Entertainment

The Greatest Black Characters in Film History  

Ranker Film
Originally by
9.1k votes 757 voters 26k views 123 items

Virgil Tibbs, "Red" Redding, Jules Winnfield... This is a list of the all time greatest black characters in film, ranked as the best in film history by movie lovers everywhere. This list has the best black characters in film, portrayed by award-winning actors and featured in some of the greatest films ever made. Who are the all time best black characters in film?

From classic films like Hotel Rwanda, The Color Purple, and Jerry Maguire, the characters on this list are also some of the best characters in film history. Many of the actors who portrayed these classic black film characters received numerous awards for their notable performances. This includes some of the best black actors of all time, such as Denzel Washington and Sidney Poitier.

Cast your votes for the black characters listed here that you believe are the best of all time. And, if the black characters you think are the greatest are missing, add them below to complete the list.

list ordered by
1
Jules Winnfield is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Pulp Fiction
2
Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
The Shawshank Redemption
3
Morpheus is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Sex and the Matrix, The Matrix, The Matrix Revolutions
4
Malcolm X is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Malcolm X
5
John Coffey is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
The Green Mile
6
Virgil Tibbs is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
In the Heat of the Night
7
Django is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
tc11 added Django Unchained, Django, One Damned Day at Dawn… Django Meets Sartana!
8
Lando Calrissian is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
slaft added Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
9
Apollo Creed is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Rocky IV, Rocky, Rocky II
10
Axel Foley is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
RobLein added Beverly Hills Cop III, Beverly Hills Cop
11
Benjamin Buford
RobLein added Forrest Gump
12
Storm is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added X-Men, X-Men: The Last Stand, X2
13
Frozone is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
The Incredibles
14
Detective Lt. William Somerset is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
15
Minny Jackson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
The Help
16
Captain Steven
Independence Day
17
Nick Fury is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Tom Islava added Ultimate Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Avengers
18
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added What's Love Got to Do with It
19
Uhura is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
slaft added Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
20
Agent J is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Men in Black, Men in Black II
21
Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley An Officer and a Gentleman
22
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
23
Alonzo is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Training Day
24
Blade is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Blade: Trinity, Blade II, Blade
25
John Shaft is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Shaft