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
100 27
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
97 26
Jules Winnfield is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Jules Winnfield Pulp Fiction

3
85 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 30
Malcolm X is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Malcolm X Malcolm X

5
80 23
Alonzo Harris is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Alonzo Harris Training Day

6
71 26
Morpheus is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Morpheus Sex and the Matrix, The Matrix, The Matrix Revolutions

7
66 21
Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley An Officer and a Gentleman

8
52 12
Lando Calrissian is listed (or ranked) 8 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

9
58 16
Uhura is listed (or ranked) 9 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

10
68 25
John Shaft is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
John Shaft Shaft

11
69 26
Virgil Tibbs is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Virgil Tibbs In the Heat of the Night

12
48 13
Axel Foley is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
RobLein added Axel Foley Beverly Hills Cop III, Beverly Hills Cop

13
59 17
Sheriff Bart is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Sheriff Bart Blazing Saddles

14
53 17
Idi Amin Dada is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Idi Amin Dada The Last King of Scotland

15
73 27
Paul Rusesabagina is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Paul Rusesabagina Hotel Rwanda

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16
25 3
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History

17
53 15
Detective Lt. William Somerset is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History

18
70 27
Apollo Creed is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Apollo Creed Rocky IV, Rocky, Rocky II

19
56 19
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
44 17
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
41 11
Coffy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Coffy Coffy

22
25 5
Winston Zeddemore is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Marina Figueroa added Winston Zeddemore Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II

23
39 13
Eli is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Eli The Book of Eli

24
51 23
Blade is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Blade Blade: Trinity, Blade II, Blade

25
48 25
Minny Jackson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Minny Jackson The Help

26
19 3
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added Tina Turner What's Love Got to Do with It

27
25 8
Storm is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added Storm X-Men, X-Men: The Last Stand, X2

28
51 26
Captain Steven
Captain Steven Independence Day

29
33 15
Benjamin Buford
RobLein added Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue Forrest Gump

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30
43 20
Detective Del Spooner is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History

31
27 12
Marsellus Wallace is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Tom Islava added Marsellus Wallace Pulp Fiction

32
20 6
Jackie Brown is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added Jackie Brown Jackie Brown

33
42 20
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
15 2
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added Billie Holiday Lady Sings the Blues

35
17 4
Vernita Green is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added Vernita Green Kill Bill Volume 1

36
30 15
Kunta Kinte is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
slaft added Kunta Kinte Roots: The Gift

37
23 9
Tiana is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Tom Islava added Tiana The Princess and the Frog

38
29 15
Mammy is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Tom Islava added Mammy Gone with the Wind

39
30 16
Gale Sayers is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
RobLein added Gale Sayers Brian's Song

40
16 4
Oda Mae Brown is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added Oda Mae Brown Ghost

41
32 15
Mac is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Mac Predator

42
39 21
Celie Harris Johnson is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Celie Harris Johnson The Color Purple

43
17 5
Solomon Northup is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Tom Islava added Solomon Northup Twelve Years a Slave

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44
33 16
Pvt. Trip is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Pvt. Trip Glory

45
24 12
Nick Fury is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Tom Islava added Nick Fury Ultimate Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Avengers

46
27 15
Giacinta 'Jinx' Johnson is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
slaft added Giacinta 'Jinx' Johnson Die Another Day

47
13 3
Leticia Musgrove is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added Leticia Musgrove Monster's Ball

48
12 2
Patsey is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added Patsey 12 Years a Slave

49
41 25
Sister Mary Clarence is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Sister Mary Clarence Sister Act

50
15 5
Broomhilda von Shaft is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Tom Islava added Broomhilda von Schaft Django Unchained