Actors of black ancestry that I'd like to see more of

In no particular order.
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1.
Jurnee Smollett-Bell
Actress, Underground
Jurnee Smollett-Bell was born on October 1, 1986 in New York City, New York, USA as Jurnee Diana Smollett. She is an actress, known for her role as "Jess Merriweather" on the Emmy Award-winning TV series, Friday Night Lights. She is also known for her roles in The Great Debaters, Eve's Bayou, True Blood...
 
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Keke Palmer
Actress, Grease Live!
Keke Palmer was born Lauren Keyana Palmer in Robbins, Illinois--a small town 20 miles south of Chicago-- to Sharon and Larry Palmer, both former actors. Palmer showed vocal promise as a five-year-old, when she belted out "Jesus Loves Me" in her church choir. A year later the singer-actress had a solo in her kindergarten play but...
 
5.
Gabourey Sidibe
Actress, Precious
Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe, the star of Precious, was born in the Bedford-Stuyvesant community in Brooklyn, New York. Her mother, Alice Tan Ridley, is a former special education teacher who gave up her career and became a street performer/singer, while her father, Ibnou Sidibe, is a cab driver. Her mother is African-American and her father is Senegalese...
 
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Jessica Parker Kennedy
Actress, 50/50
Jessica Parker Kennedy is a Canadian actress of film and television. Born in Calgary, Alberta her first string of screen work began with the television film, Santa Baby, as Lucy the Elf, a role she reprises in the television film sequel, Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe. With a repertoire of television credits...
 
12.
Tyler James Williams
Tyler James Williams was born on October 9, 1992 in Westchester County, New York, USA. He is a TV actor, known for Dear White People (2014), most recognizable for having played the title character of the Chris Rock-inspired sitcom Everybody Hates Chris (2005) and songwriter Cyrus DeBarge in the Disney Channel movie Let It Shine (2012)...
 
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Meagan Good
Meagan Monique Good was born on 8 August 1981 in Panorama City, California, USA, to Tyra Wardlow-Doyle, who worked as her manager, and Leondis "Leon" Good, an LAPD officer. She began appearing on commercials at the age of four. Then she started guest-starring on series like The Parent 'Hood, Touched by an Angel...
 
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Zoë Kravitz
Zoe Isabella Kravitz, the daughter of singer/actor Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet, was born on December 1, 1988 in Los Angeles, California. She is of half African-American (from her father's mother and her mother's father) and half Ashkenazi Jewish (from her father's father and her mother's mother) descent...
 
17.
Lisa Bonet
Lisa Bonet was born in San Francisco, California, to Arlene Joyce (Litman), a teacher, and Allen Bonet, an opera singer. She has lived most of her life in New York and Los Angeles, where she attended Reseda High School and Celluloid Actor's Studio. Her father was African-American and her mother was Ashkenazi Jewish (from a family from Poland and Russia)...
 
18.
Brandon T. Jackson
Brandon Timothy Jackson was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Beverly Yvonne (Bozeman) and Wayne Timothy Jackson. His parents are both pastors, and his maternal grandfather was a Pentecostal child preacher. He credits his sense of humor to both his father and his life straddling the fence between suburbia and the inner city...
 
19.
Anthony Mackie
Anthony Mackie is an American actor. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Martha (Gordon) and Willie Mackie, Sr., who owned a business, Mackie Roofing. Anthony has been featured in feature films, television series and Broadway and Off-Broadway plays, including Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Drowning Crow...
 
20.
Naturi Naughton
Actress, Power
Naturi Naughton is an American Singer and Actress best known for her performance as "Lil Kim" in Fox Searchlight's hit film "Notorious", and her role in MGM's remake of the classic film "Fame". Naughton has starred in various other projects such as: Lottery Ticket, The Playboy Club, Mad Men and The Client List...
 
21.
Nicole Beharie
Actress, Shame
She made her feature film debut in the 2008 film American Violet,where she played the leading role. Also in the same year she played Sarah Ward in the American sports film, The Express opposite actor Rob Brown. In the Lifetime movie, Sins of the Mother (2010), Beharie portrayed Shay Hunter, a struggling...
 
