Birth Name: Tessa Lynn Thompson
Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States
Date of Birth: October 3, 1983
*25% mix of English, German, Scottish, and Irish
Tessa Thompson is an American actress. Her father, Marc Anthony Thompson, is a singer and songwriter, for the band Chocolate Genius, Inc.
Tessa’s father is of Panamanian (Afro-Panamanian) descent. Tessa’s mother is of half Mexican and half white American (English, German, Scottish, Irish) ancestry.
Tessa has played the role of an African-American and biracial woman in her career. In the 2010 film For Colored Girls, Tessa was one of nine actresses depicting the lives and struggles of women of color. In the 2014 film Dear White People, Tessa played a biracial college student dealing with racial tensions within Ivy League schools.
Tessa’s maternal grandfather is musician and actor Bobby Ramos (Rosendo R. Ramos).
Tessa’s maternal grandmother is Barbara Dunnington (the daughter of Ira Dale Dunnington and Mary Frances Streeter). Barbara was born in California, to parents from Indiana. Ira was the son of Jesse Clyde Dunnington and Blanche Martha Thornburg. Mary Frances was the daughter of Roland/Rolland Calvin Streeter and Ethel Mae/May Botkin.
Tessa has said:
…my grandfather, was of Mexican descent. He was a [Hispanic] performer in a time where there were very few of them. He was the only, very often, and I think because of this, he had a real pressure to assimilate because he didn’t want my mother to speak Spanish… My mom is a woman of color even though she might not be readily identified as such… Even though she is not a Black woman, throughout my life, she filled me with such pride of being one… She told me that my broad features and my brown skin looked beautiful when classmates did their best to convince me otherwise.
Sources: Mention of Tessa’s ancestry – https://www.yahoo.com
Marriage record of Tessa’s maternal great-grandparents, Ira Dale Dunnington and Mary Frances Streeter – https://www.familysearch.org
Genealogy of Tessa’s maternal great-great-grandmother, Ethel Mae/May Botkin – https://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com