PURPOSE. To assess if the in vivo mechanical displacement of the anterior laminar cribrosa surface (ALCS) as a response of an acute elevation in intraocular pressure (IOP) differs in individuals of European (ED) and African descent (AD). METHODS. Spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SDOCT) scans were obtained from 24 eyes of 12 individuals of AD and 18 eyes of 9 individuals of ED at their normal baseline IOP and after 60 seconds IOP elevation using ophthalmodynamometry. Change in depth (displacement) of the LC and to the prelaminar tissue (PLT) were computed in association with the change (delta) in IOP (Δ IOP), race, age, corneal thickness, corneal rigidity (ocular response analyzer [ORA]), and axial. RESULTS. In the ED group for small IOP elevations (Δ IOP < 12 mm Hg), the ALCS initially displaced posteriorly but for larger increase of IOP an anterior displacement of the lamina followed. Inversely, in the AD group the ALCS did not show a significant posterior displacement for small Δ IOP, while for larger IOP increases the ALCS significantly displaced posteriorly. Posterior displacement of the lamina cribrosa (LC) was also significantly correlated with longer axial length, higher corneal thickness, and ORA parameters. Prelaminar tissue posteriorly displaced for any magnitude of Δ IOP, in both groups. CONCLUSIONS. The African descent group demonstrated a greater acute posterior bowing of the LC after adjustment for age, axial length, Bruch’s membrane opening (BMO) area, and ORA parameters. Greater PLT posterior displacement was also seen in the AD group with increasing IOP, which was tightly correlated with the displacement of the LC.