Did You Know!? 9 Our Favorite Celebs of Cuban Descent (And Some Surprises!)
Cuba has brought us a lot of great things, aside from the food and the Rumba though, it has also brought us fine fellas like Laz Alonso and classy sisters like Gina Torres. I was surprised to find that a great number of famous faces are of Cuban descent, and being that you and I both know you want to know who these faces include, here they are! Enjoy!
Everybody’s favorite chubby funny man (next to Bruce Bruce), is indeed a Cuban fella. While others were born to parents from the country, Love was actually born and lived for some time in Santiago de Cuba before moving to places like San Diego and Newark, NJ. He was actually born Langston Faizon Santisima to a father in the Navy, making him an army brat (hence all the moving around). You might not hear this brotha speak Spanish like that, or even see him break out the Rumba, but he’s indeed a Cuban brother.
The actress who starred on shows like “Cleopatra 2525,” and the USA hit, “Suits,” AND the wife of our main man Morpheus…I mean, Laurence Fishburne, Torres is definitely repping for Cuba. The daughter of parents who are multiracial Cubans, Torres and her family lived in the Bronx. And though she applied to many colleges to receive higher education, her family couldn’t afford it, so she decided to pursue her dreams to sing and act instead. The latter has been her bread and butter.
Lázaro “Laz” Alonso
If you peeped out the slideshow done yesterday on Latin cuties, you probably already heard that Laz Alonso is a Cuban cutie. If not, then you should know that my husband Laz (I like to name a lot of people my husband if you didn’t know by now) is the son of refugees from Cuba, and was born in D.C. His mother is a black Cuban woman from Havana City, and his father is a businessman from Camagüey, East Cuba. The actor speaks Spanish fluently, which he’s done in some movies he has been in, and he doesn’t want to be classified as just black, or just Latino, he’s proudly both: “For me, playing an African American role is playing myself and playing a Latino role, I’m playing myself.”
Hey, I’m not pulling this out of my behind for list’s sake, but the singer and “American Idol” winner is the one who pointed out that that she believes herself to be Cuban. How? Well, in her autobiography, Life Is Not a Fairy Tale, Barrino said that there is a rumor that her father is of both Trinidadian and Cuban descent, which could possibly explain where Barrino comes from. To this day, she hasn’t cleared up whether or not he told her if he had Cuban blood or not, but you know what they say, once it’s put in print, it’s true! I kid, I kid. Do you think she is?
Sammy Davis, Jr.
Sha boing boing boing. *In a Tommy Davidson voice*
Sammy Davis, Jr. was many things. As he liked to put it, “I’m a one-eyed Negro Jew.” Another thing that Davis was, is Cuban. He was born to a black father, Sammy Davis, Sr. and a Cuban-American mother, entertainer Elvera Sanchez. However, Davis spent many of his years in show business denying that he was and saying he was Puerto Rican instead. He did this, as he said in his autobiography, because he didn’t want to have to deal with a backlash for being Cuban during a time when anti-Cuban sentiments were high and could affect his career.
The singer, actress and ex-wife of The-Dream was born in Jersey City, New Jersey to Afro-Cuban parents. She was born Christine Flores, but she changed her last name to her mother’s maiden name (Milian), and went with Christina, in the hopes of having an easier time getting into the entertainment industry. Can’t really tell you if it worked like that or not, but she is in the industry! Milian has even discussed the discrimination she’s faced being an Afro-Cuban woman of a darker complexion:
“There have been a lot… especially endorsements. There are certain things like, a hair product, or something like that, they’re like, ‘Oh, we want a Latina, we want a Latina,’ you go in you’re like, ‘I’m Latina!’ You go speak Spanish, you go do the whole deal, they’re like, ‘Oh, well, you know…’ “They go for a more fair skin Latina because that’s typically what you see, but we’re trying to break that mold.”
We know that Gilbert Arenas has that “crazy love” going on with Laura Govan of “Basketball Wives” fame, but did you know that he was a Cuban man? The NBA baller (who was once HUGE in the league before he was found with a gun in his locker and was suspended for a while) is the grandson of a Cuban man who migrated to the States. For many, especially other Cuban folks, his connection to the country is a surprise, but it’s true, boo!
Who would have thought!? Though the wife of Bob Marley and a singer was thought to be born and bred in Jamaica, she is actually a Cuban woman. Marley was born Alpharita Anderson in Santiago de Cuba, but eventually migrated with her family to Jamaica. From there, Rita was was raised in Kingston. She connects most with Jamaican culture of course, but she is most definitely a Cuban-born sista.
HA! Okay, so Lochte is not Afro in the least bit if you thought this was going to be a strictly Afro-Cuban list, but when I found out I was mad surprised, so I thought I would share either way. Anywho, the Olympic-gold medalist is the son of a Cuban mother and a father of German and English descent. Mama Lochte was actually born and raised in Havana, Cuba, and to this day, when her son makes a stop home in between training and running around the country (and world), she feeds him many Cuban dishes that he loves, including bistec empanizado, picadillo, ropa vieja, and croquetas. Now you have another reason to love this fella!
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