Entertainment The Best African-American Characters in Film  

Ranker Film
Originally by
14.3k votes 1.2k voters 99.6k 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
277 102
Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
The Shawshank Redemption
2
304 99
Jules Winnfield is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Pulp Fiction
3
246 87
Alonzo Harris is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Training Day
4
242 82
John Coffey is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
The Green Mile
5
154 31
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
108 12
Black Panther is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
KwameObiri-Addai added Black Panther
7
218 81
Morpheus is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
The Matrix
8
255 88
Malcolm X is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Malcolm X
9
178 74
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
LanaYoshii added What's Love Got to Do with It
10
159 66
John Shaft is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Shaft
11
145 41
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
12
126 62
Sergeant Emil Foley is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Dismalhead added Sergeant Emil Foley
Louis Gosseti Jr. in An Officer and a Gentleman
13
172 86
Axl Foley is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Axl Foley Beverly Hills Cop
14
195 80
Apollo Creed is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Rocky IV, Rocky, Rocky II
15
124 51
Celie is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
LanaYoshii added The Color Purple
16
152 71
Roger Murtaugh is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Lethal Weapon
17
182 78
Blade is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Blade: Trinity, Blade II, Blade
18
182 81
Benjamin Buford
19
118 63
Kunta Kinte is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
LanaYoshii added Roots: The Gift
20
156 67
Sister Mary Clarence is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Sister Mary Clarence Sister Act
21
65 12
Jackie Brown is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
FranciscodeSouza added Jackie Brown
22
108 39
Coach Herman Boone is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Remember the Titans
23
120 57
Principal Joe Clark is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
LanaYoshii added Lean on Me
24
92 30
John Quincy Archibald is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
25
97 33
Tre Styles is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best African-American Characters in Film
Boyz N the Hood