Famous Black Directors

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 Directors

 1 Spike Lee

Spike Lee.
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Famous As: Film director
Birthdate: March 20, 1957
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Spike Lee is a celebrated and one of the most decorated American filmmakers of his generation. Most of his critically acclaimed films explore political issues, such as urban crime and poverty, colorism in the African-American community, and race relations. Four of his films have been selected for conservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

 2 Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier.
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Birthdate: February 20, 1927
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, U.S.

Sidney Poitier is a Bahamian-American actor who became the first Afro-Bahamian and Black male actor to receive an Oscar for Best Actor in 1964. In 2009, he was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His life and work inspired a couple of documentary films, including the 2008 film Sidney Poitier, an Outsider in Hollywood.

 3 Alfonso Ribeiro

Alfonso Ribeiro.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 21, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York City, New York, United States

Alfonso Ribeiro is an American actor, television personality, and dancer who got to dance alongside Michael Jackson for a Pepsi commercial when the former was just a kid. Since then, Ribeiro has not looked back and later used his dancing skills to become an actor. He currently hosts one of the most beloved TV shows ever, America's Funniest Home Videos.

 4 Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong'o.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 1, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico

Lupita Nyong'o is one of the most popular black actresses of all time. The first Kenyan-Mexican actress to receive the prestigious Academy Award, Lupita Nyong'o has often been named in lists, such as the world's most beautiful woman. In 2020, she was named by Forbes magazine as one of Africa's 50 Most Powerful Women.

 5 Ryan Coogler

Ryan Coogler.
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Famous As: Director
Birthdate: May 23, 1986
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oakland, California, USA

 6 LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 16, 1957
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Landstuhl, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

 7 DJ Yella

DJ Yella.
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: December 11, 1967
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Compton, California, USA
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 8 John Singleton

John Singleton
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Famous As: Director
Birthdate: January 6, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: April 28, 2019

 9 Ava DuVernay

Ava DuVernay
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Famous As: American director
Birthdate: August 24, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Long Beach, California, United States

 10 Mekhi Phifer

Mekhi Phifer.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 29, 1974
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Harlem, New York City, New York, United States
Mekhi Phifer is best known as Greg Pratt from the medical drama ER. He also starred with Eminem in the film 8 Mile. Fans also loved him in the series Lie to Me and Torchwood: Miracle Day, and as Tyrell Martin in I Still Know What You Did Last Summer

 11 Chandra Wilson

Chandra Wilson.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 27, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, U.S.

Chandra Wilson is an American actress best known for playing Dr. Miranda Bailey in the popular medical drama TV series Grey's Anatomy, for which she has received four Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Apart from being an actress and director, Chandra Wilson is also an activist; she works towards raising awareness about cyclic vomiting syndrome.

 12 Nate Parker

Nate Parker
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 18, 1979
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Norfolk, Virginia, USA

 13 Phill Lewis

Phill Lewis.
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Famous As: Actor, Director
Birthdate: September 4, 1968
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Uganda
Phill Lewis is best known as Mr. Moseby from the series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and The Suite Life on Deck. Fans also loved him as Yes, Dear, Special Agent Oso, and Scrubs. He has also directed series such as Mike & Molly and 2 Broke Girls.

 14 Barkhad Abdi

Barkhad Abdi.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 10, 1985
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mogadishu, Somalia

Somali-American actor, Barkhad Abdi, is best known for his role in the film Captain Phillips, for which he received a British Academy Film Award. Born in Somalia, he relocated to USA after the Somali Civil War broke out. After working in a few odd jobs as a young man, he took up acting and soon found success.

 15 Lamorne Morris

Lamorne Morris.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 14, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Glen Ellyn, Illinois, United States

Lamorne Morris began his career with the BET shows HotWyred and 106 & Park. He gained game with his Teen Choice Award-nominated role of Winston in New Girl. He has appeared in many FunnyorDie shorts, in the docu-drama Valley of the Boom, and as Keef Knight in the series Woke.

 16 Yaphet Kotto

Yaphet Kotto
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 15, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA

 17 Blair Underwood

Blair Underwood.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 25, 1964
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tacoma, Washington
Blair Underwood is best known as Jonathan Rollins from the series L.A. Law. He has played significant roles in series such as City of Angels and Dirty Sexy Money, and in films such as Deep Impact. The five-time NAACP Image Award winner has also won an Emmy and a Grammy.

