Ava DuVernay

DuVernay in 2017, photo by Debby Wong/Bigstock.com

Birth Name: Ava Marie DuVernay

Place of Birth: Long Beach, Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Birth: August 24, 1972

Ethnicity: African-American, Louisiana Creole [African, French], distant Haitian and Belgian

Ava DuVernay is an American film director, producer, screenwriter, film marketer, and film distributor. She has directed the films I Will Follow, Middle of Nowhere, Selma, A Wrinkle in Time (2018), and Origin (2023), and also wrote the first two, and the fifth. She has directed the documentaries This Is the Life and 13th, which she co-wrote; as well as created, and been a director and writer on, the show Queen Sugar; created, directed, and co-wrote the mini-series When They See Us; created, and wrote the pilot of, the series Cherish the Day; co-created, and was a director and writer on, the mini-series Colin in Black & White; created social experiment series Home Sweet Home; co-created, and was a writer on, the series Naomi; and directed the episode Nine for IX: Venus Vs.

She was born to Darlene, an educator, and Joseph Marcel DuVernay III. She was raised by her mother and stepfather, Murray Maye, whom Ava considers to be her father. Murray was from Lowndes County, Alabama, and was the son of Cornelia and Percy Devon Maye. Ava was raised in Lynwood, California.

Ava’s ancestry is African-American and Louisiana Creole, which consists of African and French.

A DNA test whose results were displayed on the show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2017) stated that Ava’s genetic ancestry is:

*57.3% African
*41.5% European

Among Ava’s paternal great-great-great-great-grandfathers is Jacques Henry Glaudin, a white man, of French descent, who was born, c. 1779, in Haiti, and his wife, Ava’s ancestor, Magdeleine Clémence Bonhomme Auger, who was of mixed race background. The two left Haiti during the slave revolt of the 1790s, and lived in Cuba, before settling in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Ava’s paternal grandfather was Joseph Marcel DuVernay II (the son of Joseph Marcel DuVernay and Jeanne Eulalia/Eulalie Staes). Ava’s grandfather Joseph was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Ava’s great-grandfather Joseph was the son of Frank Louis DuVernay and Victorine/Victoria Frilot. Victoria was the daughter of François Frilot and Celeste Glaudin, a free woman of colour.

Ava’s paternal grandmother was Naomi Veronica Lockett (the daughter of Cornelius Lockett and Octavia Smith). Naomi was born in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Ava’s maternal grandfather was William/Billie Marshall Sexton (the son of L. Z. Sexton and Amanda Williams). Billie was born in Texas.

Ava’s maternal grandmother was named Jean L. Francis.

Ava is a fifth cousin of actress Lola Glaudini, through their shared paternal great-great-great-great-grandparents Jacques Henry Glaudin and Magdeleine Clémence Auger.

Sources: Genealogy of Ava DuVernay (focusing on her father’s side) – https://www.geni.com

Genealogy of Ava’s paternal grandfather, Joseph Marcel DuVernay II (focusing on his father’s side) – https://www.wikitree.com

Ava’s paternal grandfather, Joseph Marcel DuVernay II, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Ava’s paternal grandmother, Naomi Veronica Lockett, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

6 Responses

  1. bablah says:

    Is this her grandfather:

    Ava’s maternal grandmother was Jean L. Francis.

    This might be her, I’m not sure:

  2. Multiethnicchick says:

    She’s a self hating racist who denies her white side and a narcissist

  3. andrew says:

    Jeanne Eulalia Staes had Belgian ancestry

    *Ava DuVernay and Suzanne Malveaux are 6th cousins, through their shared ancestors Claude Frilot and Rosette Françoise Boutte

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