Entertainment
78 voters

The Best Black TV Characters In 2019

Updated July 7, 2020 1.0k votes 78 voters 2.4k views30 items

2019 is shaping up to be an amazing year for TV, with some of the best shows sporting more diverse cast members than ever before. That's why we thought now would be a good time to rank the best current Black characters. From the sheer strength and measure of Annalise Keating (Viola Davis from How to Get Away with Murder) to the outrageous wit of Titus Andromedon (Tituss Burgess from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), the best Black TV characters command the stage and keep us coming back for more.

The best current shows with Black characters include dramas like Empire and hilarious satires like Atlanta. Both of these award-winning shows have produced a handful of memorable characters, including local rapper Paper Boi and queen bee Cookie Lyon. Seriously, is anyone on TV as ruthless as Cookie? Who do you think are the best African-American TV characters in 2019?

Let us know by voting up all the best characters. Don’t see one of your favorites? Go ahead and add them to the list. 

  • Professor Annalise Keating1
    41
    6

    Professor Annalise Keating

    How to Get Away with Murder

    ActorViola Davis

    Viola Davis

     

  • Lucious Lyon2
    38
    9

    Lucious Lyon

    Empire

    ActorTerrence Howard

    Terrence Howard

     

  • Jack Johnson3
    35
    8

    Jack Johnson

    Miles Brown

     

  • Nate Lahey4
    32
    9

    Nate Lahey

    Billy Brown

     

  •  Charley Bordelon West5
    29
    9

    Charley Bordelon West

    Dawn-Lyen Gardner

     

  • Dre Johnson6
    28
    9

    Dre Johnson

    Black-ish

    ActorAnthony Anderson

     Anthony Anderson

     

  • Cookie Lyon7
    31
    13

    Cookie Lyon

    Empire

    ActorTaraji P. Henson

    Taraji P. Henson

     

  • Earnest Marks8
    25
    7

    Earnest Marks

    Donald Glover

     

  • James 'Ghost' St. Patrick9
    27
    10

    James 'Ghost' St. Patrick

    Omari Hardwick

     

  • Randall Pearson10

    Sterling K. Brown

     

  • Beth Pearson11

     Susan Kelechi Watson

  •  Zoey Johnson12
    25
    11

    Zoey Johnson

    Yara Shahidi

     

  • Rainbow Johnson13
    24
    10

    Rainbow Johnson

    Tracee Ellis Ross

     

  • Black Lightning14
    20
    9

    Black Lightning

    Cress Williams

     

  • Issa Dee15
    18
    7

    Issa Dee

    Issa Rae

  • John Diggle16
    13
    2

    ActorDavid Ramsey

  • Samantha White17
    19
    11

    Samantha White

    Logan Browning

     

  • Tasha 'Taystee' Jefferson18
    21
    16

    Tasha 'Taystee' Jefferson

    Orange Is the New Black

    ActorDanielle Brooks

    Danielle Brooks

     

  • Brandon Johnson19
    24
    21

    Brandon Johnson

    Jason Mitchell

     

  • Troy Fairbanks20
    16
    11

    Troy Fairbanks

  •  Nova Bordelon21
    19
    19

    Nova Bordelon

    Rutina Wesley

     

  •  Anissa Pierce22
    19
    19

    Anissa Pierce

    Nafessa Williams

     

  • Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren23
    15
    19

    Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren

    Orange Is the New Black

    ActorUzo Aduba

    Uzo Aduba

     

  • Mo Monroe24
    13
    16

    Mo Monroe

    Don Cheadle

     

  • Lawrence Walker25
    11
    16

    Lawrence Walker

    Jay Ellis