 18 Lee Daniels

Lee Daniels
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Famous As: Screenwriter
Birthdate: December 24, 1959
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

 19 Kevin Abstract

Kevin Abstract.
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: July 16, 1996
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Corpus Christi, Texas, United States

 20 Glynn Turman

Glynn Turman.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 31, 1947
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Glynn Turman is an American actor, filmmaker, and writer. In a career spanning over 60 years. Some of the notable characters that he has portrayed are: Lew Miles in the movie Peyton Place, Leroy Jackson in the film Cooley High, and Bradford Taylor in the sitcom A Different World. He has also won several awards like the NAACP Image Award.

 21 Janet Mock

Janet Mock.
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: March 10, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

 22 Bill Duke

Bill Duke.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 26, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Poughkeepsie, New York

 23 John Kani

John Kani.
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Famous As: Actor, Playwright, Director
Birthdate: August 30, 1942
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Brighton, Eastern Cape

John Kani is a South African actor, playwright, director, and author. He is best known for playing T'Chaka in American superhero films, such as Black Panther and Captain America: Civil War. One of the few South African actors to achieve international recognition, John Kani was included in the Top 100 Great South Africans list, which was published in 2004. 

 24 Thomas Mikal Ford

Thomas Mikal Ford.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 5, 1964
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: October 12, 2016

 25 Charles S Dutton

Charles S Dutton.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 30, 1951
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland

Charles S. Dutton is an American actor and filmmaker. He is best known for playing Boy Willie in the television film The Piano Lesson, for which he received nominations at Golden Globe Awards and Primetime Emmy Awards. Interestingly, Dutton discovered his passion for acting in prison after he was jailed for manslaughter in 1967.

 26 Avery Brooks

Avery Brooks.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 2, 1948
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Evansville, Indiana, United States

 27 Lexington Steele

Lexington Steele
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 28, 1959
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, USA

 28 Clarke Peters

Clarke Peters
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 7, 1952
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA

 29 Colman Domingo

Colman Domingo
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 28, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

 30 David Ramsey

David Ramsey
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 17, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, USA

 31 Adrian Lester

Adrian Lester
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 14, 1968
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Birmingham, England, UK

 32 Tasha Smith

Tasha Smith.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 28, 1971
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Camden, New Jersey, United States

 33 Ivan Dixon

Ivan Dixon
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 6, 1931
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: March 16, 2008

 34 Keesha Sharp

Keesha Sharp
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 9, 1973
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, USA

 35 Fred Williamson

Fred Williamson
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 5, 1938
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Gary, Indiana, USA

 36 Boots Riley

Boots Riley
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: April 1, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

 37 Sticky Fingaz

Sticky Fingaz
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: November 3, 1973
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, USA

 38 Tim Russ

Tim Russ
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 22, 1956
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Washington, District of Columbia, USA

 39 Paula Jai Parker

Paula Jai Parker
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 19, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, USA

 40 Damien Dante Wayans

Damien Dante Wayans.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 15, 1980
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York

 41 Damian Harris

Damian Harris
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Famous As: Film director, Screenwriter
Birthdate: August 2, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London

 42 Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks.
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Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: November 30, 1912
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Fort Scott, Kansas, United States
Died: March 7, 2006

 43 Chip Fields

Chip Fields
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 5, 1951
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City, New York, U.S

 44 Rick Famuyiwa

Rick Famuyiwa.
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Famous As: Film Director
Birthdate: June 18, 1973
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Laie, Hawaii, United States

Rick Famuyiwa is a Nigerian-American filmmaker and screenwriter. Some of his best-known works include the 1999 coming-of-age film, The Wood, 2002 romantic comedy movie, Brown Sugar, and 2015 coming-of-age film, Dope. Over the years, Famuyiwa has been vocal about the issues faced by African-Americans in the film industry and works hard to resolve such issues.

 45 Antwone Fisher

Antwone Fisher
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Famous As: Director
Birthdate: August 3, 1959
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, USA

 46 Ted Lange

Ted Lange
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 5, 1948
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Oakland, California, U.S.

 47 John Ridley

John Ridley
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Famous As: Screenwriter
Birthdate: September 30, 1965
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

 48 Tunde Adebimpe

Tunde Adebimpe
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: February 25, 1975
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: St. Louis, USA

 49 Adepero Oduye

Adepero Oduye
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 11, 1978
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York (state) New York, U.S.

 50 Stephen McKinley Henderson

Stephen McKinley Henderson
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 31, 1949
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kansas City, USA