Sanaa Lathan

Birth Name: Sanaa McCoy Lathan

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

Date of Birth: September 19, 1971

Ethnicity: African-American

Sanaa Lathan is an American actress. She is known for starring in the movies Blade (1998), Brown Sugar (2002), and Alien vs. Predator (2004). Her father, Stan Lathan, is a producer and director. Her mother, Eleanor McCoy (Eleanor Leslie McCoy), performed on Broadway. Her brother is DJ Tendaji Lathan.

Sanaa’s parents are both African-American. Her first name, Sanaa, means “work of art” in Swahili.

Some websites state that she has Native American ancestry. It is not clear if this ancestry has been verified/documented.

Sanaa’s paternal grandfather was Stanley Edward Lathan (the son of William E. Lathan and Addie).

Sanaa’s paternal grandmother was Julia Elizabeth Dunston (the daughter of Charles Dallas Dunston, Sr. and Lillian Pauline Muldrow). Lillian was the daughter of Phillip Muldrow and Rebecca E. Turner.

Sanaa’s maternal grandfather was Wesley Brice McCoy (the son of Wesley Duncan/Deer McCoy and Perses Helen Brice). Sanaa’s great-grandfather Wesley was the son of Duncan McCoy and Rosetta Nash. Perses was the daughter of John D. Brice and Paul.

Sources: Sanaa’s paternal grandfather, Stanley Edward Lathan, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Sanaa’s paternal grandmother, Julia Elizabeth Dunston, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Sanaa’s paternal great-grandparents, Charles Dallas Dunston and Lillian Pauline Muldrow, on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Sanaa’s maternal grandfather, Wesley Brice McCoy, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Obituary of Sanaa’s maternal grandfather, Wesley Brice McCoy –

Helga Esteb /


Curious about ethnicity

134 Responses

  1. tinasheeeee says:

    CORRECTION: She is also Native American too. Not just African American

    • follers says:

      I’m not sure if she has ever even made that claim herself. It’s already addressed with “Some websites state that she has Native American ancestry. It is not clear if this ancestry has been verified/documented”.

  2. tinasheeeee says:

    She honestly looks mixed to me, I’ve always thought she was mixed.

    • ShawntheGod says:

      All African-Americans are mixed to a certain degree.

    • midori29 says:

      She looks like a basic regular black American girl. I dont see a mixed girl. Im talking about one with a white parent. All peoples are mixed in the past. She has afro hair texture and she looks basic black. I think you want her to be mixed cause she is pretty.

      • alexgxo says:

        And many African Americas are mixed. She has a very white looking nose bridge and side profile imo.

        For all intent though, she’s black. Doesn’t mean that her features can’t scream “other”.

        • midori29 says:

          @Alexgro both of her parents are BLACK she is black. Nothing about her looks half white. Sorry but she looks basically African American. Stop trying to make everyone mixed its stupid and annoying. .

  3. WTF says:

    she reminds me of a black version of vanessa hudgens, but sanaa is prettier

  4. MCantu says:

    Just because her skin is light does not mean she has White in her she could possibly have N8tive blood

    • ihatemostpeople says:

      Most AFRICAN AMERICANS have WHITE blood. None of them are 100% African.

    • ihatemostpeople says:

      She’s actually not that light. Light skinned would be Rihanna, Beyonce (now that she bleached her skin, she used to be darker), and Alicia Keys. I consider Sanaa to be brown skinned.

      • Rvolpi says:

        Are you nuts? Beyoncé was light brown as a kid, with long beautiful thick hair. Stop it with the bleached skin bull…. If you don’t believe me, check out childhood photos of her. There are several out there.

      • tinasheeeee says:

        Rihanna actually has Irish in her (from her father’s side) she is Bajan, Guyanese & Irish mainly. I don’t know about Beyonce, I think she’s African-American but Rihanna has always been light, sometimes it’s the lights that make them look even more light.

  5. Multiethnicchick says:

    She probably has some Caucasian ancestry

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