film directors The Very Best Black Directors, Ranked  

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Films like 12 Years a Slave have made movie history and garnered tons of awards for black, British film director, Steve McQueen. The spotlight is on the absolute best black directors in movie history who have made some amazing, award winning films. Who are the best black directors? Vote up the best directors below based on their bodies of work.

This list features the best black directors, including both African American directors and black film directors from other countries. These visionaries are responsible for helming some of the greatest films in movie history, and has been ranked by users to determine who is truly the best. The films of these awesome directors include Hunger, Daughters of the Dust, To Sleep With Anger, Badou Boy, and The Exile.

Some of the directors on this list include Spike Lee, Denzel Washington, F. Gary Gray, John Singleton, Tyler Perry, Kasi Lemmons, Forest Whitaker, and Sidney Poitier. Vote up the black director you think is the absolute best, or add someone who isn't already on the list.
list ordered by

1
97 37
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Denzel Washington Antwone Fisher, The Great Debaters

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2
112 52
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Spike Lee Malcolm X, Jungle Fever, Do The Right Thing

3
66 23
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Steve McQueen 12 Years a Slave, Shame, Hunger

4
60 23
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Forest Whitaker Hope Floats, Strapped, Waiting to Exhale

5
56 22
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John Singleton Poetic Justice, Shaft, 2 Fast 2 Furious

6
39 14
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F. Gary Gray The Italian Job, Be Cool, A Man Apart

7
49 22
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Antoine Fuqua Training Day, The Replacement Killers, Olympus Has Fallen

8
27 12
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Allen Hughes The Book of Eli, Broken City, Dead Presidents

9
44 31
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Sidney Poitier Fast Forward, A Piece of the Action, Stir Crazy

10
26 16
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Don Cheadle Miles Ahead, House of Lies

11
28 18
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Melvin Van Peebles Identity Crisis, Bellyful, Don't Play Us Cheap

12
21 13
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Gordon Parks Shaft, The Learning Tree, Flavio

13
18 11
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Ousmane Sembène Moolaadé, Black Girl, Borom Sarret

14
14 8
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Robert Townsend In The Hive, Phantom Punch, Franternity Boys

15
21 15
Hype Williams is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Very Best Black Directors, Ranked
Hype Williams Belly, Babyface: A Collection of Hit Videos, MTV 20: Jams

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16
32 26
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17
6 2
Ryan Coogler is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Very Best Black Directors, Ranked
ShawnReynolds added Ryan Coogler Fruitvale Station, Creed

18
14 11
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Malcolm D. Lee Best Man Holiday, Scary Movie 5, Soul Men

19
5 2
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ShawnReynolds added Ava DuVernay Selma, Middle of Nowhere, I Will Follow

20
27 25
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Tyler Perry Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion, Madea's Witness Protection, Madea's Class Reunion

21
11 9
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Albert Hughes Dead Presidents, American Pimp, The Book of Eli

22
12 12
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PeteBoyle added Richard Ayoade The Double, Community, Submarine

23
21 23
Will Smith is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Very Best Black Directors, Ranked
Will Smith All of Us

24
11 12
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Kasi Lemmons The Caveman's Valentine, Eve's Bayou, Talk to Me

25
11 12
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Julie Dash Daughters of the Dust, The Rosa Parks Story, Subway Stories

26
10 11
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Carl Franklin The Newsroom, House of Cards, Homeland

27
9 10
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Charles Burnett 42 One Dream Rush, Namibia: The Struggle for Liberation, The Glass Shield

28
4 5
Anike Bay is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Very Best Black Directors, Ranked
AnikeBay added Anike Bay Girls Like Us, Girls Like Us 2.0! The Hustle! The Game, Girls Like Us Menage "A" Trios(Preproduction)

29
9 11
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Ossie Davis Cool Red, Gordon's War, Black Girl

30
7 9
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Oscar Micheaux Swing!, The Virgin of the Seminole, The Betrayal

31
5 7
William Greaves is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Very Best Black Directors, Ranked
William Greaves Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take 2 1/2, Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One, From These Roots

32
4 6
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Djibril Diop Mambéty Hyenas, Le Franc, The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun

33
4 6
Med Hondo is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Very Best Black Directors, Ranked
Med Hondo Sarraounia, West Indies, O

34
4 7
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John Akomfrah The Nine Muses, Testament, The Last Angel of History