On January 27, Netflix will debut “You People,” a rom-com co-written by Jonah Hill and Kenya Barris. Boasting an all-star cast of Eddie Murphy, Jonah Hill, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Sam Jay, Nia Long and David Duchovny, the movie tells the story of a romance between Ezra, who is white and Jewish, and Amira, who is Black and not Jewish. While we at Hey Alma know that Black and Jewish identities aren’t mutually exclusive, the main comedic tension of “You People” is the bringing together of Ezra and Amira’s very different families — and dare we say that it looks pretty good. (Editor’s note: It was not. In fact, the movie is very cringey.)
But did you know that Lauren London, who plays is Amira, is both Black and Jewish?
Here are 18 things to know about Lauren London.
1. Lauren was born on December 5, 1984 in Los Angeles, California to an African-American mother and an Ashkenazi Jewish father.
2. She’s a Sagittarius!
3. After attending Palisades Charter High School, Lauren was homeschooled.
4. Since childhood, her idol has been Barbra Streisand.
“I’m the little half-black, half-Jewish girl who was odd and awkward. I try to be myself. Barbra didn’t look like Vivian Leigh or Lucille Ball: She was Barbra Streisand. She made her own mark,” Lauren explained in an interview.
5. Check out her first headshot from when she was 17:
6. She starred in numerous early 2000s music videos, like Pharrell’s 2003 video for his song “Frontin'”:
7. 2006 was a breakout year for Lauren. On TV, she made her debut in an episode of “Everybody Hates Chris” and onscreen she appeared as Erin “New New” Garnett in the movie “ATL.”
8. She dated rapper Lil Wayne from around 2007 to 2009. The second verse of Wayne’s song “Young’n Blues” is about her!
9. From 2013 through 2015, Lauren starred in the CW show “The Game.”
10. Lauren has some words of wisdom about being Black and Jewish!
“Whatever your ethnicity is, in this life you are going to be on a journey to discover who you are and how you feel about yourself,” she said in an interview. “I do remember being teased by my cousins on my mom’s side for not being black enough, and then I’d spend the summer with my dad and be sent to all white summer camps where I was ‘that black girl.’ I struggled for about a minute with that, then I figured it out for myself. What it has done for me is 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. Nobody makes a big deaI about it anymore because I won’t take that anymore.”
11. Need a pep talk? Lauren’s got you:
12. According to Lauren, she gets her wisdom and sense of self-respect from her Jewish dad:
Happy Fathers Day to all the amazing strong Men. Especially to my Dad…. I get my wisdom and respect of self from you!
— Lauren London (@LaurenLondon) June 19, 2016
13. Lauren later dated rapper Nipsey Hussle from 2013 until his death in 2019. On the grieving process, Lauren told an interviewer:
“I lost what I would say is the love of my life. … So I had to go so deep within myself. I was so in a dark space and it was just like, ‘What is this? Who am I? God, please show me.’ … When you’re facing God face-on, you’re asking real questions and you want real answers. It wasn’t for play. I really wanted to know what was going on. So, I think it just has expanded because of my quest for peace.”
14. Before Nipsey’s passing, the couple did a very cute quiz for GQ:
May his memory be a blessing.
15. She has two sons — Kameron, from her relationship with Lil Wayne, and Kross, from her relationship with Nipsey Hussle. Here they are looking adorable:
16. In 2022 Lauren collaborated with PUMA on a line called L.A.: Love Story.
17. In 2021, Lauren starred in the movie “Without Remorse” alongside Michael B. Jordan.
Take a look at these real life friends talking about their characters:
18. Here’s a teaser for “You People” because we really can’t wait to see Lauren in this movie: