Sanaa Lathan

by ethnic on January 27, 2009

Birth Name: Sanaa McCoy Lathan

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

Date of Birth: September 19, 1971

Ethnicity: African-American

Sanaa Lathan is an American actress. She is known for starring in the movies Blade (1998), Brown Sugar (2002), and Alien vs. Predator (2004). Her father, Stan Lathan, is a producer and director. Her mother, Eleanor McCoy (Eleanor Leslie McCoy), performed on Broadway. Her brother is DJ Tendaji Lathan.

Sanaa’s parents are both African-American. Her first name, Sanaa, means “work of art” in Swahili.

Some websites state that she has Native American ancestry. It is not clear if this ancestry has been verified/documented.

Sanaa’s paternal grandfather was Stanley Edward Lathan (the son of William E. Lathan and Addie).

Sanaa’s paternal grandmother was Julia Elizabeth Dunston (the daughter of Charles Dallas Dunston, Sr. and Lillian Pauline Muldrow). Lillian was the daughter of Phillip Muldrow and Rebecca E. Turner.

Sanaa’s maternal grandfather was Wesley Brice McCoy (the son of Wesley Duncan/Deer McCoy and Perses Helen Brice). Sanaa’s great-grandfather Wesley was the son of Duncan McCoy and Rosetta Nash. Perses was the daughter of John D. Brice and Paul.

Sources: Sanaa’s paternal grandfather, Stanley Edward Lathan, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Sanaa’s paternal grandmother, Julia Elizabeth Dunston, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Sanaa’s paternal great-grandparents, Charles Dallas Dunston and Lillian Pauline Muldrow, on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Sanaa’s maternal grandfather, Wesley Brice McCoy, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Obituary of Sanaa’s maternal grandfather, Wesley Brice McCoy –

Helga Esteb /

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Kimmel April 7, 2016 at 2:04 am

She’s a very attractive woman & good actress. But I’ve always thought she was a small percentage of Native American.

tinasheeeee July 31, 2014 at 8:11 pm

CORRECTION: She is also Native American too. Not just African American

follers July 31, 2014 at 10:12 pm

I’m not sure if she has ever even made that claim herself. It’s already addressed with “Some websites state that she has Native American ancestry. It is not clear if this ancestry has been verified/documented”.

tinasheeeee August 1, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Oh because I read in her Wiki, it said that she was African & Native American, that’s why I thought they should add Native in the ethnicity

tinasheeeee June 22, 2014 at 12:04 pm

She honestly looks mixed to me, I’ve always thought she was mixed.

ShawntheGod July 12, 2014 at 5:56 am

All African-Americans are mixed to a certain degree.

fuzzybear44 July 12, 2014 at 7:26 am

The avg,I wouldn’t say all

tinasheeeee July 31, 2014 at 8:10 pm

I’m talking about like black & white (this gen) not from slavery..

midori29 May 5, 2015 at 2:26 pm

@tinasheeeeee, no she does not look black/white mixed at all.

alexgxo November 12, 2016 at 9:58 am

Do you consider Jessica Szohr mixed? Or just a while girl even though her nose side profile and hair texture all show signs of black blood?

Cause essentially that’s what Sanna is. She doesn’t look half white (though since Halle and Kat Graham are here she can pass) but she has obvious signs of other.

midori29 August 4, 2015 at 11:01 am

She looks like a basic regular black American girl. I dont see a mixed girl. Im talking about one with a white parent. All peoples are mixed in the past. She has afro hair texture and she looks basic black. I think you want her to be mixed cause she is pretty.

alexgxo November 12, 2016 at 9:52 am

And many African Americas are mixed. She has a very white looking nose bridge and side profile imo.

For all intent though, she’s black. Doesn’t mean that her features can’t scream “other”.

midori29 February 9, 2018 at 5:47 am

@Alexgro both of her parents are BLACK she is black. Nothing about her looks half white. Sorry but she looks basically African American. Stop trying to make everyone mixed its stupid and annoying. .

WTF June 6, 2014 at 6:55 pm

she reminds me of a black version of vanessa hudgens, but sanaa is prettier

WTF June 6, 2014 at 6:56 pm

and i always thought sanaa looked mixed. probably is

midori29 August 4, 2015 at 11:03 am

Both of her parents are black people. Why does this site like overmixing attractive black people???????

alexgxo November 12, 2016 at 9:49 am

She’s African American so she could have some British or French blood.

And they’re only “black” in self identity and the way society sees them. Doesn’t mean that they can’t have “white” blood in them.

MCantu February 15, 2014 at 10:05 pm

Just because her skin is light does not mean she has White in her she could possibly have N8tive blood

ihatemostpeople May 1, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Most AFRICAN AMERICANS have WHITE blood. None of them are 100% African.

ihatemostpeople May 1, 2014 at 5:14 pm

She’s actually not that light. Light skinned would be Rihanna, Beyonce (now that she bleached her skin, she used to be darker), and Alicia Keys. I consider Sanaa to be brown skinned.

Rvolpi May 29, 2014 at 6:35 pm

Are you nuts? Beyoncé was light brown as a kid, with long beautiful thick hair. Stop it with the bleached skin bull…. If you don’t believe me, check out childhood photos of her. There are several out there.

midori29 August 4, 2015 at 11:08 am

Beyonce was a golden light b
Not the high yellow color she is now. Beyonce uses skin bleach, yes she does.

tinasheeeee June 17, 2014 at 5:06 pm

Rihanna actually has Irish in her (from her father’s side) she is Bajan, Guyanese & Irish mainly. I don’t know about Beyonce, I think she’s African-American but Rihanna has always been light, sometimes it’s the lights that make them look even more light.

midori29 August 4, 2015 at 11:09 am

Nope not true Rhianna was medium toned golden brown. I saw her at a club seriously in DC before she became popular. Rhianna definitely uses skin bleach.

Multiethnicchick December 31, 2013 at 10:51 am

She probably has some Caucasian ancestry

ihatemostpeople January 31, 2014 at 4:55 am

As do most black American people.

J.J. June 22, 2014 at 8:26 pm

i don’t think one could have “caucasian ancestry” i believe you mean some “european ancestry”

Freerk July 12, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Of course you can have Caucasian ancestry, it’s just not the same than European ancestry. “European” refers to the geographical or cultural origin, but the “white” phenotype doesn’t stop at Ural/Caucasus/Marmara Sea – it reaches to Siberia, Afghanistan/India/Yemen/North Africa.

Freerk July 12, 2014 at 4:02 pm

There’s another term for Caucasians, what means that roughly simplifying “white” phenotype: “Europid”, but that’s still not “European”.

midori29 August 4, 2015 at 11:10 am

Who cares. She does not have a white parent so she is not mixed. All people have other ethnicities at some time.

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