Lauren Vélez

Vélez in 2011, Helga Esteb /

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

Date of Birth: November 2, 1964

Ethnicity: Puerto Rican [African, Spanish]

Lauren Vélez, also credited as Luna Lauren Vélez, is an American actress.

She was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her parents moved there from Puerto Rico in the 1950s, and her father became an New York City police officer. Her twin sister is actress Lorraine Vélez.

Lauren is known for her roles in the television series New York Undercover and Dexter. She is considered one of the breakthrough Latina actresses who does not fit a European-Hispanic and/or Indigenous-Hispanic image. For this, Lauren has a large multi-ethnic following. Her father was of African-Puerto Rican descent.


Curious about ethnicity

61 Responses

  1. Mr. Postman says:

    She stated on the radio show/podcast “Latino USA” that her father was Afro-Puerto Rican

  2. nnnnn says:

    Is this a pic from “plastic surgery victims”? In any case not very
    advantageous pic

  3. lademonia says:

    Lauren is one of the many examples of the diversity that exist in Puerto Rico and her people. being Boricua is not only being black just because you happen to have darker skin…being Boricua is being Taino, African, Spanish. meaning you cant just choose one thing because of your complexion. there are extra light skinned to extra dark skinned Boricuas. and all of them (even those ones that DO deny it) have all of those bloodlines streaming thru their veins. there is a town in Puerto Rico that has three statues…one of the Taino Ind.ian, the African, and the Spaniard. that makes a Boricua from the lightest to the darkest. we are not afro this or anything. WE ARE BORICUA…WE ARE TAINO, AFRICAN, SPANISH. I dont consider myself latina. i dont consider myself hispanic for many reasons. too many to list. especially with the issues that exist in the spanish speaking world against Boricuas. but one thing i am sure i am. BORICUA. stop choosing for us.

  4. MyOhMy says:

    Peurto Rican? That word is simply describes one’s nationality. She is one of many Blacks born in America (African Americans) with a parent(s) with what’s referred to as a ‘Latin’ background, which, by the way, is much deeper than it’s used today. “Latin” goes far beyond the often limited manner in which it is used today (even by Latins, who’ve been greatly misinformed). Hispanic (which only means “Spanish-Speaking,” a term created by President Richard Nixon) is often misused to describe Latins, many of whom have no ties to Spanish (Italians, Portuguese) Ms. Velez is one of those black people who’ve been duped into denying their African ties at all costs, which is common in so-called Latin countries and among many who reside here. African ties (ancestry) is greatly discouraged in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, etc. (They’ll take from and enjoy the richness of Africa by weaving them into their cultures while denying their ties and benefits.) Many people in the world are so very confused about Hispanic and Latin terms, because common chosen and non-chosen misuses and ignorance of them are accepted. Ms. Velez is only one of many in America (Alex Rodriguez is another) who have chosen to take advantage of what allows her to deny her blackness. “I’m a Latina,” she says, but it’s obvious she is black, born in America and with parent(s) of African descent. Accurately stated, she is an African American with African, American and Latin heritage. (One or both parents are from Puerto Rico.)

    • ConfusedBreed says:

      Please shut the fuck up! Latina’s are definitely of African descent, but they are not BLACK the same as African-Americans! You cannot claim them! Well for one, sure there are brown Latina’s, but you don’t typically see Latino’s with charcoal skin like you see so prevalent in the AA community.

      First of all, I disagree with the fact that any person born in America of African descent becomes an African-American. Being an American-born Islander, why is it that we must become African-American. Why would we not take pride in the place that we come from? I don’t think African-Americans can understand the significance of being able to go out of the US to a place and call it home. We are proud people! But an AA could never understand this, because if you were to be born in Puerto Rico or Cuba or Jamaica or Haiti or D.R. you would immediately drop the AA title, because there is nothing significant about your culture. You’re just like any other immigrants, America is not your home. You have no pride. You constantly separate yourselves from typical white Americans. So you can never understand.

      Plus, unlike African-Amercnans, Latino’s & West Indians for that matter are mixed with literally everything which in a way has caused us to evolve into our own “races”. African-Americans are not mixed like this!

      You are probably just an American of African descent that wishes you were mixed! Why do most African-Americans think they are mixed? That’s really not true!

      Only Caribbean “blacks” like Jamaicans, Bajans (Barbados), Guyanese people and Trinidadians, are really mixed due to their history.

      I really don’t understand why Black people in America think so many of them are mixed. This is why MOST of you self haters are not mixed:


      1. Some Blacks were free. Many reproduced with other Blacks.

      2. A small number of White men, usually rich, had Black slaves. History books actually exaggerate how many whites could actually afford to own slaves.

      3. Black slaves DID have children together and lots of them.

      4. The white “masters” did not rape every woman on his plantation. And not every white “master” raped women. The English and British brought their wives to the Americas which is why they didn’t mix as much as the Spanish, so no Latinos aren’t black as compared to African-Americans.

      5. Who knows how many Black women were actually raped during and after slavery? How can you be sure you have any white ancestors?

      6. Who knows how many Black women actually had sex with white men?

      7. Who knows how many white women were raped by or had sex with Black men?

      8. Today only like 10% of Black men marry non-Black women and like 5% Black women marry non-Black men. I am sure nowhere near 30% of Black men are makng babies with white women and nowhere near 30% of Black women are making babies with white men. Considering that we are now “free” to reproduce with these people, I am sure we are reproducing with them more now than ever before. Thus, at least probably 70% of Black people are purely Black from this generation. It was probably an even larger number for years past.

      Why is it that Black people tend to hold on to the idea that most of Black Americans are mixed “somewhere down the line?” Even if that were true, what is the relevance if that mixture happened more than four generations ago? I personally don’t believe any of you half of the time; African-Americans are NOT mixed.

