Paula Patton

by ethnic on October 17, 2009

Birth Name: Paula Maxine Patton

Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Birth: December 5, 1975

Ethnicity:
*African-American (father)
*German, English, smaller amount of Dutch (mother)

Paula Patton is an American actress. She began her career starring in the films Idlewild in 2005 and Deja Vu in 2006. She has a son with her former husband, singer and songwriter Robin Thicke.

Paula’s father, Charles Patton, is black. Paula’s mother, Joyce (Van Raden), who is white, has German, English, and at least 1/16th Dutch, ancestry. Paula has identified herself as Black. She has stated:

I find it [the term “biracial”] offensive. It’s a way for people to separate themselves from African-Americans…a way of saying ‘I’m better than that.’ I’m black because that’s the way the world sees me. People aren’t calling Barack Obama biracial. Most people think there’s a black president.

Paula’s maternal grandfather was Benjamin Alexander Van Raden, Jr. (the son of Benjamin Van Raden and Grace Read Alexander). Paula’s great-grandfather Benjamin was born in Nebraska, the son of Carl Edward Holeman Van Raden, whose father was Dutch and whose mother was German, and of Louisa Bergman, whose parents were German. Paula’s great-grandmother Grace was born in New York, and had English ancestry. Grace was the daughter of Robert Read Alexander and Laura Davis, who were from Massachusetts.

Sources: Genealogy of Paula’s maternal grandfather, Benjamin Alexander Van Raden, Jr. – https://www.wikitree.com

Obituary of Paula’s maternal grandfather, Benjamin Alexander Van Raden, Jr. – http://www.legacy.com

Marriage record of Paula’s maternal great-grandparents, Benjamin Van Raden and Grace Read Alexander – https://familysearch.org

Paula’s maternal great-grandfather, Benjamin Van Raden, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Paula’s maternal great-grandmother, Grace Read Alexander, on the 1900 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Paula’s maternal great-great-grandparents, Carl Edward Holeman Van Raden and Louisa Bergman, on the 1880 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

photo by s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Hill August 10, 2017 at 1:40 pm

Damn she’s hot.

andrew December 25, 2016 at 4:21 pm

obituary of Paula’s maternal grandfather, Benjamin VanRaden: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/greenvilleonline/obituary.aspx?n=benjamin-vanraden&pid=140648739

genealogy: https://www.wikitree.com/genealogy/VanRaden-Family-Tree-4

Paula’s maternal great-grandmother, Grace Read Alexander, on the 1900 U.S. Census: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MS28-WZK

Kimmel June 10, 2016 at 3:45 pm

I feel a bit sorry for her. Seems like she’s never belonged to whites or blacks as a kid and really needed some fellow mixed-race kids for a sense of belonging. And, i’m not sure what part of the world (or race) would see her as ‘Black’. Surely most are knowledgeable enough to notice she is mixed..?

fuzzybear44 June 10, 2016 at 11:31 pm

Quote(I feel a bit sorry for her. Seems like she’s never belonged to whites or blacks as a kid and really needed some fellow mixed-race kids for a sense of belonging.)

The woman was the vice president of the Black Student Union at her school, I don’t think she had as hard a time fitting in as you think she did.

Secondly, not all first generations kids have the same problems. So you could put a whole bunch of them together, one group will say this, while another says that, and some just want give a Sh.t(saying like me or don’t). I don’t know how it is with the ones in England, so I can only speak for ones I know. The ones I know, don’t seem to have those problems about not fitting in.

Also how do you know she didn’t have some other FGM’s to hang out with?. She definitely had MGM’s to hangout with

Quote(And, i’m not sure what part of the world (or race) would see her as ‘Black’. Surely most are knowledgeable enough to notice she is mixed..?)

Well first she says she’s black, doesn’t she count? I’ve been told by people on this site, that African Americans are nothing but mulattoes. There are Africans that tell us we’re nothing but water down mulattoes. There was some crazy Egyptian guy just last week on some show over there, yelling that African Americans are just shameful mulattoes. So it seems that no sees use as black people over here, except us and the white people here.