22.
Zoe Saldana
Actress, Avatar
Zoe Saldana was born on June 19, 1978 in Passaic, New Jersey, to Asalia Nazario and Aridio Saldaña. Her father was Dominican and her mother is Puerto Rican. She was raised in Queens, New York. When she was 10 years old, she and her family moved to the Dominican Republic, where they would live for the next seven years...
 
24.
Tika Sumpter
Tika Sumpter was born in New York and graduated from Marymount Manhattan College. Sumpter began her career as model, before she landed the role of "Layla Williamson" in ABC's daytime soap opera, One Life to Live (2005-2010, 2011). After she left the soap, Sumpter won a recurring role in the CW series...
 
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26.
Tristin Mays
Actress, MacGyver
Growing up in New York City, Tristin was with the Ford Modeling Agency where she quickly became one of the top child models in the country. She would later land several national commercials such as Kraft Cheese, Play Skool Kool- Aid, Sunkist, ROSS, McDonald's and Hershey's. Tristin was also in several Broadway productions to include Disney's...
 
27.
Megalyn Echikunwoke
Actress, House of Lies
Megalyn Ann Echikunwoke was born May 28, 1983 in Spokane, Washington. Her father was Nigerian and her mother is of English and Scots-Irish descent. Her last name, "Echikunwoke", means "leader of men" and Megalyn is the granddaughter of a Nigerian tribal leader of the Igbo, which technically makes her African royalty...
 
29.
Jessica Lucas
Actress, Cloverfield
Jessica Lucas (born September 24th, 1985) is a Canadian actress and singer. She is known for her roles in television, such as Edgemont, Melrose Place and Cult, and in the films The Covenant, Cloverfield and 2013's Evil Dead. She also starred in the music video for Coldplay's 2014 single "True Love"...
 
30.
Aisha Dee
Actress, Chasing Life
Aisha Dee was born to a biracial family in Gold Coast, Australia. Her career began in 2008 when she got the role of Desi Biggins during Season 3 of "The Saddle Club". She is best friends with her former "Saddle Club" co-stars Victoria Campbell, Lauren Dixon, Ariel Kaplan, Connor Jessup, and Marny Kennedy...
 
31.
Adepero Oduye
Adepero Oduye hails from Brooklyn, New York City by way of Nigeria. She is a graduate of Cornell University; and has studied acting with Wynn Handman, Austin Pendleton, and Susan Batson. Her name is pronounced "Add-eh-pair-o Oh-due-yay." Her theatre credits include Danai Gurira's play Eclipsed, at the Yale Repertory Theatre; The Bluest Eye...
 
32.
Naomie Harris
Actress, Skyfall
British actress Naomie Harris was born in London, England, the only child of television scriptwriter Lisselle Kayla. Her father is from Trinidad and her mother is from Jamaica. They separated before she was born, and Harris was raised by her mother and has no relationship with her father. She showed an interest in acting from an early age and attended the prestigious Anna Scher Theatre School...
 
33.
Aïssa Maïga
Actress, Caché
Aïssa Maïga is a French actress. She was born in Dakar, Senegal, in 1975 to a Senegalese-Gambian mother and Malian father, an acclaimed journalist. She moved with her family to France when she was 4. She discovered her vocation as an actress in middle school, and won various professional roles while studying theater in high school...
 
34.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Actress, Concussion
Gugu Mbatha-Raw was born Gugulethu Sophia Mbatha in the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, England. Her father, Patrick Mbatha, is a Black South African doctor, and her mother, Anne Raw, is a Caucasian English nurse. Her parents separated when she was a year old, and she was brought up by her mother in the town of Witney...
 
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Jesse Williams
Jesse Wesley Williams born August 5, 1981 is an American actor, model, and activist, best known for his role as Dr. Jackson Avery on the ABC Television series Grey's Anatomy. He also appears in the hit 2013 film Lee Daniels' The Butler as real life civil rights leader Rev. James Lawson. Previous roles include Holden in The Cabin in the Woods (2012)...
 
