film The Greatest Black Characters in Film History  

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Virgil Tibbs, "Red" Redding, Jules Winnfield... This is a list of the all time greatest black characters in film, ranked as the best in film history by movie lovers everywhere. This list has the best black characters in film, portrayed by award-winning actors and featured in some of the greatest films ever made. Who are the all time best black characters in film?

From classic films like Hotel Rwanda, The Color Purple, and Jerry Maguire, the characters on this list are also some of the best characters in film history. Many of the actors who portrayed these classic black film characters received numerous awards for their notable performances. This includes some of the best black actors of all time, such as Denzel Washington and Sidney Poitier.

Cast your votes for the black characters listed here that you believe are the best of all time. And, if the black characters you think are the greatest are missing, add them below to complete the list.

list ordered by

1
+ - 91 24
Jules Winnfield is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Jules Winnfield Pulp Fiction

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2
+ - 92 25
Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding The Shawshank Redemption

3
+ - 72 23
John Coffey is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
John Coffey The Green Mile

4
+ - 78 30
Malcolm X is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Malcolm X Malcolm X

5
+ - 61 19
Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley An Officer and a Gentleman

6
+ - 74 22
Alonzo Harris is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Alonzo Harris Training Day

7
+ - 65 22
John Shaft is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
John Shaft Shaft

8
+ - 64 24
Morpheus is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Morpheus Sex and the Matrix, The Matrix, The Matrix Revolutions

9
+ - 48 10
Lando Calrissian is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Lando Calrissian Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

10
+ - 63 24
Virgil Tibbs is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Virgil Tibbs In the Heat of the Night

11
+ - 55 15
Sheriff Bart is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Sheriff Bart Blazing Saddles

12
+ - 50 15
Uhura is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Uhura Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

13
+ - 51 17
Idi Amin Dada is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Idi Amin Dada The Last King of Scotland

14
+ - 41 13
Axel Foley is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Axel Foley Beverly Hills Cop III, Beverly Hills Cop

15
+ - 49 15
Detective Lt. William Somerset is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History

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16
+ - 66 27
Paul Rusesabagina is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Paul Rusesabagina Hotel Rwanda

17
+ - 40 9
Coffy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Coffy Coffy

18
+ - 61 26
Apollo Creed is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Apollo Creed Rocky IV, Rocky, Rocky II

19
+ - 49 19
Roger Murtaugh is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Roger Murtaugh Lethal Weapon 4, Lethal Weapon, Lethal Weapon 2

20
+ - 35 16
Django is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Django Django Unchained, Django, One Damned Day at Dawn… Django Meets Sartana!

21
+ - 21 4
Winston Zeddemore is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Winston Zeddemore Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II

22
+ - 16 2
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History

23
+ - 34 13
Eli is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Eli The Book of Eli

24
+ - 40 19
Detective Del Spooner is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History

25
+ - 24 11
Marsellus Wallace is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Marsellus Wallace Pulp Fiction

26
+ - 42 22
Blade is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Blade Blade: Trinity, Blade II, Blade

27
+ - 37 18
The Oracle is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
The Oracle The Matrix Revolutions, The Matrix Reloaded

28
+ - 44 24
Captain Steven
Captain Steven Independence Day

29
+ - 11 1
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Tina Turner What's Love Got to Do with It

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30
+ - 39 24
Minny Jackson is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Minny Jackson The Help

31
+ - 31 14
Mac is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Mac Predator

32
+ - 27 14
Benjamin Buford

33
+ - 14 4
Jackie Brown is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Jackie Brown Jackie Brown

34
+ - 14 3
Vernita Green is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Vernita Green Kill Bill Volume 1

35
+ - 26 14
Giacinta 'Jinx' Johnson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Giacinta 'Jinx' Johnson Die Another Day

36
+ - 26 14
Gale Sayers is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Gale Sayers Brian's Song

37
+ - 17 6
Storm is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Storm X-Men, X-Men: The Last Stand, X2

38
+ - 24 13
Mammy is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Mammy Gone with the Wind

39
+ - 10 1
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Billie Holiday Lady Sings the Blues

40
+ - 10 1
Carmen Jones is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Carmen Jones Carmen Jones

41
+ - 34 20
Celie Harris Johnson is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Celie Harris Johnson The Color Purple

42
+ - 19 10
Alex Cross is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Alex Cross Alex Cross, Kiss the Girls, Along Came a Spider

43
+ - 21 12
Parker is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Parker Alien

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44
+ - 21 12
Nick Fury is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Nick Fury Ultimate Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Avengers

45
+ - 10 2
Leticia Musgrove is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Leticia Musgrove Monster's Ball

46
+ - 26 14
Mr. Mertle is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Mr. Mertle The Sandlot

47
+ - 11 3
Oda Mae Brown is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History

48
+ - 28 16
Pvt. Trip is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Pvt. Trip Glory

49
+ - 13 5
Solomon Northup is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Solomon Northup Twelve Years a Slave

50
+ - 15 7
Baron Samedi is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Baron Samedi Live and Let Die