Did You Know!? 9 Our Favorite Celebs of Cuban Descent (And Some Surprises!)

September 4, 2012  |  
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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!

Source: mahoganyvogue.com

Faizon Love

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.

Source: serietivu.com

Gina Torres

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.”


Source: mediaoutrage.com


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?

Source: last.fm

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.

Source: celeb.wohoo.co.uk

Christina Milian

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.”

Source: gossipcop.com

Gilbert Arenas

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!

Source: jayblessed.com

Rita Marley

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.

Source: womenshealthmag.com

Ryan Lochte

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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  • Vic

    So according to the article, being Cuban gives you a reason to like someone more? Interesting, I didn’t know the nationality totem pole still existed.

  • Pingback: Cubans where you least expected them: Sammy ‘Caramelo Man’ Davis Jr. | Babalú Blog()

  • DrJay318

    Jeremy Suarez, who played Jordan on the Bernie Mac Show is also cuban. As well as Lola Falana is Cuban. Her father left Cuba and became a welder in the U.S..

  • bonitaflaca

    Well my mom is Cuban nd Indian Jamaican nd my dad is bajan nd Panamanian. Does that make me part Latina

  • LOL their race doesn’t matter people… Cuban is a nationality. They have White/Black/Hispanic in Cuba FYI

    • maria antonieta

      Whiteblackhispanic ? Sorry but hispanic doesn’t fit here, it is not a race.

  • Ryan Lochte is SCRUM-DIDDY-UMPTIOUS!!!

  • I believe Fantasia is part Cuban her father looks Cuban she looks part Latina.What people don’t realize is that Cubans,Peurto Ricans,Hondurans,Brazilians and alot of Latinas have a lot of African blood some more than Americans..an American can be more mixed than a Latina!Barrino is very Spanish!I have Cuban as well

  • Old School

    Nikolpls, Know your history son. I was too deep for you. The Dominican Republic was created when the descendents of the White Spaniards (who raped their Black slaves) fought and lost the civil war between the darker descendents of the non-biracial Africans. Hence the island was separated into Haitie (sp?) and the Dominican Republic.

    Africans were taken and enslaved everywhere and the women were raped everywhere so all of this “I am cuban, I am brazilian” is just giving props to whoever raped your female ancester – unless you know where the mixture first came in. Most people don’t.


    Funny thing is most (not all) Cubans be associated with being Cuban. Cubans in Florida and Cuba are racist, snobby, and republican ( Rubio in Romney camp etc..) I’ve known Cubans who Bleached thier hair and change there last name from “Cruz” to “Cruise”! lol And White/ Light Skin Cubans hate Afro-Cubans with a passion trust me it’s ugly! Nothing like the Puerto Ricans who embrace all PR’s and thier culture.

  • NegRican24

    My biggest issue with this is the “Afro-Cuban” bs. ALL hispanics are of AFRICAN descent unless they are from Spain and live in the carribean. They are also of Native and european descent JUST LIKE Af Ams so can thi black site PLEASE stop with that divisive, MISLEADING distinction. Geez!!!

    • Nikolpls

      Tell them please..
      i was never allowed inside my friends house,he’s Dominican cos his momma does not wana be seen with black people.she is Dominican,she says she’s white..ha ha ha..hair all bleached out damn near white as snow..tried to put her in her place one time but i realized she’d never get the fact that she is black…smh.

  • blacklatina

    Where can I read the article about afro latinos?

  • Old School

    What is the point of this article? To say “I am a proud product of the rape by a (insert nationality here) of my great, great, great grandmother so I am of (insert nationality here) descent?” My goodness. We all know ultimately from where the non African blood came and this is some bassackword way to do what? Brag about it? SMH.

    • B

      “crickets chirping”…

      • Nikolpls

        Ha ha ha.
        You got me with that line..there’s always someone with a random thought like this ‘old school up above’..smh

  • Boom

    How do you get Army brat from a Navy parent? That makes Faizon a Navy brat. The branch of service determines that…idiots!

  • The “Jamaican” community in Cuba is concentrated in Santiago de Cuba,
    which is about 15-20 mins by plane from Jamaica. I am beautiful woman and I love good
    man…..inter racial romance is my dream… so I joined —blackwhitеPlanet.С0M—–it’s where to- connect with beautiful and excellent
    people! So pay attention to
    any Cuban from Santiago de Cuba with an anglophone surname. Ditto for
    the Panamanians, Costa Ricans, Hondurans…One Love

  • Yah

    You all forgot Alfonso Ribiero (i.e. “Carlton”) from the Ftresh Prince of Bel Air. 100% Cuban.

