Tatyana Ali

by ethnic on February 14, 2008

Birth Name: Tatyana Marisol Ali

Place of Birth: North Bellmore, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: January 24, 1979

Ethnicity: Indo-Trinidadian, African-Panamanian

Tatyana Ali is an American actress, model, and R&B singer. She is known for playing Ashley Banks on the television series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Her father, Sheriff Ali, is of East Indian ancestry, from Trinidad and Tobago. Her mother, Sonia, is of Afro-Panamanian heritage. Panamanians are made up of predominantly mixed Amerindian and Spanish ethnicities, otherwise referred to as Mestizo. Ali’s mother is said to be of black Panamanian heritage, according to last.fm.

Ali speaks Spanish fluently, and some Hindi.

Tatyana is married to educator Vaughn Rasberry, with whom she has a son.

Joe Seer/bigstock.com

{ 94 comments… read them below or add one }

gmillaz March 1, 2016 at 8:08 am

correction; tag Indo-Trinidadian

andrew June 13, 2015 at 3:20 pm

Maybe the text is a bit confusing, East Indian means Indian from India, West Indian can be changed with Afro-Caribbean

Dlxzvs June 13, 2015 at 2:46 pm

Correction; tags Panamanian, Trinidadian

Princess June 12, 2014 at 8:12 pm

She looks more Indian than Black.

midori29 January 29, 2018 at 5:16 am

@Princess she definitey looks more black. Her face is African but her hair is Indian influenced jet black hair.

neiltennant April 1, 2014 at 1:19 pm

she has become so ugly

she was so cute when she was in the fresh prince show
i got a crush on her when i was 10

WTF June 5, 2014 at 7:26 pm

stfu she’s still pretty

ihatemostpeople February 16, 2014 at 10:11 pm

Of course she’s mixed, that’s why she’s pretty.

toto April 1, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Your ignorant as hell.Leila Lopes is fully black and she is a beauty

ssempre April 1, 2014 at 5:38 pm

thats racist.

MCantu February 15, 2014 at 9:50 pm

She could pass for a Tamil Girl. You can’t possibly say shes just Black its not fair to her other Backgrounds. Black people need to stop claiming other people of AFro descent because they do NOT claim Black Americans as their own. Afro Caribbeans/Latino’s take great offense to being called black because they asume your referring them as being African American. They know their Black in race but identify to what country their from not by color as in the US. Soy Puertorriqueno Yo solo digo la verdad! She a Afro-Latin-(Possibly even some Indigenous and European as well plenty of Spanish and Portuguese down there) Indian Girl of Trini and Panamanian descent.

ethnic February 16, 2014 at 4:26 am

Sometimes even Chinese ancestry.

mariposita December 24, 2014 at 6:44 pm

Um, please speak for yourself. Yo soy boricua. The words black, negro, prieto, moreno, morocho are very common in Latin America. They are possibly used more than in the U.S. Maybe you want nothing to do with African Americans but the word black does not equal African American. If you appear black in the United States, guess what you are and will be assumed to be : African American.

flo September 9, 2017 at 7:03 am

Google her mother, she is just black.

Tatyana is a dougla. Half black half Indian. Don’t over complicate her race.

AnonymousPerson January 2, 2014 at 6:26 pm

Her dad is an Indian and her mom is black.

stopit December 29, 2013 at 3:37 pm


Multiethnicchick December 31, 2013 at 10:15 am

She doesn’t look black. She looks mixed. Her hair texture is not that of a black person. Don’t get mad just because you’re obsessed with everyone being black

Prettypoodle January 20, 2014 at 1:52 pm

My mothers friend is black abd her natural hair is not of a kinky texture or tightly curled so what are you talking about. All African Ameticsn hair textures are not the same. I have seen done biracial kids with nap of hair as well do don’t get it twisted. Most African Americans in this country are generationally mixed even some white Americans as well. What’s in your genetic makeup does not always show on the outside. Tatiyana is not black but that she looks phenotypically black.

JoeMcGood February 17, 2014 at 9:51 pm

@Multiethnicchick, If @stopit is ‘obsessed with everyone being black’, then u r against anyone being black.
I have seen many of your comments and all u say is the same throughout.
I am a reall African and i can tell u not cram life and ‘how black or white people should look’. Blacks are diverse people; with over 3000 tribes and 1000 languages.
You really need to travel alot more. Maybe Start with Africa! It might reduce on the beef

PandaCutie June 3, 2014 at 1:30 am

What do we normally look like? Since all black people look the same.

mariposita December 24, 2014 at 6:46 pm

Africa is made of of thousands of languages and ethnicities. There is no black or even Indian look for that matter. I know people who have similar hair who are not mixed. And people from India range in color from almost white to practically black, and from straight to tightly curled hair.

