Was René Lacoste Black?

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One of the most popular queries that drives traffic to this site is whether René Lacoste was black or not? Before 2016, when an internet meme surfaced claiming that he was Black due to his mother having Jamaican ancestry, this query was nonexistent. It is generally agreed that this claim is incorrect, but numerous posts on social media, like this one, keep the rumors alive.

His mother’s family was actually from Monein, in South-West France. Her family genealogy has been traced  as far back as the 1700s, and shows no Jamaican ancestors. You can see his mother’s genealogy online at Geneastar.  Although many people in France have North African ancestors, this would usually be considered Arab rather than Black ancestry. In any event, Monein is a part of Southern France where Basque ancestry is more common than North African. According to a recent study, genetic analysis of the Basque people show that they have more genes from indigenous hunter-gatherers than their near neighbors in Spain and France, but less North African ancestry.

In conclusion, the evidence for René Lacoste being Black is essentially non-existent.