Famous Black Political Leaders

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 Barack Obama

Barack Obama
233
Famous As: 44th President of the United States
Birthdate: August 4, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

Former President of the United States, Barack Obama, has the distinction of being the first African-American president of the nation. A civil rights attorney and an academic, he has been credited with bringing about a significant improvement in America’s reputation abroad. His efforts to strengthen international diplomacy was recognized with the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

 2 Kwame Nkrumah

Kwame Nkrumah
13
Famous As: First President of Ghana
Birthdate: September 21, 1909
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Nkroful
Died: April 27, 1972

Kwame Nkrumah was a Ghanaian revolutionary and politician. He played an important role in the independence of the Gold Coast in 1957, after which he served as the first prime minister of Ghana from 1957 to 1960 and then as the first president of Ghana from 1960 to 1966. He also played an influential role as an advocate of Pan-Africanism.

 3 Ben Carson

Ben Carson
13
Famous As: U.S. Secretary of Housing & Urban Development (2017 – 2021)
Birthdate: September 18, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.

Neurosurgeon Ben Carson is credited with many pioneering neurosurgical procedures. He became a Library of Congress “Living Legend” and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He later contested in the 2016 presidential primaries, has authored numerous books, was a Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and earned 60 honorary doctorates.

 4 Marcus Garvey

Marcus Garvey
4
Famous As: Political leader
Birthdate: August 17, 1887
Sun Sign: Leo
Died: June 10, 1940
Marcus Garvey is remembered as an iconic Black separatist leader who believed that all African-origin people in Europe and America should go back to Africa. He established the Universal Negro Improvement Association, but his activism was not accepted by civil rights activists, who believed in racial integration and not segregation.

 5 Jomo Kenyatta

Jomo Kenyatta
5
Famous As: 1st President of Kenya (1964-78), 1st Prime Minister of Kenya (1963-64)
Birthdate: October 20, 1893
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gatundu, Kenya
Died: August 22, 1978
After being held as a prisoner by the British for 9 years, anti-colonial activist Jomo Kenyatta was released shortly before Kenya achieved its independence, and became the country’s first prime minister and then its first president. The Father of the Nation, Kenyatta was also named Mzee, meaning “grand old man.”

 6 George Weah

George Weah
5
Famous As: President of Liberia (Since 2018)
Birthdate: October 1, 1966
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Clara Town, Liberia
George Weah, who has been the president of Liberia since 2018, was once a star footballer. The striker was named the 1995 FIFA World Player of the Year, and played for clubs such as A.C. Milan and Paris Saint-Germain. Following his retirement, he established the Congress for Democratic Change.

 7 Cyril Ramaphosa

Cyril Ramaphosa
7
Famous As: President of South Africa
Birthdate: November 17, 1952
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Soweto

Cyril Ramaphosa is a politician and the current president of South Africa. Also the president of South Africa's popular political party African National Congress (ANC), Ramaphosa played a key role during the nation's transition to democracy during which he served as ANC's chief negotiator. He also played a crucial role in ending apartheid and was considered Nelson Mandela's political heir.

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 8 Abiy Ahmed

Abiy Ahmed
4
Famous As: Prime Minister of Ethiopia
Birthdate: August 15, 1976
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Beshasha, Ethiopia

Abiy Ahmed is an Ethiopian politician and the current prime minister of Ethiopia. Since becoming the prime minister, Abiy Ahmed has been lauded for launching a wide program of economic and political reforms in Ethiopia. He also played a major role in ending the 20-year Eritrean–Ethiopian War for which he was honored with the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.

 9 Kenneth Kaunda

Kenneth Kaunda
3
Famous As: Teacher
Birthdate: April 28, 1924
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chinsali, Awemba North, Northern Rhodesia
Died: June 17, 2021

Kenneth Kaunda is a Zambian former politician. He served as the first president of Zambia from 1964 to 1991. A major figure in Zambia’s struggle for independence from British rule, he became the first president of independent Zambia. As the president, he implemented many educational and economic reforms to accelerate the rate of modernization in the country.

 10 Herschel Walker

Herschel Walker
7
Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: March 3, 1962
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Wrightsville, Georgia, United States

 11 Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
8
Famous As: Politician, Anti-Apartheid Activist
Birthdate: September 26, 1936
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bizana, Eastern Cape
Died: April 2, 2018
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela had first met legendary anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela at a bus stop when she was barely 22. They ended up getting married the following year. Winnie’s journey was marred by bans and harassment by the South African government, but the determined social worker revolutionized South African politics.

