Entertainment

The Best African-American Characters in Film 

Ranker Film
Originally by
15.9k votes 1.4k voters 113.9k views 123 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
Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
The Shawshank Redemption
2
Alonzo is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Training Day
3
Jules Winnfield is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Pulp Fiction
4
John Coffey is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
The Green Mile
5
Django is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Tom Islava added
Django Unchained, Django, One Damned Day at Dawn… Django Meets Sartana!
6
Black Panther is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
KwameObiri-Addai added
Black Panther
7
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
LanaYoshii added
What's Love Got to Do with It
8
Malcolm X is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Malcolm X
9
John Shaft is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Shaft
10
Morpheus is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
The Matrix
11
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
12
Axl Foley is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Axl Foley
Beverly Hills Cop
13
Celie is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
LanaYoshii added
The Color Purple
14
Apollo Creed is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Rocky IV, Rocky, Rocky II
15
Roger Murtaugh is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Lethal Weapon
16
Kunta Kinte is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
LanaYoshii added Kunta Kinte
Roots: The Gift
17
Blade is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Blade: Trinity, Blade II, Blade
18
Doughboy is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Boyz N the Hood
19
Principal Joe Clark is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
LanaYoshii added Principal Joe Clark
Lean on Me
20
John Quincy Archibald is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
John Quincy Archibald
John Q
21
Benjamin Buford "Bu... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue
Forrest Gump
22
Tre Styles is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Boyz N the Hood
23
Agent J is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Men in Black, Men in Black II
24
Sister Mary Clarence is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Sister Mary Clarence
Sister Act
25
Sofia is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
FranciscodeSouza added
Gimme the Loot, The Color Purple, The Lovers of the Arctic Circle