Famous African Americans

African Americans were historically one of the most discriminated groups in the USA. However things began to change in the late 19th century with the likes of civil rights activists like John Lewis, Samuel Ringgold Ward, and Harriet Tubman raising their voices demanding equal rights for all. The civil rights movement received further momentum in the 20th century with the emergence of leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Harry Burns. By the later part of the 20th century, African Americans had begun to make a name for themselves in varied fields such as science, technology, sports, music and literature. Diplomat Ralph Joseph Bunche created history by becoming the first African American to win the Nobel Prize for Peace. History was created by GuionBluford as well when he became the first African American astronaut to venture into space. More recently, Barack Obama claimed the honor of being the first African American to be elected to the US President’s office. Read on for more information about the life and works of famous African Americans.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite African Americans

 1 Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali.
10
Listed In: Activists
Famous As: Boxer
Birthdate: January 17, 1942
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Died: June 3, 2016

 2 Prince

Prince.
11
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: African-American Singer
Birthdate: June 7, 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Died: April 21, 2016
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)

 3 Malcolm X

Malcolm X.
7
Listed In: Activists
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: May 19, 1925
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Died: February 21, 1965
Height: 6'4" (193 cm)

 4 Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder.
5
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: May 13, 1950
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saginaw, Michigan, United States
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
Recommended Lists:

 5 Aaliyah

Aaliyah.
8
Listed In: Fashion
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 16, 1979
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: August 25, 2001
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)

 6 Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick.
8
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: American Football Quarterback
Birthdate: November 3, 1987
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Height: 6'4" (193 cm)
Recommended Lists:

 7 Jay-Z

Jay-Z.
8
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: December 4, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
You May Like

 8 Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson.
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Professional baseball player
Birthdate: January 31, 1919
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cairo, Georgia, United States
Died: October 24, 1972
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)

 9 Ben Carson

Ben Carson.
4
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Politician, Former Neurosurgeon
Birthdate: September 18, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)

 10 Emmett Till

Emmett Till.
3
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: African-American teenager
Birthdate: July 25, 1941
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: August 28, 1955

 11 Michael Oher

Michael Oher.
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: May 28, 1986
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Memphis
Height: 6'4" (193 cm)

 12 DMX

DMX
8
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: December 18, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mount Vernon, New York, United States
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)

 13 Little Richard

Little Richard.
0
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: December 5, 1932
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Macon, Georgia, U.S.A
Died: May 9, 2020
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)

 14 Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg.
9
Birthdate: November 13, 1955
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Manhattan
Height: 5'5" (165 cm)

 15 Venus Williams

Venus Williams.
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: American tennis player
Birthdate: June 17, 1980
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lynwood, California
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)

 16 James Earl Jones

James Earl Jones.
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 17, 1931
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Arkabutla, Mississippi, United States
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)

 17 Taraji P. Henson

Taraji P. Henson.
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 11, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Height: 5'5" (165 cm)

 18 Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson.
3
Listed In: Scientists
Famous As: Astrophysicist
Birthdate: October 5, 1958
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
Recommended Lists:

 19 Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong.
5
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Musicain & Singer
Birthdate: August 4, 1901
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Died: July 6, 1971
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)

 20 Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison.
3
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: February 18, 1931
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lorain, Ohio
Died: August 5, 2019

 21 Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony.
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 29, 1984
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York
Height: 6'8" (203 cm)

 22 Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes.
4
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Poet, Novelist, Playwright, & Columnist
Birthdate: February 1, 1902
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Joplin, Missouri, United States
Died: May 22, 1967

 23 Nina Simone

Nina Simone.
2
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Composer
Birthdate: February 21, 1933
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tryon
Died: April 21, 2003

 24 Clarence Thomas

Clarence Thomas.
2
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Famous As: Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Birthdate: June 23, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Montgomery, Georgia, United States
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)

 25 Common

Common
1
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: March 13, 1972
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: South Side, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)

 26 Michael Vick

Michael Vick
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: June 26, 1980
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Newport News, Virginia, United States
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)

 27 Daniel Cormier

Daniel Cormier
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Mixed martial artist
Birthdate: March 20, 1979
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lafayette, Louisiana, United States
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)

 28 Octavia Spencer

Octavia Spencer
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 25, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, United States
Height: 5'2" (157 cm)

 29 Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett.
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: NBA Star
Birthdate: May 19, 1976
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Mauldin
Height: 6'11" (211 cm)

 30 Leslie Jones

Leslie Jones
2
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: September 7, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)

 31 Tyron Woodley

Tyron Woodley
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Mixed martial artist
Birthdate: April 7, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ferguson, Missouri, United States
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)

 32 Roy Jones Jr.

Roy Jones Jr.
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Boxer
Birthdate: January 16, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Pensacola, Florida, United States
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)

 33 Henrietta Lacks

Henrietta Lacks.
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Source of HeLa Cell Line
Birthdate: August 1, 1920
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Roanoke
Died: October 4, 1951
Height: 5'2" (157 cm)

 34 Donna Summer

Donna Summer
1
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: December 31, 1948
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 17, 2012
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)

 35 Marcus Garvey

Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr.
0
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Political leader
Birthdate: August 17, 1887
Sun Sign: Leo
Died: June 10, 1940

 36 Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan.
3
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 23, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois
Height: 5'4" (163 cm)

 37 B.B. King

B.B. King.
1
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: September 16, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Berclair, Mississippi
Died: May 14, 2015
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)

 38 Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight
0
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: May 28, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)
Recommended Lists:

 39 Elena Kagan

Elena Kagan.
1
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Famous As: Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Birthdate: April 28, 1960
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Upper West Side, New York, United States
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)

 40 Bill Withers

Bill Withers.
1
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: American singer-songwriter
Birthdate: July 4, 1938
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Slab Fork
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)

 41 Terrell Owens

Terrell Owens.
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: American Footballer
Birthdate: December 7, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Alexander City
Height: 6'3" (190 cm)

 42 Busta Rhymes

Busta Rhymes
2
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: May 20, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: East Flatbush, New York, United States
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)

 43 John Coltrane

John Coltrane.
0
Listed In: Musicians
Famous As: Saxophonist, Composer
Birthdate: September 23, 1926
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hamlet
Died: July 17, 1967

 44 Huey P. Newton

Huey Newton.
0
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: American political activist
Birthdate: February 17, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Monroe
Died: August 22, 1989

 45 George Wallace

George Wallace.
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: August 25, 1919
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Clio, Alabama, United States
Died: September 13, 1998

 46 Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell.
2
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: June 30, 1930
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Gastonia, North Carolina

 47 Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland.
4
Listed In: Dancers
Famous As: Ballet Dancer
Birthdate: September 10, 1982
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri
Height: 5'2" (157 cm)

 48 Vivica A. Fox

Vivica A. Fox
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 30, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: South Bend, Indiana, United States
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)

 49 Ryan Coogler

Ryan Coogler
1
Famous As: Director
Birthdate: May 23, 1986
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oakland, California, USA
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)

 50 Reggie Bush

Reggie Bush
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: March 2, 1985
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Spring Valley, California, United States
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)