Entertainment The Best African-American Characters in Film  

Ranker Film
Originally by
13.8k votes 1.2k voters 98.3k 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
270 99
Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
The Shawshank Redemption

2
296 96
Jules Winnfield is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Pulp Fiction

3
236 85
Alonzo is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Training Day

4
233 80
John Coffey is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
The Green Mile

5
97 9
Black Panther is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
KwameObiri-Addai added Black Panther

6
144 30
Django is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Django Unchained, Django, One Damned Day at Dawn… Django Meets Sartana!

7
212 78
Morpheus is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
The Matrix

8
172 70
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
LanaYoshii added What's Love Got to Do with It

9
249 86
Malcolm X is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Malcolm X

10
156 64
John Shaft is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Shaft

11
124 59
Sergeant Emil Foley is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Dismalhead added Sergeant Emil Foley
Louis Gosseti Jr. in An Officer and a Gentleman

12
140 38
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film

13
168 83
Axl Foley is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Axl Foley Beverly Hills Cop

14
189 79
Apollo Creed is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Rocky IV, Rocky, Rocky II

15
119 49
Celie is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
LanaYoshii added The Color Purple

16
148 69
Roger Murtaugh is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Lethal Weapon

17
62 10
Jackie Brown is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
FranciscodeSouza added Jackie Brown

18
177 77
Blade is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Blade: Trinity, Blade II, Blade

19
115 62
Kunta Kinte is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
LanaYoshii added Roots: The Gift

20
177 81
Benjamin Buford

21
100 35
Mouse Alexander is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Devil in a Blue Dress

22
116 55
Principal Joe Clark is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
LanaYoshii added Lean on Me

23
150 67
Sister Mary Clarence is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Sister Mary Clarence Sister Act

24
88 29
John Quincy Archibald is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film

25
101 38
Coach Herman Boone is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Remember the Titans