MGarcia April 30, 2013 at 5:39 pm

She obviously a mix of Black and East Indian race. East indians relocated to Trinidad, Tobago, Guyana and other places but they are still Indians so naming places does nothing to ID a race. Being Panamanian is not just a Native/Indigenous and Spaniard mix. It’s Black African with White Spaniard then a little redishbrown Native/indigenous blood because at one time the African Slaves outnumbered the Spanish Owners and the Natives alike who’s population had drastically dwindled. Please learn from History before giving opinions as facts people.

kissssmeirish October 28, 2013 at 6:47 pm


MCantu February 15, 2014 at 9:52 pm

Es verdad I agree!!!

nnnnn March 1, 2013 at 12:00 pm

I thought, she’s a daughter of M. Ali alias Clay
There are not a lot of coloured americans named Ali

Lisette February 17, 2013 at 1:02 am

scroll down for additional info on Ali’s Ethnic background

Anonymous101 April 7, 2012 at 4:28 pm

She does look Trini and in India she could easily pass for South Indian.

MochaLadyMJJ December 29, 2011 at 12:28 am

I have also thought that she was very pretty as well. For some odd reason, I believed a rumor about her and Chilli being paternal sisters, for so long! And to find out that they weren’t was as disappointing as an innocent child finding out that mythical holiday characters don’t exist. All in all, she is beautiful and I think that she has blossomed so well. She and myself share some similar features. Pretty girl.

Former MySpace Celebrity September 22, 2011 at 4:22 pm

She was in the most recent magazine of Essence talking about being half afro-latina.

Trin-Tigan_Afro_Cau_Azn January 20, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Well its because Her mother is Afro-Trinidadian
And Her father is Indio-panamanian.

So culturally she is Trinidadian, and Panamanian (Latino), but Racially she is South Asian and African decent.

delnegro July 23, 2013 at 1:42 am

Trill shit bro

flo September 9, 2017 at 7:04 am

You got it in reverse. Her father is Indo Trinidadian her mother is Afro Panamanian.

islandchika5 September 14, 2011 at 2:36 pm

There is so much anymosity about race and ethnicity. In the USA there is the one drop rule that puts any person of African decent who is mixed with anything else as only being called Black and/or African American. However, I believe what one of mixed race chooses to call themself is a matter of personal choice and no one else’s business. I also believe one if truly African American if one was born in Africa. Black Americans in the USA are different from those in Africa just like us West Indians are different. We are not all the same and that’s that!! I recall Black Americans treating me worse than white people and that’s sad. In my experience their is no togetherness in the American Black culture unless if it’s convenient for them. My ancestors are African, French and Carib Indian(originating from the Amazon/Brazil. I’m proud of them all and no one gets to decide who I am according to their own ignorant and stupid rule.

Ron Ng September 22, 2011 at 10:33 am

ITA, islandchika5.

nevaknew August 16, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Neva knew Tatyana was mixed, wondering who else from Fresh Prince is mixed, I know that Karyn Parsons who played Hilary is mixed, you neva know until you do some research.

Multiethnicchick March 20, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Dude with her hair texture, it was very obvious in FP of BA that she was mixed

Jennifer August 16, 2011 at 10:18 am

I have a friend who’s from Kenya and her natural hair comes far down her back

ana August 2, 2011 at 11:52 am

My friend who is black has longer hair then mine she looks pure black and i am multiracial.Her hair grew long because she didn’t permed it , weaved it or bleached it she left it natural and yes black people hair can grow long some mixed people hair is short not every mixed person has long hair , people are just ignorant.

Sharona July 12, 2011 at 5:59 am

Panama FTW <3
I didn't knew she whas Panamanian.
Panama para siempre! <3

Trini-mon-1980 November 22, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Shes have Trinidadian too. :)

Amanie July 1, 2011 at 10:15 pm

didnt know that.

