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The Best Black Actors & Actresses Under 40

Updated August 5, 2020 12.7k votes 1.4k voters 90.8k views59 items

From rising stars to Oscar winners, these are the best Black actors and actresses under 40. This list of young Black actors features up and coming celebrities in their 20s, and popular female actors under 30s. These aren't just the best African American actors - famous British Black actors, like John Boyega and Lupita Nyong'o, also appear on the list. We also have included Afro-Latinx actors, like Alfred Enoch and Tessa Thompson. Whether they're child actors or new faces in Hollywood, these young Black actors are on their way to becoming A-listers. 

Who's your pick for the best Black actors under 40 in Hollywood right now? Check out the list of famous young Black actors below and vote up the ones you think are nailing their roles and taking the industry by storm.

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  • 1
    Lupita Nyong'o
    594
    108

    Lupita Nyong'o

    Age: age 36
    • Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • 12 Years a Slave
    • Star Wars Forces of Destiny
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  • 2
    Michael B. Jordan
    653
    152

    BirthplaceSanta Ana, California

    • Creed
    • Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • Fruitvale Station
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  • 3
    Tessa Thompson
    423
    89

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, USA

    • Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • Sorry To Bother You
    • Annihilation
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  • 4
    Zendaya
    612
    163

    Zendaya

    Age: age 23

    BirthplaceOakland, California, United States of America

    • Spider-Man: Homecoming
    • K.C. Undercover
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  • 5
    Daniel Kaluuya
    384
    78

    Daniel Kaluuya

    Age: age 30

    BirthplaceLondon, United Kingdom

    • Get Out
    • Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • Sicario
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  • 6
    Letitia Wright
    359
    77

    Letitia Wright

    Age: age 25

    BirthplaceGeorgetown, Guyana

    • Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • Urban Hymn
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  • 7
    Lakeith Stanfield
    272
    62

    BirthplaceSan Bernardino, California

    • Dope
    • Sorry To Bother You
    • The Purge: Anarchy
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  • 8
    Donald Glover
    391
    117

    Donald Glover

    Age: age 36

    BirthplaceEdwards Air Force Base, California

    • Atlanta
    • Solo: A Star Wars Story
    • The Lion King
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  • 9
    Zoë Kravitz
    297
    80

    BirthplaceVenice, Los Angeles, California, United States of America

    • Mad Max: Fury Road
    • Dope
    • Big Little Lies
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  • 10
    John Boyega
    288
    81

    John Boyega

    Age: age 27

    BirthplaceLondon, England

    • Star Wars cinematic universe
    • Pacific Rim Uprising
    • Attack The Block
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  • 11
    Winston Duke
    223
    51

    Winston Duke

    Age: age 32

    BirthplaceArgyle, Trinidad and Tobago

    • Mavel Cinematic Universe
    • Modern Family
    • Us
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  • 12
    Amandla Stenberg
    293
    93

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, USA

    • The Hunger Games
    • The Hate U Give
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  • 13
    Marsai Martin
    170
    32

    Marsai Martin

    Age: age 15

    BirthplacePlano, Texas

    • Black-ish
    • Little
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  • 14
    Janelle Monáe
    247
    73

    BirthplaceKansas City, Kansas

    • Hidden Figures
    • Welcome to Marwen
    • Dirty Computer
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  • 15
    Zazie Beetz
    211
    54

    Zazie Beetz

    Age: age 28
    • Deadpool 2
    • Atlanta
    • Easy
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  • 16
    John David Washington
    159
    30

    BirthplaceToluca Lake, Los Angeles, California, United States of America

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  • 17
    China Anne McClain
    216
    62

    BirthplaceAtlanta, Georgia, United States of America

    • Black Lightning
    • A.N.T. Farm
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  • 18
    Yara Shahidi
    224
    70

    Yara Shahidi

    Age: age 19

    BirthplaceMinneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America

    • Black-Ish
    • Smallfoot
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  • 19
    Caleb McLaughlin
    149
    30

    Caleb McLaughlin

    Age: age 17
    • Stranger Things
    • The New Edition Story
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  • 20
    Issa Rae
    191
    54

    Issa Rae

    Age: age 33
    • Awkward Black Girl
    • Insecure
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  • 21
    Shameik Moore
    145
    41

    Shameik Moore

    Age: age 24

    BirthplaceAtlanta, Georgia, United States of America

    • Dope
    • The Get Down
    • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
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  • 22
    Keke Palmer
    119
    26

    Keke Palmer

    Age: age 26

    BirthplaceHarvey, Illinois, United States of America

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  • 23
    Storm Reid
    162
    56

    Storm Reid

    Age: age 16
    • A Wrinkle In Time
    • Sleight
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  • 24
    Jennifer Hudson
    166
    61

    Jennifer Hudson

    Age: age 38

    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois, United States of America

    • Dreamgirls
    • Chi-Raq
    • Cats
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  • 25
    Tyler James Williams
    192
    84

    BirthplaceNew York, United States of America

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