Mandatory Staff Picks: Celebrating the Best Black Actors in Movie History

In the early 20th century, black actors were rarely given film roles (at least in comparison to white actors). Over the last few decades, black actors have not only been given lead roles but have won Academy Awards and changed the entertainment industry for the better; thespians like Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker have played historically important (and world-changing) black men and have brought to life characters and stories we wouldn’t have been able to experience on screen otherwise. Their portrayals have informed and inspired us to be better not only at our craft but as human beings. This list does not compile the immeasurable contributions of all the black actors in Hollywood. However, it does celebrate some of the very best actors of their generation.

Photo: Warner Bros

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