Imani April 12, 2011 at 10:43 pm

OOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMGGGGGGGG i really didnt think ther was a celebrity out there that was panamanian. I’m so happy because my mom was born and raised in Colon, Panama and my dad was born in Madrid, Spain but raised in Elizabeth, NJ, but anywho knowing that she is afro-panamanian makes me even more proud to be panamanian..aye que buena muchacha….estoy oficialmente to aficiando mayor .! <3

Lisha May 31, 2011 at 1:28 pm

just wondering if you have a fb page request me Lisha Catacutan

prinie January 25, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Well I’m full black my parents come from africa and my hair is long and beautiful

OMG September 13, 2010 at 8:33 pm

right . I always thought her dad was Panamanian and her mother from T&T.

creole baby504 August 12, 2010 at 8:25 am


Anonymous September 1, 2010 at 9:23 am

black people can have a lot of hair too…gesh these ppl and their preconceived notions on what a black person should look like…disgusting

John 8:32 December 4, 2010 at 11:38 pm

Listen please never leave comments on here after watching the Disney Channel at least try to make some sense in your comments.

Secondly there is only one race. The human race… the comments you been making here are actually call anthropomorphic ideas… ideas that are simply from mankind that are not based on facts or reality. You cannot fight facts with beliefs… furthermore a belief that is not based on facts is simply worthless.

After you become tired of chatting on the Internet… I want you to go over to You Tube and I want you to watch a video entitled:

“Journey of Man!”

-John 8:32

anonymus March 3, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Human is a species not a race.

WTF March 4, 2011 at 2:28 am

No human is the race,homo sapiens sapiens is the species

Agita January 11, 2011 at 11:41 am

Of course black people can have alot of hair… WHEN THEY’RE MIXED!

It’s simple science. Pure afro hair breaks far too easily and at a slower rate than other races. Tightly curled hair breaks easier. It is NOT being racist to say as a general rule ‘black’ people have short hair. Why do people get all defensive about the truth, just to be contrary?

These ‘preconceived notions’ come from REAL LIFE. Get over yourself. The only reason you see ‘black’ girls with long hair is because they have mixed ancestry, no two ways about it.

fuzzybear January 12, 2011 at 1:13 am

To Agita

No I wouldn’t call you racist,just misinformed.No you don’t have to be mixed to have long hair.There plenty of pure blood Africans with no mixture at all(example the Himba tribe).Also alot of the other ones you may believe are mixed,are actually just from back migration thousands of yrs ago,and they just kept the traits.They went out of Africa black or brown,and came back the same way.Now As far as American Black people go,that maybe true,yet again maybe not.We will never really know since we really have nothing to go by since the vast majority of use are of mixed heritage

noob February 11, 2011 at 4:59 pm

What are you talking about. Thats the one of the dumbest ideas I’ve heard. Since when do you have to be mixed to have long hair. My uncle had that kinky hair texture yet his hair is down to his butt in dreadlocks. Clearly you know next to nothing about “black” peoples hair. When braided it comes out to be very long if they decide to grow it.

hiji August 10, 2011 at 12:14 am

…..not true…..and no your not racists just ignorant to african heritage n culture :)

ladybug August 14, 2011 at 12:55 am

You are obviously not all black, and /or know nothing about African American hair or its maintenance . Go and read some books. I would never get on the internet blabbing about the limited hair textures of Caucasian or Chinese people. because I am black. I know nothing about that. Educate yourself . I mean truly educate yourself otherwise you will forever be ignorant and isolated in life. By the way, its comments like that may offend others and rightfully so because you speak about something concerning another race in a negative tone and YOU ARE WRONG. So you get over yourself . Just plain ignorant

lwazikazi June 2, 2011 at 6:05 am

There’s absolutely nothing offensive with people being called what they really are. If Chris Brown’s parents are both mixed(Coloured is what they are) then that makes him Coloured as well. One is not only mixed(Coloured) only when one of their parents is Black, but it may happen that both parents are mixed(Coloured) like Lenny Kravitz and his ex-wife. Mixed people are not people that someone can choose to call them by any race(Black),that suits you. South Africa may be a country that little is thought of, but it can educate the world. The mixed people’s race has a name the same way as Black,White,Indian or Chinese, it’s called Coloured. A proud South African Coloured politician,Trevor Noah, google him and educate yourself and find some pride in who you are. I’m Black and totally disapprove of your attitude,it reminds me of a stupid SA politician(who unfortunately belongs to my tribe) who made a stupid comment about Coloured people. I can tell you are Black,Black Americans are always fighting against the idea of Coloured Americans being recognised as such.Yes Coloureds are extremely beautiful but that shouldn’t make you want them not to recognise and appreciate who they really are, it seems you guys don’t see yourselves Black Americans as beautiful people hence you want Coloured Americans not to recognise recognise and accept themselves for who they really are. I’m so proud to be Xhosa,so proud to be Nguni.

