jack July Gayle/Milam and Mary Freeman or Gina Gale.

Janet’s paternal grandmother was Crystal Lee King (the daughter of Samuel King and Gertrude Daniel). Crystal was born in Arkansas. Samuel was the son of William King and Nellie. Gertrude was the daughter of Thomas “Tom” Daniel and Martha “Mattie” Cason. Mattie was said to be the daughter of a white woman and a black slave man.

Janet’s maternal grandfather was Prince Albert Screws/Scruse (the son of Prince Scruse and Julia Belle Jordan). Janet’s grandfather Prince was born in Alabama. Janet’s great-grandfather Prince was the son of Prince Screws and Mary Etta. Julia was the daughter of Julius Willis Jordan and Rosetta Hall.

Janet’s maternal grandmother was Martha “Mattie” Upshaw (the daughter of Daniel Upshaw and Jeanette Brown). Martha was born in Alabama. Daniel was the son of Jonas Upshaw and Minerva Grant. Jeanette was the daughter of Columbus Brown and Henrietta Peterson.

Sources: Genealogies of Janet Jackson – http://www.wargs.com

Information (some potentially unverified) on Janet’s family history – http://www.truemichaeljackson.com

Janet’s paternal great-grandparents, Israel Nero Jackson and Emeline Williams, on the 1880 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Israel Nero Jackson and Emeline Williams on the 1900 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Israel Nero Jackson and Emeline Williams on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Israel Nero Jackson and Emeline Williams on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Likely Janet’s great-grandfather, Israel Nero Jackson, on the 1870 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Genealogy of Janet Jackson (focusing on her mother’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Janet’s maternal grandparents, Prince Albert Screws/Scruse and Martha “Mattie” Upshaw, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Entertainment Press / Shutterstock.com

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Multiethnicchick July 8, 2017 at 3:21 pm

I would wager that her and her siblings are between 20-37.5% mixed.

neiltennant June 28, 2018 at 12:05 am

of course


JOE JACKSON (who died recently) had pure green eyes. Like PRINCE (who had more a warm hazel to green tone)

there are not pure africans in africa with blue or green or even with hazel eyes

ACTUALLY there is only one chance for pure africans in africa to have blue eyes. it s a disease

waardenburg syndrome

xoxo October 21, 2015 at 5:22 am

She looks mixed

midori29 August 19, 2016 at 1:00 pm

Please please stop with the Mixed stuff for every pretty black woman its getting tired. Unless someone has two parents each of totally different races they are NOT mixed. I do not care if they were mixed in the past because everyone on earth would be mixed. It looks so desperate. Not everyone is mixed.

neiltennant June 21, 2017 at 2:25 am


no thats not right

there are tons of beautiful black dark women

who claims that all pretty blacks must be mixed ?

did you ever see MAYA RUDOLPH ?

neiltennant June 21, 2017 at 2:24 am

their father is mixed

his father looked like BABY BASH when he was young

i think their father has some english roots

the mother seems to have native american + african american

kary January 8, 2014 at 11:49 pm

they all should of left their noses alone

Lisette February 17, 2013 at 1:16 am

People on these sites just make themselves look stupid by claim our black people yall no nothing about us. Like the person in the previous comment said mixed is when your parents are in different categories not “my mom is black, my dad is black also but he has a little bit of this,that and the third in him yep he mixed yall” Noooo

Daisuke November 7, 2012 at 7:28 pm

I’m 1/32 Norwegian, and 31/32 black and I’m mixed so there

Amastara July 25, 2012 at 6:09 pm

I’m glad that they’re not trying to say that shes mixed, just like all the rest of the black celebrities, who are black and happen to have 1 white or native american ancestor somewhere down the line…….. it starts to get silly after people start counting anything that the person is less than 1/4 of…when a person is african american its IMPLIED that theres at least 1 white guy/native in the mix. Its part of our history. it would be like a person claiming to be puerto rican and 1/8th spanish…..silly? Exactly.

levangelista36 July 26, 2012 at 7:46 pm

I actually agree with you.

rajaredhilu December 8, 2013 at 2:34 am

1/8th counts but barely and remotly

Samiiraa May 5, 2016 at 1:17 am

A lot of AA’s have 20 to 25% European blood.
AA’s are of west African descent and west Africans are DARK, they are the darkest Africans because they are not mixed, at least not a lot because west African countries face the ocean or share frontiers with other African countries unlike East Africans who are mixed with Arab or Persian or North Africans who are mixed with European and Arab.
So basically, AA’s ancestors were very dark skinned and most AA’s are not that dark. When people think Beyoncé is 100% black it makes me laugh because her African ancestors were probably 10 shades darker than her. The Jacksons are black but not 100%.

