Entertainment The Greatest Black Characters in Film History  

Ranker Film
Originally by
8.5k votes 693 voters 22k 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
203 53
Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
The Shawshank Redemption

2
212 58
Jules Winnfield is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Pulp Fiction

3
157 49
John Coffey is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
The Green Mile

4
140 37
Lando Calrissian is listed (or ranked) 4 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

5
158 51
Malcolm X is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Malcolm X

6
147 44
Apollo Creed is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Rocky IV, Rocky, Rocky II

7
122 36
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
141 54
Morpheus is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Sex and the Matrix, The Matrix, The Matrix Revolutions

9
107 32
Axel Foley is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
RobLein added Beverly Hills Cop III, Beverly Hills Cop

10
113 40
Virgil Tibbs is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
In the Heat of the Night

11
94 26
Storm is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added X-Men, X-Men: The Last Stand, X2

12
107 38
Frozone is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
The Incredibles

13
98 33
Detective Lt. William Somerset is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History

14
101 35
Uhura is listed (or ranked) 14 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

15
76 15
Agent J is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Men in Black, Men in Black II

16
85 30
Benjamin Buford
RobLein added Forrest Gump

17
105 40
Captain Steven
Independence Day

18
114 38
Blade is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Blade: Trinity, Blade II, Blade

19
129 47
Alonzo is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Training Day

20
96 36
Minny Jackson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
The Help

21
53 8
Prince Akeem is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Coming to America

22
92 36
Roger Murtaugh is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Lethal Weapon 4, Lethal Weapon, Lethal Weapon 2

23
63 18
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History

24
54 14
Solomon Northup is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Tom Islava added Twelve Years a Slave

25
106 41
Paul Rusesabagina is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Hotel Rwanda