 12 Martin Luther King III

Martin Luther King III
5
Famous As: Human Rights Activist
Birthdate: October 23, 1957
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama
The American civil rights activist has continued his legendary father Martin Luther King Jr.’s struggle for racial equality. Martin Luther King III headed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference founded by his father and endorsed Barack Obama’s nomination for American presidency. King fought against police brutality, but he also denounced capital punishment, saying he did not belive in retributional justice.

 13 Tim Scott

Tim Scott
5
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: September 19, 1965
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: North Charleston, South Carolina North Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.

 14 Diane Abbott

Diane Abbott
5
Famous As: Former Shadow Home Secretary
Birthdate: September 27, 1953
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paddington, London, England, United Kingdom

 15 Yoweri Museveni

Yoweri Museveni
4
Famous As: President of Uganda (Since 1986)
Birthdate: September 15, 1944
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ntungamo, Uganda

Ugandan politician, Yoweri Museveni, has been serving as the president of Uganda since 1986. He played a key role in a series of rebellions that overpowered Ugandan political leaders Idi Amin and Milton Obote before capturing power in the 1980s. Under his presidency, Uganda has achieved significant success in fighting HIV/AIDS. The country has also experienced relative peace under Museveni.

 16 Elijah Cummings

Elijah Cummings
6
Famous As: Former United States Representative
Birthdate: January 18, 1951
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Died: October 17, 2019

Elijah Cummings was an important and influential American politician and advocate of civil rights. Such was his impact on American politics that after his death, he became the first black lawmaker to be honored with a state funeral at the United States Capitol. His official funeral was attended by personalities like Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton.

 17 Loretta Lynch

Loretta Lynch
6
Famous As: Former Attorney General of the United States
Birthdate: May 21, 1959
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Greensboro, North Carolina, United States

 18 Seretse Khama

Seretse Khama
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: July 1, 1921
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Serowe, Botswana
Died: July 13, 1980

 19 John Lewis

John Lewis
10
Famous As: Former United States Representative
Birthdate: February 21, 1940
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Alabama, United States
Died: July 17, 2020

Popularly known as one of the Big Six—leaders of six important civil rights organizations who masterminded the Great March on Washington in 1963—John Lewis played an important role in the civil rights movement that eventually ended racial segregation in the US. Also a statesman, Lewis was honored with many awards, such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 20 Muhammadu Buhari

Muhammadu Buhari
10
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: December 17, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Daura, Nigeria

Muhammadu Buhari is a Nigerian politician and the current president of Nigeria. Since becoming the president, Buhari has introduced many social welfare programs that address unemployment and poverty. The programs were mainly introduced to help increase economic development in the country.

 21 Uhuru Kenyatta

Uhuru Kenyatta
6
Famous As: President of Kenya
Birthdate: October 26, 1961
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Nairobi

The incumbent Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta is the leader of the Jubilee Party of Kenya. Son of Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, he was dragged into a controversy after sweeping the 2017 re-elections by winning 98% of the total votes. However, a Supreme Court ruling dismissed all charges against him.

 22 Emmerson Mnangagwa

Emmerson Mnangagwa
4
Famous As: President of Zimbabwe (Since 2017)
Birthdate: September 5, 1942
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Zvishavane, Zimbabwe
Nicknamed The Crocodile, the current Zimbabwean president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has been one of the harshest rulers his country has seen. Roughly 20,000 people lost their lives during his tenure as the security minister in the 1980s. Once Mugabe’s right hand, he later fell out with him and launched a coup.

 23 John Conyers

John Conyers
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: May 16, 1929
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Highland Park, Michigan, United States
Died: October 27, 2019

 24 Allen West

Allen West
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: February 7, 1961
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia (U.S. state) Georgia, U.S.

 25 Olusegun Obasanjo

Olusegun Obasanjo
5
Famous As: Former President of Nigeria
Birthdate: March 5, 1937
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Abeokuta, British Nigeria
Initially a teacher, Olusegun Obasanjo had joined the army as he could not afford college. The People’s Democratic Party leader became the military ruler of Nigeria in 1976 but later handed over his powers to a democratic government. He also became the president 2 decades later. 

 26 Eldridge Cleaver

Eldridge Cleaver
5
Birthdate: August 31, 1935
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wabbaseka, Arkansas
Died: May 1, 1998

 27 Goodluck Jonathan

Goodluck Jonathan
4
Famous As: President of Nigeria
Birthdate: November 20, 1957
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ogbia

Initially a teacher, Nigerian former president Goodluck Jonathan, boasts of a PhD in zoology and has also headed an oil-oriented government agency. He plunged into politics with the PDP, and his tenure as the president witnessed major acts of terror by the jihadist group Boko Haram.