37.
Michael B. Jordan
Actor, Creed
Michael B. Jordan, middle of three children, was born in Santa Ana, California and raised in Newark, New Jersey by Donna (Davis), and Michael A. Jordan. His middle name Bakari means "noble promise" in Swahili. Jordan has starred in three of the most critically acclaimed television dramas of the past decade...
 
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Gina Torres
Actress, Serenity
Gina was born in New York City and is youngest of three children in a close-knit Cuban American family. Attended New York City's High School of Music and Art She is a gifted mezzo soprano and was trained in opera and jazz and also sang in a gospel choir.
 
42.
Dana Davis
She is a native of Davenport, Iowa. Attended Davenport North High School in Davenport, Iowa. Graduated with a music degree from Loyola Marymount University in 2001. Was a singer with the group "Necessity."
 
44.
Meta Golding
Meta Golding is of Haitian descent but was raised in the United States, India, France and Italy as well as Haiti itself. She competed on ice as an Italian national figure skater, but when an injury ended her skating career she started acting in Italian theatre. Later she returned to the USA to attend Cornell University where she earned degrees in Theatre Arts and International Relations...
 
48.
Mekia Cox
Mekia Cox was born on November 18, 1981 in Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Island, but moved to Orlando, Florida at age 7. As a child, she had roles in various Nickelodeon shows such as Kenan & Kel. She is a graduate of Dr. Phillips High School and earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Florida State University...
 
49.
Chelsea Tavares
Actress, Fright Night
Chelsea Royce Tavares (born September 22, 1991) is an American actress and singer. She best known for her role as Cranberry on the Nickelodeon series Unfabulous and as Autumn on Just Jordan. Tavares was born in Panorama City, Los Angeles, California and is of Cape Verdean descent. Tavares' other television acting credits include Zeke and Luther...
 
50.
Amber Stevens West
Stevens was born in Los Angeles, California. She is the daughter of actor and radio announcer Shadoe Stevens, and former model Beverly Cunningham. She has a younger sister named Chyna Stevens (Chyna Rose Stevens). She is a graduate of Beverly Hills High School. Her father is Caucasian (of Norwegian, German, English, and Dutch descent) and her mother is African-American (and part-Comanche).
 
51.
Cymphonique Miller
Actress, How to Rock
Cymphonique is a Los Angeles native. Since Summer of 2011, she has been filming her own television show How To Rock on Nickelodeon. In addition to appearing in numerous national commercials, PSA's, and MadTV, Cymphonique has guest starred on Nickelodeon shows Big Time Rush, True Jackson VP, Just Jordan and The Troop...
 
52.
Carmen Ejogo
Actress, Selma
Carmen Elizabeth Ejogo was born in Kensington, London, England, to a Nigerian father and a Scottish mother. Her television career began in the United Kingdom in the early 1990s, where she presented the children's series Saturday Disney. Subsequently, she has had an acting career in the United States...
 
53.
Rochelle Aytes
Rochelle Aytes was born in New York City. She attended LaGuardia High School and graduated with a Bachelor's of Fine Arts degree in Dance from SUNY Purchase College Conservatory for Dance in 1998. She is best-known for her role in White Chicks as Denise Porter; her role in Left 4 Dead 2 as a news producer; and more recently in the TV series The Forgotten as Detective Grace Russell...
 
54.
Zendaya
Zendaya, which means "to give thanks" in the language of Shona, was born in Oakland, California. She now lives in Los Angeles, California with her family and her dog, named "Midnight". She was a part of the California Shakespearian Theatre, where her mom worked as a House Manager. She would help out in the theatre and even got to do many plays after...
 
55.
China Anne McClain
Actress, Descendants 2
China Anne McClain comes from an artistic family. Her father, Michael McClain, is a music producer, vocalist, writer and sound engineer. His first production was on Beyonce's younger sister, Solange Knowles (Solo Star CD - track no.16 entitled Sky Away). China Anne's mother, Shontell, is also a vocalist and songwriter...
 
