Top 10 African-American Actresses

Time for another TOP 10 TUESDAY. This week I thought I would list the Top 10 African-American Actresses (past and present). When I think of a good actor/actress, I think of someone who allows me to get into their character and forget they were acting. These women below work to master their craft, and I have the utmost respect for them. I consider them all to be beautiful black women. The following is my Top 10 African-American Actresses list…

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10. Jada Pinkett-Smith


I struggled with this last spot. So many good actresses left, and Jada seems to be quite off in the head right about now. She has had some garbage films along the way, but when I think back to her roles in flicks like Set it Off or Menace II Society…she was raw. Then you had her on A Different World, and Jason’s Lyric. Plus my kids liked her in Madagascar. lol.

9. Regina King


Say what you want, but little 227 girl is believable in almost every role she is in. Especially the scene with Chicago and the hair brush (Poetic Justice).

8. Ruby Dee


Takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’. Ruby been acting forever. She was just recently in American Gangster. She technically should be higher on this list, but I am fairly young, and trying to mix old/new.

7. Angela Bassett


Not had any strong roles lately, but she always presents herself with class. She didn’t sell out across a couch for an Oscar.

6. Queen Latifah


Some may argue QL being above Basset, but hear me out. Most will agree Bassett’s performance in What’s Love Got To Do With it should have won an award, but since then what has she done? Stella was decent, but her roles have been pretty bland. Say what you want about Cover Girl, but in each role she is given, she delivers.

5. Diahann Carroll


She is the woman you love to hate. Can get real funky on screen, but when she smiles is a beautiful woman. Legendary actress.

4. Margaret Avery


Who could forget Shug Avery? You sho is ugly!!!

3. Phylicia Rashad


Granted most of her stuff is on broadway, but she does her thing. She was the only one who displayed any remote acting skills in that new reprise of Raisin In The Sun.

2. Kimberly Elise


I don’t understand why she is not given more credit because she is a brilliant actress. She does not play!

1. Cicely Tyson


Is there really any argument here?

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HONORABLE MENTIONS
Angelle Brooks, Beyonce Knowles, CCH Pounder, Debbie Allen, Diana Sands, Dorothy Dandridge, Eartha Kitt, Elise Neal, Gabriel Union, Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon, Gina Torres, Gloria Hendry, Halle Berry (not the most talented, but not the worst…looks definitely didn’t hurt her career, and her getting an award for that couch scene was pure nonsense), Hattie McDaniel, Heather Headley, Holly Robinson-Peete, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Janet Jackson, Jasmine Guy, Jennifer Lewis (a plum fool), Journee Smollett (watch out for her…this girl came a long way from Eve’s Bayou…acted her tail off in The Debaters), Joy Bryant, Kerry Washington, Khandi Alexander, Lela Rochon (Sunshine), Lena Horne, Lonette McKee, Loretta Devine (he’s watching me walk), Malinda Williams, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Maya Rudolph, Meagan Good, Naomi Harris, Nell Carter, Nia Long, Nicole Ari Parker, Oprah Winfrey, Paula Patton (beautiful up and coming actress), Pam Grier, Penny Johnson Jerald (still can’t believe she did that to the president on 24), Raven-Symone, Rosalind Cash, Salli Richardson (Low Down Dirty Shame…just wrong), Sanaa Lathan (can’t really act, but I love all her movies), Sheila Frazier, Stacy Dash, Tamala Jones, Tamara Dobson, Taraji Henson, Thandie Newton, Tisha Campbell-Martin (my head’s not that big Martin), Tonea Stewart, Tyra Banks, Vanessa Williams, Vivica Fox, Vonetta McGee, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Whoopi Goldberg, Zoe Saldana

* No disrespect intended for those not listed, but I am tired of typing.

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6 responses to “Top 10 African-American Actresses

  1. You gotta put Halle on their has to be there just on gp…on the strength of winning an Academy Award (leading role)…then Losing Isiah, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge and Perfect Stranger…Sorry the Queen is cool, but what is the basis for her being on here…Set it off, Bringing down the house (even though I loved both). I’m not sure about that one. Gotta flip Clair Huxtable and Kimberly (she is a damn good actress)…Phylicia and the Cosby Show made America look at the black family in a different light. Probably move up Angela Bassett, Regina King is straight…I can live with Jada (even though she is like the Karrin Steffens of the big screen in every movie).

    Kerry Washington will be a good one…Gabriel and Sanaa had the chance to take that big step…I like Thandie Newton too

  2. Bey didn’t make the list for talent…lol. I was trying to just list as many young blk actresses as I could out of respect.

    I didn’t put Halle up there because I truly believe she is overrated. If she weren’t pretty, she’d fall in line with all the others. The only performance I can truly say she was good in was Dorothy Dandridge. Furthermore, I am pissed she won that award for getting screwed on the couch because that had nothing to do with acting. It was almost a smack in the face when you have people like Basset in What’s Love Gotta Do With It show that much of a range…and not get recognized for it. Then you let Halle get bruised by Billy Bob and all of a sudden she is brilliant?

    I know Chris will get his panties in a bunch over this one, but Sanna can’t act. Man, just watch that movie with Wesley when she tries to act like a music teacher. Horrible. lol. Or that Hip Hop one with Taye Diggs. When did you fall in love with hip hop? hahahaha. Don’t get me wrong. I have loved almost every movie she was in (have them all on DVD), but her acting could use some work.

    Now Angela…I knew this would get a reaction. Ok, let’s give her three movies. Stella, What’s Love Got To Do, and Exhale. Did her thing each flick and I don’t think anyone can argue that. She played different characters and made you believe. Now aside from our love for Angela, what has she done outside of that that you can actually say she was good? In that Meet The Browns, I am sorry but she was not believable whatsoever. Now look at Latifah. She is not my favorite, but look at this objectively – Barbershop, Set It Off, Chicago, Mad Money, Last Holliday, Bone Collector just to name a few. Homegirl has been in 43 films. Granted, she didn’t have big hits like basset, but look at the range of her roles, and how believable she was in each. That is why I gave her the slight advantage.

  3. Sanaa had the oppurtunity, but she is a bust…so is Gabriel and I love her. Bassett is like Shaq…she was dominate in her time, but now it is the tail end and she is holding on to the past and willing to take any role as long as she is just in the game…If that ain’t Shaq (that is a different subject though). Man, QL just to me hasn’t put in the work yet. I don’t think none of her work has substance. She did do that HBO movie though…I never seen it, but they said that she did her thing.

    Dang, Diahann Carroll is still fine…I wish I was Vic Dimmone…hahaha…Journee Smollett…she is gonna be a beast. The one I’m having trouble with though is Shug Avery…I dunno about that one.

  4. hello beyonce honorable mention u for real n what about whoopi goldberg body of work people not how we like them as people body of work see more films go see a play and maybe ull know about adrian lenox or viola davis and then tell me who our black actresses are

  5. You are absolutely correct, Whoppi should at least be mentioned honorably. But as my post said, no disrespect intended for those not listed, but I became tired of typing.

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