film The Greatest Black Characters in Film History  

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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
106 29
Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding The Shawshank Redemption

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2
102 28
Jules Winnfield is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Jules Winnfield Pulp Fiction

3
88 24
John Coffey is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
John Coffey The Green Mile

4
84 24
Alonzo Harris is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Alonzo Harris Training Day

5
74 27
Morpheus is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Morpheus Sex and the Matrix, The Matrix, The Matrix Revolutions

6
56 12
Lando Calrissian is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
slaft added Lando Calrissian Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

7
86 33
Malcolm X is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Malcolm X Malcolm X

8
68 22
Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley An Officer and a Gentleman

9
74 26
Virgil Tibbs is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Virgil Tibbs In the Heat of the Night

10
61 16
Uhura is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
slaft added Uhura Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

11
76 27
Apollo Creed is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Apollo Creed Rocky IV, Rocky, Rocky II

12
71 26
John Shaft is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
John Shaft Shaft

13
62 19
Sheriff Bart is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Sheriff Bart Blazing Saddles

14
56 16
Detective Lt. William Somerset is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History

15
27 3
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History

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16
51 15
Axel Foley is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
RobLein added Axel Foley Beverly Hills Cop III, Beverly Hills Cop

17
75 28
Paul Rusesabagina is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Paul Rusesabagina Hotel Rwanda

18
54 18
Idi Amin Dada is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Idi Amin Dada The Last King of Scotland

19
58 21
Roger Murtaugh is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Roger Murtaugh Lethal Weapon 4, Lethal Weapon, Lethal Weapon 2

20
49 18
Django is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
tc11 added Django Django Unchained, Django, One Damned Day at Dawn… Django Meets Sartana!

21
43 12
Coffy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Coffy Coffy

22
55 27
Captain Steven
Captain Steven Independence Day

23
55 24
Blade is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Blade Blade: Trinity, Blade II, Blade

24
26 7
Winston Zeddemore is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Marina Figueroa added Winston Zeddemore Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II

25
51 26
Minny Jackson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Minny Jackson The Help

26
40 15
Eli is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Eli The Book of Eli

27
34 16
Benjamin Buford
RobLein added Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue Forrest Gump

28
27 9
Storm is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added Storm X-Men, X-Men: The Last Stand, X2

29
28 12
Marsellus Wallace is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Tom Islava added Marsellus Wallace Pulp Fiction

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30
13 1
Agent Jay is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Agent Jay Men in Black, Men in Black II

31
45 21
Detective Del Spooner is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History

32
20 4
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added Tina Turner What's Love Got to Do with It

33
43 21
The Oracle is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
The Oracle The Matrix Revolutions, The Matrix Reloaded

34
20 7
Jackie Brown is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added Jackie Brown Jackie Brown

35
15 2
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added Billie Holiday Lady Sings the Blues

36
25 12
Nick Fury is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Tom Islava added Nick Fury Ultimate Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Avengers

37
30 15
Mammy is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Tom Islava added Mammy Gone with the Wind

38
35 16
Pvt. Trip is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Pvt. Trip Glory

39
17 4
Vernita Green is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added Vernita Green Kill Bill Volume 1

40
30 15
Kunta Kinte is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
slaft added Kunta Kinte Roots: The Gift

41
24 10
Princess Tiana is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Tom Islava added Princess Tiana The Princess and the Frog

42
33 15
Mac is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Mac Predator

43
40 21
Celie Harris Johnson is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Celie Harris Johnson The Color Purple

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44
30 16
Gale Sayers is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
RobLein added Gale Sayers Brian's Song

45
16 4
Oda Mae Brown is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added Oda Mae Brown Ghost

46
35 21
Frozone is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Frozone The Incredibles

47
17 5
Solomon Northup is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Tom Islava added Solomon Northup Twelve Years a Slave

48
14 3
Leticia Musgrove is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added Leticia Musgrove Monster's Ball

49
27 15
Giacinta 'Jinx' Johnson is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
slaft added Giacinta 'Jinx' Johnson Die Another Day

50
23 13
Parker is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Tom Islava added Parker Alien