56.
Madison Pettis
Actress, The Fosters
Audiences still remember Madison as the curly haired ballerina daughter of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in her first film, Disney's box office smash, "The Game Plan". Now 19 years old, Madison has grown up in front of America's eyes, while building an extensive list of credits & a social media following over 12+ Million...
 
57.
Amandla Stenberg
Named for the Zulu and Xhosa word for "power," Amandla was born in Los Angeles, California, to Karen Brailsford, a writer, and Tom Stenberg. Her mother is African-American and her father is Danish (and of part Inuit-Greenlandic ancestry). In the summer and fall of 2010, the actress shot her first feature...
 
58.
Kali Hawk
Actress, Bridesmaids
Kali Hawk was a child prodigy, beginning high school at the age of 12, and gaining acceptance to prestigious New York arts university SUNY Purchase before she was 16 years old. While in a play on campus, she was introduced to a friend's agent and began doing commercials and plays in Manhattan's Lower East Side theatre district...
 
59.
Raven-Symoné
Self, The View
Raven-Symoné Pearman was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to Lydia (Gaulden) and Christopher Pearman. At a young age, she moved to New York. While there Raven signed with the Ford Modeling Agency. They sent her out on a audition for a movie called Ghost Dad, which also starred the legendary Bill Cosby...
 
60.
Kat Graham
Kat Graham is a music artist, actress and producer, best known for her starring role in the hit TV show The Vampire Diaries. Born in Geneva, Switzerland, Kat speaks four languages - English, Spanish, French and Hebrew - and is the daughter of a Liberian father and a Russian Jewish mother. At the age of 6...
 
61.
Gabrielle Dennis
Actress, Insecure
Gabrielle Dennis is an actress and comedian best known for her work in television as Janay on the hit series "The Game" (CW & BET) and as Denise Roy on Spike Tv's "Blue Mountain State". With a background as a trained dancer, actress, and singer that stretches all the way back to age 4 Gabrielle always knew she would have a career in the Arts...
 
63.
Lee Thompson Young
Lee Thompson Young was born as the son of Velma Love and Tommy Scott Young. When he was in second grade his parents split up and he went to live with his mother. At age ten, he portrayed Dr. Martin Luther King in a play called "A Night of Stars and Dreams". That's when Lee decided he wanted to be an actor...
 
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Tequan Richmond
Tequan (Tuh-kwon) Richmond arrived in Los Angeles from his hometown of Burlington, North Carolina a little over a decade ago, but he certainly hasn't sat idle since planting his feet in Los Angeles soil. He has appeared in a national Spalding basketball commercial with Boston Celtic's Paul Pierce, as well as other national commercials for Verizon Wireless...
 
66.
Imani Hakim
Imani Hakim was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and by the age of 7 she had already developed a strong passion for acting. She soon began studying acting at Cleveland Ohio's historic Karamu House Theater, where she appeared in many of its stage productions. In 2005 she landed her first television role as...
 
67.
Gabrielle Union
Actress, Bad Boys II
Gabrielle Union was born on October 29, 1972, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Theresa (Glass), who managed a phone company, and Sylvester E. Union, a military sergeant and business executive. When she was eight, her family moved to Pleasanton, California, where she grew up and attended high school. In high school...
 
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Meghan Markle
Actress, Suits
 
71.
Samantha Logan
Actress, Polaroid
Born in Boston, Samantha Jade moved to New York City at the age of ten. A triple-threat, Samantha immediately began getting cast in national commercials, live vocal & dance performances and theatre. Her television credits include roles on Gossip Girl and Law & Order: SVU, and Samantha made her feature film debut in "Detachment"...
 
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Damon Wayans Jr.
Actor, Big Hero 6
Damon Wayans Jr. was born at his grandmother's home in Vermont, in November 1982, and was raised in Los Angeles. He is the son of Lisa Thorner and actor Damon Wayans. He made his film debut at age 11 in the 1994 film "Blank Man" playing the role of young Kevin. Later, Damon pursued his early passion...
 
