Paula Patton

Patton in 2011, photo by s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

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 is known for her roles in the films Idlewild (2005), Déjà Vu (2006), Precious (2009), and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011).

Her father, Charles Patton, is black. Her 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 has a son with her former husband, singer and songwriter Robin Thicke.

Paula’s maternal grandfather was Benjamin Alexander Van Raden, Jr. (the son of Benjamin Van Raden and Grace Read Alexander). Paula’s grandfather Benjamin was born in New York. 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

ethnic

Curious about ethnicity

481 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    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

  2. Kimmel says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

        “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 says:

          @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

  3. Greyface says:

    “I am 100% BLACK and hate myself”

    -Paula Patton

  4. cwm85 says:

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

  5. labird says:

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

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