Pinkett Smith is of Jamaican descent on her mother's side and African American descent on her father's side.
Jada Koren Pinkett Smith was born on September 18, 1971, in Baltimore, Maryland, United States, to Adrienne Banfield-Jones, the head nurse of an inner-city clinic in Baltimore, and Robsol Pinkett, Jr., who ran a construction company. She was named after Jada Rowland, who was her mother’s favourite soap opera actress. Her parents divorced when Jada was young and Banfield-Jones raised Pinkett with the help of her own mother, Marion Martin Banfield, a daughter of Jamaican immigrants, who was a social worker. Banfield noticed her granddaughter's passion for the performing arts and enrolled her in piano, tap dance, and ballet lessons. She has a younger brother, actor and writer Caleeb Pinkett.