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.

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 1 LeBron James

LeBron James
177
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: One of the Greatest Players in NBA History
Birthdate: December 30, 1984
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Akron, Ohio, United States
Height: 6'9" (206 cm)

 2 Prince

Prince
68
Listed In: Musicians
Famous As: Singer-songwriter & Multi-instrumentalist
Birthdate: June 7, 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Died: April 21, 2016

 3 Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr.
61
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Civil Rights Activist, Minister
Birthdate: January 15, 1929
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Died: April 4, 1968

 4 Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey
67
Famous As: First Artist to Have Her First Five Singles Reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100
Birthdate: March 27, 1969
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Huntington, New York, United States
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
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 5 Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys
27
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer, Actress
Birthdate: January 25, 1981
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hell's Kitchen, New York, United States

 6 James Earl Jones

James Earl Jones
33
Famous As: One of the Greatest Actors in American History
Birthdate: January 17, 1931
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Arkabutla, Mississippi, United States
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)

 7 Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson
21
Listed In: Scientists
Famous As: Astrophysicist
Birthdate: October 5, 1958
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
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 8 Jordan Peele

Jordan Peele
13
Famous As: Actor, Comedian, Director
Birthdate: February 21, 1979
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)

 9 Lionel Richie

Lionel Richie
16
Listed In: Musicians
Famous As: Co-Lead Singer Of Funk Band The Commodores
Birthdate: June 20, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tuskegee, Alabama, United States
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)

 10 DMX

DMX
16
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)

 11 Vince Carter

Vince Carter
18
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: January 26, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Daytona Beach, Florida, United States
Height: 6'6" (198 cm)

 12 Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu
15
Listed In: Musicians
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter Know for Her Singles like "On & On," "Honey," and "The Healer."
Birthdate: February 26, 1971
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas, United States

 13 Megan Thee Stallion

Megan Thee Stallion
94
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: The Second Female Rapper to Win Best New Artist (Grammy)
Birthdate: February 15, 1995
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas, United States
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)

 14 Clarence Thomas

Clarence Thomas
16
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)

 15 Common

Common
15
Listed In: Activists
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: March 13, 1972
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: South Side, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)

 16 Zoë Kravitz

Zoë Kravitz
53
Listed In: Fashion
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 1, 1988
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Venice, Los Angeles, California, United States
Height: 5'2" (157 cm)
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 17 Ben Carson

Ben Carson
43
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: U.S. Secretary of Housing & Urban Development (2017 – 2021)
Birthdate: September 18, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)

 18 Emmett Till

Emmett Till
22
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Victim of Racial Violence
Birthdate: July 25, 1941
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: August 28, 1955

 19 B.B. King

B.B. King
6
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)

 20 Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan
9
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 23, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois
Height: 5'4" (163 cm)

 21 Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison
23
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: February 18, 1931
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lorain, Ohio
Died: August 5, 2019

 22 Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons
26
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: July 20, 1996
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia
Height: 6'11" (211 cm)

 23 Rashida Jones

Rashida Jones
29
Famous As: Actress - Known for Her Roles in TV Comedies
Birthdate: February 25, 1976
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Height: 5'4" (163 cm)

 24 Jhené Aiko

Jhené Aiko
11
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 16, 1988
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Height: 5'2" (157 cm)

 25 Shemar Moore

Shemar Moore
43
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 20, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)

 26 Pop Smoke

Pop Smoke
21
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: American rapper closely associated with Brooklyn drill
Birthdate: July 20, 1999
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Canarsie, New York, United States
Died: February 19, 2020

 27 Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell
8
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: June 30, 1930
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Gastonia, North Carolina

 28 Busta Rhymes

Busta Rhymes
9
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)

 29 Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight
8
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: May 28, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)

 30 Forest Whitaker

Forest Whitaker
9
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 15, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Longview, Texas, United States
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)

 31 Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington
10
Famous As: Know for Her Crisis Management Expert Olivia Pope in The ABC Drama Series 'Scandal'
Birthdate: January 31, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States
Height: 5'4" (163 cm)

 32 Bill Withers

Bill Withers
1
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: American singer-songwriter
Birthdate: July 4, 1938
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Slab Fork, West Virginia, U.S.
Died: March 30, 2020
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)

 33 Octavia Spencer

Octavia Spencer
19
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 25, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, United States
Height: 5'2" (157 cm)

 34 Tom Morello

Tom Morello
8
Listed In: Musicians
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: May 30, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, United States
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)

 35 Michael Vick

Michael Vick
9
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)

 36 Redd Foxx

Redd Foxx
4
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: December 9, 1922
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: October 11, 1991
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)

 37 Arthur Ashe

Arthur Ashe
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Tennis Player
Birthdate: July 10, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia, United States
Died: February 6, 1993

 38 Tyron Woodley

Tyron Woodley
34
Famous As: Mixed martial artist
Birthdate: April 7, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ferguson, Missouri, United States
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)

 39 DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins
6
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Basketball player, Center
Birthdate: August 13, 1990
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Mobile, United States
Height: 6'10" (208 cm)

 40 Daniel Cormier

Daniel Cormier
5
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)
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 41 Isaiah Thomas

Isaiah Thomas
21
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: April 30, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)

 42 Donna Summer

Donna Summer
10
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)

 43 Lena Horne

Lena Horne
4
Famous As: Singer, Dancer, Actress
Birthdate: June 30, 1917
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bedford-Stuyvesant, New York, United States
Died: May 9, 2010

 44 Pam Grier

Pam Grier
10
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 26, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)

 45 will.i.am

will.i.am
7
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: March 15, 1975
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Eastside Los Angeles, California, United States
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)

 46 Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry
12
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: March 25, 1986
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)

 47 Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells
5
Listed In: Activists
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: July 16, 1862
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Holly Springs, Mississippi, United States
Died: March 25, 1931

 48 Johnny Mathis

Johnny Mathis
7
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: September 30, 1935
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gilmer, Texas, United States
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)

 49 DeMar DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan
10
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: August 7, 1989
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Compton, California, United States
Height: 6'6" (198 cm)

 50 Carl Lewis

Carl Lewis
10
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Track and field athlete
Birthdate: July 1, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Birmingham, Alabama, United States
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)