Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah in 2010, Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

Birth Name: Dana Elaine Owens

Place of Birth: Newark, New Jersey, U.S.

Date of Birth: March 10, 1970

Ethnicity: African-American, some European

Queen Latifah is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, actress, television host, and producer. Her name, Latifah, is Arabic for “delicate” and “gentle.”

Queen is the daughter of Rita Lamae (Bray) and Lancelot Amos Owens. She was raised Baptist. Her brother, Lancelot Owens, a police officer, died in an accident in 1992.

Queen Latifah’s paternal great-great-great-grandparents, Francis “Frank” Owens and Lovey Flury/Fleury, were free persons of colour in Princess Anne County, Virginia, during slavery. The show Finding Your Roots, with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2019), believes that Queen Latifah’s ancestry traces back to Juggy Owens, a midwife, born c. 1766, who was also a free person of colour. Juggy was born into slavery, and was freed in 1792 by her owner Mary Old. Juggy’s mother’s name was Grace.

Queen Latifah’s paternal grandfather was Amos Owens, Jr. (the son of Amos Owens and Irene Coates). Queen Latifah’s grandfather Amos was born in New Jersey. Queen Latifah’s great-grandfather Amos was the son of Thomas Owens and Virginia “Jennie” Jones. Irene was the daughter of Henry Coates, who was black, and of Edna Hallion, who was white. Henry was from Virginia and Edna was from New York. The two married in 1906 and lived in New Jersey, where interracial marriage was never illegal.

Queen Latifah’s paternal grandmother was Inez Sentristine Hale (the daughter of Charles Custer Hale and Charlotte King). Inez was born in Virginia. Charles was the son of Robert Hale and Charlotte. Queen Latifah’s great-grandmother Charlotte was the daughter of Thomas King and Mary.

Queen Latifah’s maternal grandfather was named Leon Jones/Henry Lee Bray. Leon was possibly born in Alabama.

Queen Latifah’s maternal grandmother was named Katherine/Catherine Viola Waters (the daughter of Lula Waters).

Queen Latifah has said:

I’m black and we think that all of us think have Native American in us, and if I find out I don’t have any Native American in me, I’m gonna be kinda mad about that… I’m pretty sure I have some Blackfoot and Cherokee Indian in me… I’ve got a lot of Russian in me, apparently.

Queen Latifah’s appearance on Finding Your Roots indicated no Russian nor Native American ancestry.

Sources: Genealogy of Queen Latifah – https://www.geni.com

Marriage record of Queen Latifah’s parents – https://www.familysearch.org

Marriage record of Queen Latifah’s paternal great-grandparents, Charles Custer Hale and Charlotte King – https://www.familysearch.org


Curious about ethnicity

34 Responses

  1. andrew says:


    She has stated:

    “I’m black and we think that all of us think have Native American in us, and if I find out I don’t have any Native American in me, I’m gonna be kinda mad about that. I’m pretty sure I have some Blackfoot and Cherokee Indian in me… I’ve got a lot of Russian in me, apparently.”

    • fuzzybear44 says:

      The thing about that is, even if it didn’t show up in her dna sample, doesn’t mean it’s not in the family. It just could mean she’s was unlucky in the dna milkshake, and it bypass her. Doesn’t mean a brother or sister wouldn’t get it

  2. M says:

    I can see she’s part Native. Unlike these other lying asses who claim to be part Native lol. I am part Native and I can actually claim it because I have an official card. Anyway Queen Latifah seems like she’d be a cool person to hang out with.

    • karenj says:

      Oprah has been verified with only African and native blood. Probably one of the rare black people who are. Most of our light skin comes from randy masters and overseers. If they hadn’t been Randy most of us would not exist. If our ancestors would not have been slaves we would not have existed. There was no other way that even if we were all subsaharian that our ancestors would have even met had there not been slavery. I do no condone slavery but I do not wish it had never happened. I am proud of my ancestors for going through something that only very strong people with a mountain of courage could have gone through. It happened. Face it. Move on.

      • fuzzybear44 says:


        You say move on, but how can we? They’re still abusing the black people in this country. However instead of the racism being out in the open, it’s cloaked in something called systemic racism. All the dirt that’s done in this country, makes it a little hard to move

  3. Amby says:

    Mixed race people were not documented correctly at all. You had white people documented as Mullatto if a census taker didn’t feel they were white enough. It is impossible to try to count the number of multiracial people in the 1790 U.S. Census because of the racial categories used: white, slave, and “other.” The latter was used for “Free Coloreds,” or persons who were free but did not look white. Furthermore, Native Americans were intentionally excluded from the U.S. Census until 1890 (Jobe, 2004). Other types of government surveys were used to count them since tribes were usually accorded the status of quasi-sovereign nations. Census takers used their discretion to determine who fit in the category of “Free Colored,” so it is hard to identify the dividing lines between black, white, and “other.” A “Free Colored” could be a black person who was not a slave, a free person of mixed black and white ancestry, or a free person of another ethnic or racial origin whom the census taker did not feel was white. Sometimes these “others” included individuals of Portuguese, Turkish, or “Black Dutch” heritage. (Both Portuguese and Turkish people are considered “white” by modern U.S. Census standards.)

  4. human says:

    It use to say native American what happened??????

  5. Leah says:

    I knew by looking at her she had some NA.

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