Quote(Surely most are knowledgeable enough to notice she is mixed..?)

Looking like her over here, doesn’t mean you’re a FGM. The families over here are full of people who are just as bright or brighter than her, and they are MGM’s. My sister thinks she’s the queen of black women, and she’s the brighter than Paula is. My sister in-law is nickname (whiteface), because she’s so bright(yet there’s been no white person in her family for at least 4 generations)

Kimmel June 11, 2016 at 6:26 am

“The woman was the vice president of the Black Student Union at her school, I don’t think she had as hard a time fitting in as you think she did.”

Okay then, I stand partially corrected. I still feel based on her comment that she was forced down a corridor and claimed the ‘Black’ tag for herself.

I’m not going to pretend i’m well-versed on the American population to an intricate level, I just presumed there wouldn’t have been many overtly mixed-race kids around when Patton was growing up in the 80s so she may have found self-identifying difficult.

(By the way, what does “FGM” and “MGM” stand for? Is it First-Generation Mixed and Multi-generational mixed?)

“Well first she says she’s black, doesn’t she count?

I guess, because when talking about race it’s more of a social construct than a genetic one, but I don’t think it makes much sense to claim ‘Black’ when it’s obvious one is mixed – It doesn’t look good on any of her racial groups.

“African Americans are nothing but mulattoes”

I wouldn’t go that far but I would say African Americans do have a unique racial mix, which to my naked eye differentiates them from the people straight out of Africa. But of course, to outside groups (non-blacks) we’re all the same to an extent.

On your last point: It’s becoming clearer and clearer to me that culture & the way one was raised can play an important role in how someone either develops their identity or how they are labelled by others in the US.

fuzzybear44 June 12, 2016 at 1:43 am

@Kimmel

Quote(Okay then, I stand partially corrected. I still feel based on her comment that she was forced down a corridor and claimed the ‘Black’ tag for herself.)

Well see that’s you projecting. You ever thought, that maybe she just felt more comfortable seeing herself as a black woman?

Quote( I just presumed there wouldn’t have been many overtly mixed-race kids around when Patton was growing up in the 80s so she may have found self-identifying difficult.)

Well see you’re wrong about that, they’ve alway been in the black population. However, other FGM are not what you need,True friends are what you need.A true friend isn’t going to care what you are or what you’re not mixed with. In my crew, we had a white friend. For 6 years we hung out, until we went to different colleges. He wasn’t black, but it didn’t matter, because we were true friends. True friends let you be yourself, that’s what you need. Me myself, I don’t care what you’re mixed with, if you’re a cool person, that’s all that counts.

Quote(By the way, what does “FGM” and “MGM” stand for? Is it First-Generation Mixed and Multi-generational mixed?)

Yes

Quote( but I don’t think it makes much sense to claim ‘Black’ when it’s obvious one is mixed – It doesn’t look good on any of her racial groups.)

Well, you just kicked out at least 1/3 of the black population here. Also, what about the ones that are not obvious, because you do know many times, they don’t come out light. Basily, you’re projecting your ideology on her. She wants to say she’s black, and you’re saying, you don’t think it right (no difference). My father side of the family, are light bright, you might as well say white. However they answer to black, are they hurting anyone by doing that,( I don’t think so).

Quote(On your last point: It’s becoming clearer and clearer to me that culture & the way one was raised can play an important role in how someone either develops their identity or how they are labelled by others in the US)

Exactly, We’re are brought up to take pride in our African side. We know were mixed, but like I said before, a lot of that euro contribution didn’t come by in a good way. Also with the way Whites still treat us today, doesn’t exactly endear us to them

Greyface April 3, 2016 at 9:10 pm

“I am 100% BLACK and hate myself”

-Paula Patton

cwm85 August 22, 2015 at 11:30 am

She’s biracial but looks mostly European in facial features and complexion.