fuzzybear44 May 5, 2016 at 11:46 pm


If you’re the Samiiraa from before, then you have East African ancestry. So I understand your loyalty to that heritage. However West Africans on the avg are no darker than East Africans. Igbo were actually known for their red and yellowish skin color,(“red eboe”) which was purposely bred out of them during slavery. Also AA’s are actually made up of Africans from all over the continent(Different people have come in over the 400yr period). Also only a small percentage of East Africans have any recent Arab heritage, the rest is from back migration

fuzzybear44 January 18, 2017 at 1:39 am


Quote(west Africans are DARK, they are the darkest Africans because they are not mixed, )

West Africans the darkest? I don’t think any group holds that title. I’ve seen just as many extremely dark people in East Africa as I’ve seen in the West. examples



Quote(at least not a lot because west African countries face the ocean or share frontiers with other African countries unlike East Africans who are mixed with Arab or Persian or North Africans who are mixed with European and Arab.)

Where do you think the Cape Verde people came from? The Portuguese married their way into some of the tribes setting up small colonies or forts and produce children that were loyal to them. So there has been mixing, put you have to remember, they took a lot of black people out of West Africa . Many of those people shipped away were mulattoes(slavery Logbooks) show this.

Quote(, AA’s ancestors were very dark skinned and most AA’s are not that dark. When people think Beyoncé is 100% black it makes me laugh because her African ancestors were probably 10 shades darker than her. The Jacksons are black but not 100%.)

Well you weren’t actually there, so you can’t know exactly how dark they were. Also as you stated yourself, the avg AA is not 100% black, so why would they see Beyoncé as being different from them?

sashafierce564 July 13, 2012 at 11:27 pm

African American I mean

sashafierce564 July 13, 2012 at 11:26 pm

So she basically Africa American .

mids September 30, 2012 at 10:35 am

Ugh not all “African Americans” are mixed. Mixed is when you have parents of two different “racial” categories. Ony 58% of black Americans are at least an eighth mixed. People who are 1/8 something else are just barely “mixed”. 42% of black Americans are still no more than 1/8 so no, they are not mixed.

leslie2 October 20, 2013 at 1:12 am

THANK YOU. I agree 100% I think you could probably even say less then that is actually. Most aren’t mixed, and I think 1/8th is being generous. Its probably more like 1/16th-1/32nd

midori29 May 5, 2015 at 3:09 pm

@leslie 2, I think Halle Berry started all this mixed talk because she is basically is black looking biracial, so anyone black and pretty who looks like her they want to call mixed. When they are not

Samiiraa May 5, 2016 at 1:10 am

Halle Berry looks biracial, she doesn’t look black. You’ve never seen black people if you think she looks black. Her children are white.

neiltennant June 21, 2017 at 2:27 am

YOU ARE really strange

who claims that blacks are not good looking ?

Sister you are stupid and strange

there are ugly people in every ethnicity and beautiful people in every ethnicity

neiltennant June 21, 2017 at 2:27 am

By the way HALLE BERRY looks of course black

and she could easily be 100 percent african american

19934ever April 30, 2012 at 5:03 pm

My role model!

christian March 23, 2012 at 6:33 am

all of the jackson siblings had plastic surgery

lightning of the skin, nose corrections, facelifts

therefore its difficult to classify those

but the jackson are not only of african american descent

joe jackson has green eyes and their mother look mixed

George February 11, 2012 at 9:19 pm

shes basically black with distant european and amerindian desecnet. there you go

Zolie January 6, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Some mixed people (which is rare) look either totally black, white, asian and so forth. Like Kimora, she looks totally Asian. I would classify her as Asian, because if she was in a group with Full blooded Asian you could not tell if she was mixed. And that is how the world really looks at it, plain and simple. Just like President Obama, he looks totally Black, and he knows it. So it would be stupid for him to run around talking about I am mixed. He has the sense to know how the world sees him, and it is not about denying one side over the other

Liam O'Connel January 9, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Obama does NOT look totally black. I have no idea why people say that. It’s 100% obvious to anyone in the world just by looking at him that he is of mixed ethnicity. Lenny kravitz and Bob marley look blacker than Obama, and they two are mixed race

Multiethnicchick July 8, 2017 at 3:18 pm

There’s not a single mixed race person who looks totally one race. Black and Asian people share broad facial features so honestly, it’s not strange that a blasian would look more asian than black. Kimora’s father likely isn’t 100% black, especially if he’s black american.

Crystal S. November 7, 2011 at 2:38 pm

I already knew that Janet an her siblings were mixed with some Indian and a little white. I have always known that, but it was never stated on the internet or tv. I am a true believer of Black Indians, because I am. I honestly thought that Catherin was part indian and Joseph was part white, but it doesnt really matter. I am glad to finally know. I love this website!!!!