The politician’s name is Trevor Manuel, Trevor Noah is a proudly Coloured comedian.

I went to school with Coloureds and have Coloured friends who have no issues being called by their race,they are proud of who they are

countrygirl July 23, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Are you serious? I kind of had a suspicion that you were from South Africa. Hate to burst your bubble; but that “colored” label has already been used here in good ‘ole US of A. Before you start pointing fingers at black Americans, know our history first. These are the labels that were given to blacks in this country: Negros(or Negress, N$%^%$); colored; blacks, African Americans. Personally, I do like being called African American because I was born and raised; as well as my family, in America and not Africa.
And to tell us that were have a problem with it; you must not have none any blacks at all; cause I can surely tell you that you Africans are the most insecure about your color, race, etc. that is why so many of you are claiming Arab descent more than African, right?

Amber Berg July 24, 2011 at 9:24 am

Dont the coloureds think there better than their black ancestors? Yeah think about that!

AMBER BERG August 14, 2011 at 7:16 am

Is this that south african bs, we dont call mixed people coulred, there called mixed or bi racial- I they still love their African roots and their other cultures they are mixed with, however we live in a white country so they get to take white history classes and be around white people all the time. So for them to learn about their black culture they have to learn it in different ways- thats why a lot of them take great pride in being called black! Yeah your coulred friends are proud of who they are because they got treated better than the black South Africans

liyah June 19, 2011 at 7:34 pm

you don’t have to be mixed to have long hair my cousin is not mix and she had hair as long as tatyana in fresh prince but she cut it all off, i don’t know why she just felt like it. Black people hair is beautiful and thick it can get long but many black girls are scissor happy that’s why there are many with short hair.

Violet August 5, 2010 at 3:19 pm

You can be blasian in any degree there are many blasians in the West Indies who have chinese roots from the 19th century ans so on.

loco August 9, 2010 at 3:04 pm

like that word blasian!!

OMG September 13, 2010 at 8:34 pm

lol youve never heard of blasian or blexican..etc… yeah theres a nice sized indian community in guyana i meet a lot of people mixed with indian and african from there and the chinese community in jamaica and cuba.

proof April 19, 2010 at 4:04 am

why not just call our selves from the country we are born in like if i was born in japan can i just be only japanese please like seriously do i have to say im american.
i was bornin jaapn and spent my entire life there untill 14 and now im 18

Fuzzybear February 6, 2010 at 8:49 pm

This is to gh ,

You do have a point,about us calling ourselves African.It’s more political,it came about around 40yrs ago.Right now we’re just being proud about your ancestry.Most of the time we just call ourselves black,creole,geechee,or whatever

unka davy January 25, 2010 at 8:42 am

i can’t get any whiter

Dimayev Zikayovzhi January 13, 2010 at 9:23 am


mariposa January 7, 2010 at 12:52 am

African americans are africans living in america. The white ppl brought our african ancestors to america to work as slaves. Therefore we are african american.

Michelle May 12, 2010 at 11:49 am

OK…but not all of us feel that way. some of our ancestors married (yes, married) white folks in the years after slavery, not to mention those of us who are mixed up with any number of other ethnicities (esp here in nyc).

I call myself Black…but HATE to be called African American! I am not African…which is a continent btw.

Africana June 29, 2010 at 11:44 am

Whether u like it or not, u obviously have african in you. Instead of hatin it, try embracing it. No offense.

fuzzybear June 30, 2010 at 4:18 am

To Michelle

Your only part right about the marriage stuff.They married before slavery,during slavery,before they got to the states;and are still doing it today.Also your not alone with not liking been called African American,lots of black people are like that.Some don’t like it because they feel their ethnicity was here before African American was even thought of.

OMG September 13, 2010 at 8:41 pm

right! i have this thing against hyphenated group names because it’s always the minorities who have to be hyphenated..mexican-american, asian-american etc.. whereas others get to call themselves what they want without having a group identification. I have no problem being called black, technically im not that color, but i think it’s clear as day that some of my ancestors are from africa. duh! ;-) but im def not from africa quite sure id have to go back to the early 1700s to find an actual 100% african in my family.
to africana below me, realistically without racial pride just because no one wants african-tagged on their name doesn’t mean they’re embarrassed, im a black american my culture is unique and born from my ancestors in america not africans not europeans i acknowledge those people. Im quite proud of my black american ancestors and nobody else. But I acknowledge that I will come to non black people in my family tree before someone african. that’s just the legacy of slavery sweetie, and since I dont consider myself native american even though noth my great grandparetns were, and since i dont claim my grandfathers french heritage or my great grnadmother’s irish heritage….why would i claim african- when i def. know nothing of it?

