film characters The Best African-American Characters in Film  

Ranker Film
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11k votes 991 voters 80.8k views 122 items

List Rules Only film characters who are African American (so, Lando Calrissian doesn't count). Upvote the greatest characters in any movies.

A list of the all time greatest African American characters in film, ranked as the best in film history by movie lovers everywhere. This list has the best African American characters in film and includes photos and the film in which they appeared. Who are the all time best black characters in film?

From classic films like The Green Mile, Shaft, and The Help, the characters on this list are also some of the best characters in film history. Many of the actors who portrayed these classic African American male and female film characters received numerous awards for their notable performances.

Characters on this list include Alonzo Harris, Morpheus, Blade, Sherriff Bart, Jules Winnfield, John Shaft, and Captain Rhodes. Cast your votes for the African American characters listed here that you believe are the best of all time. If the African American characters you think are the greatest are missing from the list, add them below to complete the list.

list ordered by

1
191 65
Alonzo Harris is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Alonzo Harris Training Day

2
248 83
Jules Winnfield is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Jules Winnfield Pulp Fiction

3
229 91
Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding The Shawshank Redemption

4
99 15
Django is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Django Django Unchained, Django, One Damned Day at Dawn… Django Meets Sartana!

5
185 65
Morpheus is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Morpheus The Matrix

6
191 70
John Coffey is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
John Coffey The Green Mile

7
138 53
John Shaft is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
John Shaft Shaft

8
109 48
Sergeant Emil Foley is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Dismalhead added Sergeant Emil Foley Louis Gosseti Jr. in An Officer and a Gentleman

9
206 80
Malcolm X is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Malcolm X Malcolm X

10
103 31
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film

11
128 63
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
LanaYoshii added Tina Turner What's Love Got to Do with It

12
142 74
Axl Foley is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Axl Foley Beverly Hills Cop

13
37 4
Jackie Brown is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
FranciscodeSouza added Jackie Brown Jackie Brown

14
85 26
Mouse Alexander is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Mouse Alexander Devil in a Blue Dress

List of the Best Black Movies

15
126 65
Roger Murtaugh is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Roger Murtaugh Lethal Weapon

16
148 69
Blade is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Blade Blade: Trinity, Blade II, Blade

17
156 74
Apollo Creed is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Apollo Creed Rocky IV, Rocky, Rocky II

18
153 73
Benjamin Buford

19
30 3
Uhura is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
FranciscodeSouza added Uhura Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

20
71 21
Ezekial
Ezekial "Easy" Rawlins Devil in a Blue Dress

21
104 60
Mammy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
LanaYoshii added Mammy Gone with the Wind

The Greatest Fictional Rappers

22
78 28
Chicken George is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Chicken George Roots

23
125 48
Sheriff Bart is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Sheriff Bart Blazing Saddles

24
91 32
Coffy is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Coffy Coffy

25
99 58
Agent Jay is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Agent Jay Men in Black, Men in Black II

26
118 63
Sister Mary Clarence is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Sister Mary Clarence Sister Act

27
89 61
Kunta Kinte is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
LanaYoshii added Kunta Kinte Roots: The Gift

28
84 48
Celie is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
LanaYoshii added Celie The Color Purple

The Most Utterly Terrifying Figures in Horror Film

29
64 26
John Quincy Archibald is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film

30
89 52
Principal Joe Clark is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
LanaYoshii added Principal Joe Clark Lean on Me

31
73 33
Coach Herman Boone is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Coach Herman Boone Remember the Titans

32
121 55
John Hancock is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
John Hancock Hancock

33
63 28
Tre Styles is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Tre Styles Boyz N the Hood

34
31 5
Deloris Van Cartier is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Deloris Van Cartier Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, Sister Act

35
63 30
Doughboy is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Doughboy Boyz N the Hood

The Greatest Black Actors in Film History

36
48 20
Sam is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
RobLein added Sam Casablanca

37
31 7
Sofia is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
FranciscodeSouza added Sofia Gimme the Loot, The Color Purple, The Lovers of the Arctic Circle

38
77 53
Aibileen Clark is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Aibileen Clark The Help

39
90 64
Minny Jackson is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Minny Jackson The Help

40
73 43
Tiana is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Tiana The Princess and the Frog

41
89 59
Lucius Fox is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Owen_Paul_Sloane added Lucius Fox Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises

42
61 43
Detective Lt. William Somerset is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film

The Clumsiest People in Film

43
86 67
Virgil Tibbs is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Virgil Tibbs In the Heat of the Night

44
44 22
Carl Lee Hailey is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Carl Lee Hailey A Time to Kill

45
102 58
Storm is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Storm X-Men, X-Men: The Last Stand, X2

46
72 55
Solomon Northup is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
LanaYoshii added Solomon Northup 12 Years a Slave

47
24 6
Oda Mae Brown is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
FranciscodeSouza added Oda Mae Brown Ghost

48
60 44
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
LanaYoshii added Billie Holiday Lady Sings the Blues

49
39 21
Jackie Robinson is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
RobLein added Jackie Robinson 42

50
20 5
Mama Odie is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
FranciscodeSouza added Mama Odie The Princess and the Frog