What is Lauren London’s ethnicity? Her racial identity struggles

Lauren London

Lauren London stars in You People, a film that sets two cultures on a potentially disastrous collision course. Lauren’s character Amira Mohammed hails from a Black Muslim family. By chance, Amira meets and falls in love with Ezra (Jonah Hill), who is white and Jewish. 

The couple meets each other’s families before Ezra proposes – and it goes reasonably well. However, blending two culturally divergent families proves difficult, threatening Ezra and Amira’s relationship. 

Growing up, Lauren struggled with her bi-racial ethnicity

Lauren London was born on 5th December 1984 in Los Angeles, California, to an Ashkenazi Jewish father and an African-American mother. Lauren was raised by her mother after her parents divorced when she was 3. She told Janine Rubenstein on the People Every Day podcast:

“I just grew up with my mother in my household. I didn’t grow up with my dad living with us. My parents divorced when I was really young. I was three, so my experience is of my mother’s experience, because I just grew up with a single Black mom.”

Lauren told Under My Skin that her cousins teased her for not being ‘Black enough’. Lauren said she became ‘that Black girl’ when she attended white summer camps. The actor said she struggled with her bi-racial identity for a while, but she’s now proud of it. She explained:

“I don’t care what people think about my identity. If someone thinks I’m not black enough that’s their issue. I’m okay with who I am and it is what is. I’m a Black woman like my mother, and I love who my father is, and I love both sides of me.”

Lauren’s idol, Barbra Streisand, helped Lauren embrace her bi-racial identity. “I’m the little half-black, half-Jewish girl who was odd and awkward,” Lauren told Complex Magazine. “I try to be myself. Barbra didn’t look like Vivien Leigh or Lucille Ball: She was Barbra Streisand. She made her own mark.”

Lauren enjoyed filming You People as it connected her to her Jewish roots

Lauren inadvertently neglected her Jewish ethnicity after her parents broke up. Her father’s absence denied her a connection to her Jewish identity. 

Lauren told Janine Rubenstein that she enjoyed filming You People in L.A. as it nourished her Jewish roots:

“What felt personal was shooting in L.A. And some of those areas that we shot it and some of the places that we shot in. I liked that they were Jewish ‘cause it was also some stuff that I got to learn via being in the movie that I didn’t know.”