    • Truth

      He’s Dominican.

    • Izzy White

      His family is from Trinidad… they already included him, Tatyana Ali, & Karyn Parsons on the Trini list

      • Sha

        Tatyana Ali is also half Panamanian 🙂

  • Chanda

    Sofia Vegara, Gloria and Emilio Estefan? Kurt Cobain I beleive was part Cuban. The guys from Cypress Hill (or were they Mexican?)

    • B

      I agree that there are several people missing from the list. Ryan. Lochte is already hot, now he’s MUY MUY CALIENTE!

    • Sha

      Sofia Vergara is Colombian.

    • Marllon

      Kurt Cobain was not part Cuban. The one with partial Cuban ancestry was his lover, Courtney Love.

  • Maleficent

    Militarty brat, not Army.

  • Moi

    Soooo….. No William levy????

    • SUKITA

      Everyone already knows he is from Cuba, they are referring to people no one knew were from there.

  • Fantasia Is on here because she MIGHT be Cuban?

    • Madeline

      RIGHT. Major side-eye

    • MNEditor2

      How to answer…yes. Thanks!

    • yeah she cuban alright….the cuban part of north carolina

    • yepisaidit

      I’m tripping on the “MIGHT” be Cuban part too. Talking about a rumor her dad may be…. why can’t she just ask her mother? How could her mother not know the race of the man she had a baby with????

  • MadrynV.

    Rita Marley (Anderson) is a Jamaican woman born in Cuba – like many Jamaicans whose parents migrated to Cuba – and Panama – and Costa Rica, Honduras, etc – to work. These parents and/or their children often returned to Jamaica, but many stayed. The “Jamaican” community in Cuba is concentrated in Santiago de Cuba, which is about 15-20 mins by plane from Jamaica. So pay attention to any Cuban from Santiago de Cuba with an anglophone surname. Ditto for the Panamanians, Costa Ricans, Hondurans…One Love

    • Lael

      Yes big ups.. I am a proud cuban/jamaican… Beauty 🙂

  • BL

    Yall already did this list before ….ok, we get it!!!

    • MNEditor2

      Did we? I know there was a big list with a bunch of Afro-Latin celebrities on Madame Noire, but nothing specifically focused on Cubans. Maybe Bossip did something of the sorts? But either way, thanks for reading again if you read the aforementioned piece! You’re a dedicated follower indeed…

      • Nillo

        Can you do africans too?
        Boris kodjoe’s mom is african.people need to be proud of where they come from.i know i am.tks

        • tamar paoli

          Actually his father is from Ghana and his mom is German…that is why his last name Ghanaian , he took his father’s last name

      • Sha

        Could you do a list of Panamanians? There’s a ton of celebrities with Panamanian ties like Tatyana Ali and Jordana Brewster.

  • Mescudi

    What about carmeron Diaz

    • Marllon

      Almost everybody knows Cameron has Cuban ancestry.

  • psylocke_2001

    I always wondered about Fantasia’s last name Barrino and where it came from.

  • awet

    Why do seem so surprised that the darker-skinned & white person are of Cuban descent? Have you been to Cuba, you see the whitest of white to the bluest of black skin tones. Hipanics don’t all look like Christina or Gina!’

    • MNEditor2

      Oh no, it had nothing to do with skin tone whatsoever, it was based around the fact that some of these people don’t discuss their Cuban roots like that.

    • Mike Jaramillo

      Im Cuban we we are BLACK African you may not know us we seem black because we are. a lot of people you think are black are Cuban. we are not like other latinos mixed with Indians !! we do not like anyone else because we are mulatos or pure black. Cubans a Jamaicans are the same. also Cubans are Chinese. That’s why a lot of Cubans are named china or chino !!

  • RJA

    Ryan Lochte is so fine hmm hmm mmm

  • gmarie

    Wow Rita Marley? Had no idea.

    • Mike Jaramillo

      Jamaica and Cuba share the same families for 500 years

  • I knew all of these except Fantasia (super random) & Ryan Lochte