      Do you think it is a good idea to be mixed? Or do you just hate the fact that you have the highest level of African ancestry next to Haitians and Africans themselves?

      She is a beautiful Latina.

      • MCantu says:

        They don’t Understand us Hispanic they don’t know about our culture and history @ConfusedBreed They Claim us but We don’t Claim them (I’m 1/2 Salvadorian)

        • TiaraRubyah says:

          I am African American but I understand that. That’s kind of like telling someone who is African American and White that they’re just Black (putting them into a box and telling them they’re not really what/who they are)

          I wouldn’t say Afro-Hispanic/Afro-Latin people are African American or just Black because of course that’s not true. I would say they are of African Decent as well as Latin/Hispanic Descent.

      • jquarles says:

        That is not true that AA are not mixed. George Lopez did a DNA test on ppl with dark skin AA like snoop dog who had 20 percent of native american, etc. Halle Berry, Mariah Carey, j.cole, drake, the president of the united states would all be what you would all considered mulatto but they go by black because in American blacks have been taught to go by the one drop rule…

        This means if I can see African Ancestry in you, you are black…It is actually kind of silly, but that was a tool back in the day to see how to relinquish resources.

        only 400,000 of the slave came to america the rest of the 10 million went to latin america. Brazil has the second most blacks than any other country other than nigeria. Look it up, its a fact. So the reason alot of AA include many latinas as black is because the way american culture looks at race is by the one drop rule. All of the civil right greats are mulatto I mean look at pictures of dubois and laungston hughes are all mulattos, but in the country they would be considered black. Its just a culture difference on how AA look at race so the two dont understand eachother.

        Walking down the street many ppl would assume tatiyana ali, zoe saldana, and this beautiful woman as black women even though i understand why you dnt want to be refereed as that. black doesnt mean AA by the way.

        I have three friends that had genetic test done (well four but i am leaving the dominican out because he looks straight African lol) one was cuban, one was puerto rican and one was AA. They did this for some college project. The AA actually had less African than the Latinas. Her and the puerto rican were neck and neck though. Now the puerto rican looks mixed but my cuban friend is fairly dark and walking down the street other latinos assume she is black and my AA friend and I latina (when in NYC at least).

        So at the end of the day its a culture difference on how AA and Latinas look at race….

        Bottom line of it in my opinion is that both of your cultures have been taught that mixed and lighter complexions are better, etc. haha

        • fuzzybear44 says:


          (only 400,000 of the slave came to america the rest of the 10 million went to latin america.)

          These amounts are far below what really arrived here.However i guess the only thing that’s really counts,is that many were brought here against their will.

          Also this part here:
          (Bottom line of it in my opinion is that both of your cultures have been taught that mixed and lighter complexions are better)

          Sadly,can’t deny it

          • TiaraRubyah says:

            “(Bottom line of it in my opinion is that both of your cultures have been taught that mixed and lighter complexions are better)”

            If we’ve been taught that, I guess it was by the media. However, I’m African American & I don’t think it’s a fact that Mixed/Light Skin is better than any other. Being mixed with different cultures is interesting though, one reason is because I think things become more interesting when you mix different cultures together.

      • Mina B says:

        Charcoal skin? That’s a very ignorant description of a group that complexion ranges from very light to dark. Smh

      • irides says:

        I’m very interested in your facts. Truth be told, quite a few AAs are less than 80% Subsaharan. If that were not the case, then we all would have as you said “charcoal skin”. I’ve done a DNA test on myself and my daughter, both of us are less than 75% with ancestors up to my great-great-great grandparents that self-identified as African American. In addition, Brazil, a Latin country, has over 15 million people who identify as black. There are more that 100,000 people in PR that identify themselves as black. These numbers do not include people who consider themselves mulatto or any other term for multi-racial. So, here I am, trying to make sense of your entire post.

      • fbwfeiwb says:

        DNA tests done on African-Americans proves the contrary. African-Americans are in fact mixed with European. On average they are about 20% European. Some African-Americans have mostly African ancestry, some look like they are more mixed – half and half. Whoopi Goldberg for example is 92 percent Sub-Saharan African. You can see some African-Americans that are very light. You should get your facts straight before posting ignorant comments.

        • fbwfeiwb says:

          Also, what makes you think that Latinos are the only mixed group in the Americas? How could that be? Countries that were settled by African slaves and Europeans usually have large populations of mixed-race people. Of course Latin-America was different, because the colonists didn’t bring wives with them, so they intermarried and mated with the African slaves and the Native Americans. And that’s why Latinos are so mixed today.

          • fbwfeiwb says:

            And what about Louisiana Creole people? Aren’t they African-American too since they are Americans of African descent?

      • Dogg says:

        African-Americans have been shown on average to be around 20% European (and as much as 50% European in the North!), most of it paternal. A lot of black women did have children with white men. Yes, it was much more common in Latin America, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t common in the United States too. A lot of black slave women were raped or had relationships with white men so pretty much most African-Americans would have a little bit of European blood in them.

    • Dogg says:

      Lauren Velez is likely more than 50% European. You can’t claim her as black.

    • marjanel says:

      Hispanic was not invented by Nixon.It was invented by Romans.All this confusion of latino and hispanic was created in Usa.In Latín América nobody use the word latino or hispanic to call themselves in the street or a census.Here blacks call thenselves black and América is a, a black many from Brazil,Colombia Puerto can said that he is Afro_brazilian,Afro-colombian,etc,but also Afro-American.

  5. Lisette says:

    No doubt she’s Puerto Rican but have you seen her mom her and niece they look black to me

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