London August 17, 2011 at 1:25 pm

I always wondered what janets ethnic background was I consider the Jackson family as black but can tell the Jackson family have some mixed heriatage through their high cheekbones a trait of cheroke indians and you can also tell by their eyes and natural baby hair

neiltennant June 21, 2017 at 2:28 am

Their father must have some english roots

and their mother native american

Annie July 14, 2011 at 7:27 am

Fianlly! Someone acknowlegdes the mixture in the Jacksons! Thank you ethnic for this. I really don’t understand why people have a problem accepting that the Jacksons’ are very mixed ethnically; they are not pure black as paople want to think. They are mixed with white ancestry, Native American Ancestry, African Ancestry and I think Chinese Ancestry too! Its not like they’re straight from Africa, They’re African American and its fact that african americans are not pure black, due to slavery, alot of mixes have occured. Oh, and it also means that michael is not pue black either! Just look at Latoya Jackson! How do you explain her highly fair colour?! Just Sayin’…

ohplease July 14, 2011 at 8:33 am

Sound like African American to me

Amber Berg July 14, 2011 at 9:11 am

the Jacksons dad is lying you know he brainwashed all them kids to thinking they were really white thats why they went and did that to their faces including him. He use to be black as hell and now he aint even 25% black, get real- no wonder his kids hate they skin color.

Amber Berg July 14, 2011 at 9:07 am

It’s called skin bleaching, Who the hell doesnt know the Jacksons are black wow I guess know ones white any more and know ones black anymore, so there is no need from this website.

Amber Berg July 14, 2011 at 9:09 am

I meant to say no one sorry, guess this site is make me go crazy

Dasher November 7, 2011 at 3:15 pm

According to the people on this site, there is no such thing as a black or white person. If you are not “full white” or “full black,” meaning EVERY, SINGLE, ONE OF YOUR LAST ANCESTORS were white or black, you are not white or black, which is impossible, by the way! They encourage the “one drop rule” so that everyone will claim that they are mixed. They say race does not matter yet they try to instill a racist ideology.


liyah July 14, 2011 at 12:16 pm

yea but lets face it if they tried to fit in with Europeans or natives they wouldn’t fit in. Everything about them screams black. My great grandfather was white on my father side and my grandfather on my mother side is half indian but when you see me you will only see black. Everyone is mix there are white people that have far far black ancestry or another mix of race but they still consider themselves white, i’m pretty sure there are brown people that have some sort of mixture far far back in their ancestry but at the end of the day they say their brown. I find it foolish that black people think thier mix because there was a mixture far far back in their ancestry we are the only ones who act that way.

liyah July 20, 2011 at 4:03 pm

letoya is light because of the makeup she puts on, i saw an old pic of her with janet and i thought she was very pale and was shocked to see how pale she was next to janet. Their was an up close pic of her in the same event and you could tell she was wearing a way lighter foundation than her skin tone and you could see her real skin tone around her hairline and other areas of her face. If you want to see yourself look at this link and stroll down you’ll see other pics, i believe the pictures speak for itself.


mari July 30, 2011 at 5:13 pm

they aint no chinese they probably a bit white and native american but we all know they mostly black

Mari July 7, 2011 at 1:34 pm

All of the Jacksons are black. If there is a mix it is from slavery times but in that case AA are all mixed. There is no immediate mix. Katherine is black. Joe is black. Janet is black.

mari July 30, 2011 at 5:14 pm

thank you thats what im sayin

Seba December 15, 2011 at 11:32 pm

Mari! Sorry, but you don’t read too well and you get an “F” for comprehension! Now didn’t you just read what they said MJ and his roots were! Mmmmm! Who the heck are you to restate his history????? It’s very clear that his makeup is as diverse as most African-Americans are! The worst thing they could have come up with is that one drop rule! Didn’t make sense at inception and damn sure doesn’t make sense now! Man I tell you, introduce people to ignorance and they are off an running! All I can say is let it go folks!!!!

Tony January 21, 2012 at 5:23 pm

This is the best response I’ve heard yet. To elaborate on Mari’s comment, Most African American’s who can trace their history back to slavery most definitely have Native American or caucasian blood. I can trace my family back to the early 1830’s on both sides and there’s most definitely a strong Native American and caucasian influence, hence the reason we have varied facial features, complexions and eye color today. Even so, we are still black and I identify as black.

sandy July 7, 2010 at 4:34 pm

if u don’t know her backgroud i did some research n it said that she is mixed with bLACK n JAPANESSE WITH AZTEC

total23 July 7, 2010 at 8:46 pm

link please!

liyah July 14, 2011 at 12:26 pm

not everything you read is true if she didn’t say it then it’s probably not true

Amber Berg July 14, 2011 at 7:35 pm

I agree again! Plus her dad thinks he is white!

total23 July 7, 2010 at 1:34 pm

FINALLY! Thank You Ethnic!

ethnic July 7, 2010 at 4:54 pm

no problem, thank you total23

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