Pat Cleveland

by stlucas on September 26, 2016

Zac Posen for Target Collection Launch Party - Arrivals and Inside Party

Birth Name: Patricia Lee Ann Cleveland

Place of Birth: New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: June 23, 1950

Ethnicity:
*Swedish (father)
*African-American, possibly some Irish/Scottish and Cherokee Native American (mother)

Pat Cleveland is an American fashion model. In the 1960s and 1970s, she was one of the first African-American models to have achieved prominence as a runway model and print model.

Her father, Johnny Johnston or Gunnar Åhs, was Swedish. Her mother, Lady Bird (Cleveland), was African-American, and was said to also have some Irish/Scottish and Cherokee Native American ancestry. It is not clear if this ancestry has been verified/documented.

Pat is married to Dutch model and fashion photographer Paul van Ravenstein, with whom she has two children, including model Anna Cleveland.

Pat’s maternal grandparents were Albert O. Cleveland (the son of Pless/Pleas Cleveland and Frances) and Nancy/Nannie Edwards. Pless was the son of Jerry Cleveland.

Pat was raised by her mother in Harlem.

Referring to a DNA test she has taken, Pat has said:

And there was the racial problem of ‘oh this person is a black person and this person is a white person’ and well, me being the cultural mix that I am! I’m half Scandinavian, half American with thirty six percent African American and the rest, everything else French, Italian, Greek, Irish and English and whatever else have you.

In her book, Walking with the Muses: A Memoir (2016), Pat wrote:

My great-uncle Rep was a real American Indian, a Cherokee, who lived in the woods in a log cabin that looked lifted out of a cowboy movie… in 1912, when she was twenty-one, [Cleveland’s maternal grandmother] Nannie took the conventional route and found a young man to marry: a soldier named Albert Cleveland [Cleveland’s maternal grandfather]. Because he had blond-red hair, light skin, and freckles (courtesy of his Irish-Scottish blood), Albert was considered a Caucasian, though he was a quarter Cherokee… Even with education, a Negro had very few opportunities in that era, and there was virtually no career path for an educated Negro woman like Nannie.

Sources: http://www.harpersbazaar.com

Pat Cleveland article – http://madamenoire.com

Information about Pat’s father – http://dna.scangen.se

Pat’s mother on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Death records of Pat’s maternal grandparents, Albert O. Cleveland and Nancy/Nannie Edwards – https://www.findagrave.com

Pat’s maternal grandfather, Albert O. Cleveland, on the 1900 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Death record of Pat’s maternal great-grandfather, Pless/Pleas Cleveland – https://familysearch.org

Photo by Prphotos.com

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

stlucas January 2, 2018 at 9:57 am

She has taken some DNA tests and has also found information about her Swedish biological father, who was apparently named Gunnar Åhs.

Her results:
“And there was the racial problem of ‘oh this person is a black person and this person is a white person’ and well, me being the cultural mix that I am! I’m half Scandinavian, half American with thirty six percent African American and the rest, everything else French, Italian, Greek, Irish and English and whatever else have you”.
http://www.atelierdore.com/photos/embracing-your-freedom-pat-cleveland/

Info on her father – http://dna.scangen.se/spn/SwedishDNAProjectNews_07_2016.pdf

bablah February 26, 2017 at 5:41 pm

Lady Bird (not Sadie, bad indexing) on census:
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:37BY-FW2

Albert and Nannie’s graves:
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=53096061

Albert had light brown hair according to his draft records, so I guess Pat was right about that in her memoir.

Albert on a census with his parents:
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M3J9-BBT

Albert’s father:
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JJHZ-962

stlucas February 26, 2017 at 9:34 am

Her birth name is Patricia Lee Ann Cleveland.

She wrote on her book “Walking with the Muses: A Memoir”:
“My great-uncle Rep was a real American Indian, a Cherokee, who lived in the woods in a log cabin that looked lifted out of a cowboy movie”.

Plus, about her (maternal) grandparents:
“So in 1912, when she was twenty-one, Nannie took the conventional route and found a young man to marry: a soldier named Albert Cleveland. Because he had blond-red hair, light skin, and freckles (courtesy of his Irish-Scottish blood), Albert was considered a Caucasian, though he was a quarter Cherokee”.

stlucas February 26, 2017 at 9:39 am

“Even with education, a Negro had very few opportunities in that era, and there was virtually no career path for an educated Negro woman like Nannie”.

Kimmel October 9, 2016 at 12:17 pm

She looks part Chinese.

neiltennant November 26, 2017 at 3:14 am

no

she looks like RACHEL DOLESZAL wannabe black

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