fuzzybear June 30, 2010 at 4:25 am

To mariposa

The only problem with that is a large portion of black people ancestors here were never slaves

ethnic December 17, 2009 at 12:14 pm

I dont recall taking your comment off.

gh December 17, 2009 at 7:40 am

Why did you take my comment off this blog site?

gh December 17, 2009 at 1:47 am

No, she isn’t black mix! She’s panamanian and trinidad mix with some asian and indian decent traits…what ever her race is, she’s a beautiful, brown skin looking woman. Btw! Why do blacks embrace the term African Americans if neither you,your parents, or grand parents are from Africa, in other words blacks that are born in America make themselves 2nd class citizens by embracing that term AA.

lis October 31, 2009 at 5:09 am

she looks like a zamba , half african , native american with more native ancestry and its visible. especially with her hair texture.

half east indian, half black...from trinidad October 14, 2009 at 9:29 pm

ummm…trinidad has almost 50% east indians residing there from the days of indentureship and the caribbean was given the name west indian was bcuz columbus thought he sailed to east india but the N.E. trades pulled his ship into the wrong direction. Anyways…she is half black half east indian…even though the indians live in the caribbean…they r still indian. SHEZ NOT JUST BLACK…its MIXED no matter what the mix is

Alberto September 12, 2009 at 9:58 am

shes is black obviously her mother is a black panamanian

zameena July 31, 2009 at 8:53 am

well its true..da indians in da west indies are called east indians…thats my race too..am from guyana alzo..

minnie July 3, 2009 at 9:16 pm

yes that’s true, the West Indian islands consist of many different islands not all of them are African decent

ethnic May 12, 2009 at 11:13 am

correction made

Beauty May 12, 2009 at 5:38 am

Her father is Trini Indian. 40% of people in Trinidad of Asian Indian ancestry, originating in India.

Why doesn’t this say Afro-Panamanian and Indo-Trinidadian…or Trini Indian? BTW, Trini Indians ARE West Indian. There are Panamanians of African descent who are not of West Indian heritage, and “West Indian” does not automatically mean that someone is of African descent.

Yolanda May 8, 2009 at 8:48 pm

She doesn’t look fully black -no way.

ethnic April 11, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Id have to agree.

mzpreciousz April 11, 2009 at 4:30 am

Her mom prolly is an Afro-Panamanian

Leanna1991 December 5, 2008 at 2:14 pm

She looks black.

moi August 4, 2010 at 2:41 pm

blasian people tend to look more black than asian

ethnic August 4, 2010 at 9:56 pm

you think so? how bout Jasmine? Shes half Black and looks Asian IMO


fuzzybear August 5, 2010 at 4:01 am

To ethnic

That’s a good one,she tricked me

moi August 11, 2010 at 7:28 am

i am talking about the darker skin tone they usually get the asian facial features.

Fuzzybear August 11, 2010 at 8:22 am

but isn’t that just like a black person who lives their life as a white person.Sure you see people like tiger all the time,but what about the ones like jasmine,who look like a regular asian.There most likely million of them who you never know were half black

DatMatt August 5, 2010 at 12:00 am

And Kimora Lee Simmons. Before I knew much about her, I thought she was just dark-skinned East Asian. Most of the time, she really doesn’t look Black at all to me. But the thing is, I really don’t think Aoki or Ming look Asian.

total23 August 5, 2010 at 9:25 am

That Is So Incorrect… If U Mean Indian, Afghanistan etc, Then Ur Probably Right….But If Your Referring To Blasian People That Are Of East Asian Descent Then They Tend To Look Both East Asian And Black Or Look More East Asian Or Have The East Asian Look Then Black!
Look At Tomika Skanes, Lashantae Heckard, Tyga, Chanel Iman, P. Diddy’s Baby Mama, Tiger Woods, Will Demps, Amerie, Denyce Lawton, And I Can’t Forget To Mention Kimora Lee Simmons…

Your Right That There Are Some People With East Asian Parents, Grandparents, Or Great Grandparents That May Not Look East Asian…

But Too Be Honest, And This Is My Opinion, The Strongest East Asian Gene I Have Ever Seen Against A Black Person, Or Anyother Ethnicity Is Korean!

Previous post:

Next post: