Tessa Thompson

46th NAACP Image Awards Presented by TV One - Arrivals

Thompson in 2015, photo by Prphotos

Birth Name: Tessa Lynn Thompson

Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Birth: October 3, 1983

*50% African-Panamanian
*25% Mexican
*25% mix of English, German, Scottish, and Irish

Tessa Thompson is an American actress and musician. She is known for starring in Creed, the Thor films, Men in Black: International, and Passing, among others.

Her father, Marc Anthony Thompson, is a singer and songwriter, for the band Chocolate Genius, Inc.

Tessa’s father is of Panamanian [African-Panamanian] descent. Tessa’s mother is of half Mexican and half white American [English, German, Scottish, Irish] ancestry. A picture of Tessa with her mother can be seen here.

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


Curious about ethnicity

16 Responses

  1. Jarap says:

    Why do they add African to the Latino ethnicity. She is probably mixed race Panamanian or just Panamanian as well as Mexican which is also mixed race and white. The white part has a mix ethnicity not race.

    • alicemedina says:

      They put African to specify what kind of Panamanian she is. Panamanian people aren’t all the same racial/ethnic background, just like with every other country. Also take into account Panamanians aren’t like Dominicans or Puerto Rican’s, the Afro-Panamanians aren’t typically as admixed. They usually have around the same level of admixture as the average African-American and Afro-Jamaican.

  2. Multiethnicchick says:

    She’s an idiot. Mexicans can be 100% white. Being half hispanic doesn’t make you a woman of color unless you’re a full native hispanic or black hispanic. Or maybe even mestizo or mulatto parent(a quarter for the child)

    • Jacklyn 224 says:

      Majority of Mexicans are mestizo with a drop of African ancestry between 5-15%.The white mexicans are only 16m of the 129.2m population.White in mexico like any other Latin country,is about being phenotypic ally white.So unless you can tell the difference between a mono racial white or multiracial white,Tessa mum was obviously considered white.Basically what she’s saying is her mum is phentypically white but not genetically whit

  3. fuzzybear44 says:

    I was looking at the movie (Creed) . In the movie , when adonis says rocky is his uncle, and Tessa character replies he white. I thought it was really funny for her say that line seeing that she is half white, and most likely has a few white uncles herself

    • fuzzybear44 says:

      She must have grown up in a majority Mexican neighbor Hood, for her to say her features were talked about. My sister in law said she had the same problems, even from her own family. She was called the black one, even though she’s only a shade darker than the rest of her cousins

    • Stark says:

      Haha, yeah.

  4. fuzzybear44 says:

    Dear white people, was one of the dumbest movies

  5. Ajaxfan says:

    European, Mexican, it’s not a ethnicity.

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