Entertainment

The Best African-American Characters in Film  

Ranker Film
Originally by
14.9k votes 1.3k voters 105.2k 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
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
Black Panther is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
KwameObiri-Addai added Black Panther
6
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
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
Morpheus is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
The Matrix
10
John Shaft is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Shaft
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
Sergeant Emil Foley is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Dismalhead added Sergeant Emil Foley
Louis Gosseti Jr. in An Officer and a Gentleman
14
Celie is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
LanaYoshii added The Color Purple
15
Apollo Creed is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Rocky IV, Rocky, Rocky II
16
Roger Murtaugh is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Lethal Weapon
17
Blade is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Blade: Trinity, Blade II, Blade
18
Kunta Kinte is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
LanaYoshii added Roots: The Gift
19
Benjamin Buford
20
Jackie Brown is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
FranciscodeSouza added Jackie Brown
21
Principal Joe Clark is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
LanaYoshii added Lean on Me
22
Sofia is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
FranciscodeSouza added Gimme the Loot, The Color Purple, The Lovers of the Arctic Circle
23
Coach Herman Boone is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Remember the Titans
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
John Quincy Archibald is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film