75.
Aasha Davis
Aasha Davis was born in Alexandria, Va and grew up in several different areas around the world. She went to boarding school in Barbados when she was 7 years-old until she left several years later to attend school in Montreal, Canada. Aasha became an expert at switching schools during her second appearance...
 
76.
David Oyelowo
Actor, Selma
David Oyelowo (pronounced - "oh-yellow-oh"), is a classically trained stage actor who has quickly become one of Hollywood's most sought-after talents. He graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), and received the "Scholarship for Excellence" from Nicholas Hytner in 1998. David starred as Martin Luther King Jr...
 
77.
Chiwetel Ejiofor
English actor Chiwetel Ejiofor is renowned for his portrayal of Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave, for which he received Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations, along with the BAFTA Award for Best Actor. He is also known for playing Okwe in Dirty Pretty Things, the Operative in Serenity...
 
78.
Djimon Hounsou
Actor, Gladiator
Djimon Hounsou was born in Cotonou, Benin, West Africa, to Albertine and Pierre Hounsou, a cook. He moved to Lyon, France, when he was 13. Hounsou has graced the catwalks of Paris and London as a popular male model. He has since left his modeling career and has worked on Gladiator by Ridley Scott and Amistad by Steven Spielberg.
 
79.
Michael Kenneth Williams
Michael Kenneth Williams was born in Brooklyn, to an African-American father from South Carolina and a Bahamian mother from Nassau. He was raised in the Vandaveer housing projects in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York City, and attended George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School. According to a DNA analysis, he is partly descended from the Mende people of Sierra Leone...
 
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83.
Don Cheadle
Actor, Crash
Donald Frank Cheadle was born in Kansas City, Missouri on November 29, 1964. His childhood found him moving from city to city with his family: mother Bettye (North), a teacher, father Donald Frank Cheadle, Sr., a clinical psychologist, sister Dawn, and brother Colin. After graduating high school in Denver...
 
84.
Antonique Smith
Antonique is an acclaimed actor and a 2015 Grammy nominated singer and writer. She is most famous for her starring role of Faith Evans in "Notorious" where she received rave reviews and was praised by critics, including Jeffery Lyons who called her "one to watch". . Antonique first garnered attention in her buzz-worthy leading role in "Rent" on Broadway as Mimi Marquez...
 
85.
Aja Naomi King
King appeared in several short films before landing guest roles on the CBS procedurals Blue Bloods and Person of Interest. Her big break came in 2012 when she was cast as new surgical intern Cassandra Kopelson on the CW drama Emily Owens, M.D. The series was canceled after a single season in 2013. She later starred in the Amazon Studios comedy pilot The Onion Presents: The News...
 
87.
Quvenzhané Wallis
Wallis was born in Houma, Louisiana, to Qulyndreia (Jackson) Wallis, a teacher, and Venjie Wallis, Sr., a truck driver. She has one sister, Qunyquekya, and two brothers, Vejon and Venjie, Jr. "Quven", the first part of her name, combines the first syllables of her parents' first names. Wallis, at age five...
 
88.
Shanica Knowles
Actress, Jump In!
Shanica Channell Knowles was born on November 17, 1990 in Miami Florida. Her native home is Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Shanica is an Actress, Singer and Songwriter. Her first Acting job was on Unfabulous (2005) most known for Hannah Montana (2006-2011) Jump In (2007) Awkward (2011) Harry's Law (2011) Melissa...
 
89.
Jazz Raycole
Actress, Babe
Jazz Raycole is a professionally trained dancer. By four years of age, she was involved in dance competitions, and has trained with many top choreographers. She is currently dancing under the supervision of multi-talented choreographer Debbie Allen. After deciding to break into acting, Raycole and her family moved to Los Angeles...
 
90.
Sharon Pierre-Louis
Sharon Pierre-Louis is a multilingual Haitian-American fluent in Creole, American Sign Language, and conversational French. She is a classical/Opera singer and has 5 siblings, including a Deaf older brother. Her parents came to the United States during the 1980s in search of a better future. Years later...