midori29 March 12, 2016 at 3:57 pm

This site promotes too many stereotypes of what real black people look like. YES there are West African subsaharan black people with Paula Pattons same look. Goofle the Tauregs of West Africa. Link

https://talkingdrumsblog.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/nicest-traditional-clothing-in-africa/comment-page-1/

labird August 22, 2015 at 8:26 am

Van Raden is a Dutch Surname is it likely that she had Dutch roots somehow.

hesh123 August 7, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Never new she was part black

cwm85 July 27, 2015 at 2:56 pm

I wonder why she is so defensive on being being biracial. I’m tri-racial and have no issue being called that because I am and I’m proud of my African, European and Native American ancestry. No one looked at her would think she is a native of Ghana, Nigeria, Niger, Togo, Liberia. You are what you are and be proud. She sets a old and bad example of multiracial people. Shame for her thoughts on her other side, her mother.

midori29 July 27, 2015 at 3:49 pm

@cwm85, I have seen native Nigerians looking like her. I can post you some.

midori29 July 27, 2015 at 3:59 pm
andrew July 27, 2015 at 4:39 pm

which one?

midori29 August 7, 2015 at 12:00 pm

@Andrew, this link below Nigerian Iheoma Nnandi is 100% West African Nigerian and she does not bleach her skin.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kN0Fl9MqKgE

cwm85 July 27, 2015 at 5:21 pm

Those are lovely african women. Without a doubt but they do not have the phenotype of Paula Patton. And although some were light brown none were quite her complexion. Paula Patton complexion is olive at darkest. This was no way to disrespect those lovely Nigerian women. But Paula wouldn’t quite blend in. Lol

xoxo July 30, 2015 at 10:28 pm

Looking nothing like a Nigerian woman, get your eyes checked.

midori29 August 7, 2015 at 11:35 am

Nigerians and West Africans would accept her. She can still be one, the African still shows, even though it is mixed. And she could definitely be Ethiopian. East African or Eritrian.

cwm85 August 7, 2015 at 12:32 pm

She does NOT look like a black African woman. The woman looks nearly Caucasian. Look at her and swing vote. I assumed she was Caucasian or mestizo until I read her bio. Her phenotype is strongly european. Her nose, lips etc.

midori29 August 7, 2015 at 12:06 pm

@XOXO check link 100% Nigerian woman, you can see the black in Paula even though she is mixed. As long as you can see the African , yes she does look West African and whatever else she has. West Africans would accept her.
Check link 100% West African girl
http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/9046

midori29 August 7, 2015 at 12:08 pm

@XOXO, link 100% West African Nigerian girl
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kN0Fl9MqKgE

neiltennant July 12, 2015 at 11:43 am

looking at her i ask myself WHY AND HOW robin thicke could cheat on her haha

maurogomes3193 July 13, 2015 at 3:33 pm

he cheat because he love other black girls kk

neiltennant July 14, 2015 at 12:36 pm

come on guy or girl

most people are color blind when it comes to cheating etc.

I mean (especially ) most men like women if they are attractive

they don’t think about color so much

i know so many people who admire Beyonce, on the other hand they like cameron diaz etc. and the (young) naomi campbell

noneofyourbusiness January 31, 2015 at 1:02 am

I was so sure she had Asian ancestry. Her eyes look somewhat Asian. She looks more than just black and white and could pass as a multiracial Latina.

She looks part Asian: http://www.blackfilm.com/read/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Paula-Patton-4.jpg

midori29 August 7, 2015 at 12:04 pm

@Noneofyourbussiness ALOT of black/Africans have naturally slanted eyes, Asians and all people came from Africans.

Black South Africans have big time slanted eyes.
http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/9046

someone from the internet September 5, 2014 at 4:06 am

I just want to know if she used to be a man… She looks manly to me. That’s why I don’t really find her attractive.

WTF September 15, 2014 at 3:08 am

LMFAO I said something similar about her. She does look like she could be a tranny.

neiltennant July 14, 2015 at 12:37 pm

i hate those comments

come on let me see how you look

most people who write this look like MISS PIGGY

blah October 24, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Aw, YOU MAD? Lmao

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