 28 Kevin Johnson

Kevin Johnson
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: March 4, 1966
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, United States

 29 Thabo Mbeki

Thabo Mbeki
4
Famous As: Politician, Economist
Birthdate: June 18, 1942
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Transkei

Thabo Mbeki is a South African politician who is currently serving as the chancellor of the University of South Africa. From 1999 to 2008, he served as the president of South Africa. During his tenure as the president, the South African economy grew, creating employment opportunities. Over the years, he has received several awards, including the prestigious Good Governance Award.

 30 Michael Steele

Michael Steele
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: October 19, 1958
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland
Michael Steele was the first African-American to chair the Republican National Committee, from 2009 to 2011. He has also worked with MSNBC, Fox News, and the online magazine The Root. He was the lieutenant governor of Maryland, from 2003 to 2007, and a partner at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae.

 31 James Enos Clyburn

James Enos Clyburn
4
Famous As: House Majority Whip since 2019, United States Representative since 1993
Birthdate: July 21, 1940
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sumter, South Carolina, United States

 32 Idi Amin

Idi Amin
7
Famous As: 3rd President of Uganda, Politician
Birthdate: 1925 AD
Birthplace: Koboko, Uganda
Died: August 16, 2003
Idi Amin started his career as a cook with the British colonial army of Uganda and became an army commander later. After deposing the Ugandan president, he declared himself the president. The “Butcher of Uganda” was known for his despotic rule and was responsible for almost 500,000 deaths.

 33 Lynn Swann

Lynn Swann
4
Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: March 7, 1952
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Alcoa, Tennessee, USA

 34 Canaan Banana

Canaan Banana
4
Famous As: Former President of Zimbabwe
Birthdate: March 5, 1936
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Esigodini
Died: November 10, 2003

Canaan Banana was a Zimbabwean politician, theologian, and Methodist minister. In 1980, Banana became the first president of Zimbabwe, a position which he held until 1987. Ten years later, he made the headlines when he was involved in a highly publicized trial after being accused of being a homosexual. He served six months in prison after being convicted of sodomy.

 35 Andrew Young Jr.

Andrew Young Jr.
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: March 12, 1932
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Andrew Young Jr. is an American activist, politician, and diplomat. Young is best known for his role in the civil rights movement; a close associate of Martin Luther King Jr., Andrew Young served as the executive director of a civil rights organization called Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Andrew Young is a recipient of the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 36 Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
9
Famous As: 7th Director-General of the World Trade Organization
Birthdate: June 13, 1954
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ogwashi Ukwu, Nigeria

 37 Barbara Jordan

Barbara Jordan
4
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: February 21, 1936
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Houston
Died: January 17, 1996

 38 Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo

Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
4
Famous As: 2nd President of Equatorial Guinea
Birthdate: June 5, 1942
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Acoacán, Equatorial Guinea

 39 Raila Odinga

Raila Odinga
3
Famous As: Former Prime Minister of Kenya
Birthdate: January 7, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Maseno

Raila Odinga is a Kenyan politician who has been the Leader of Opposition since 2013. From 2008 to 2013, Odinga served as the prime minister of Kenya. Before becoming the prime minister, Raila Odinga served as the Minister for Roads, Public Works, and Housing. At the African Union Commission in 2018, he was appointed High Representative for Infrastructure Development.

 40 Daniel arap Moi

Daniel arap Moi
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: September 2, 1924
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sacho, Kenya
Died: February 4, 2020

 41 Oliver Tambo

Oliver Tambo
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: October 27, 1917
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mbizana Local Municipality
Died: April 24, 1993

Oliver Tambo was a South African revolutionary and politician who played an important role in the anti-apartheid movement alongside Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu. In 1943, he helped found the ANC Youth League and later served as the African National Congress' president. He is also remembered for organizing several guerilla units that facilitated attacks against the apartheid state.

 42 Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe

Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe
4
Famous As: First President of Nigeria
Birthdate: November 16, 1904
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Zungeru, Nigeria
Died: May 11, 1996

Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe was a Nigerian political leader and statesman. From 1963 to 1966, Azikiwe served as the first president of Nigeria. Often referred to as the Father of Nigerian Nationalism, Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe played an important role in Nigeria's struggle for independence. He is also credited with establishing the University of Nigeria (UNN).

 43 José Eduardo dos Santos

José Eduardo dos Santos
4
Famous As: President of Angola (1979-2017)
Birthdate: August 28, 1942
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Luanda, Angola

José Eduardo dos Santos is an Angolan politician. Having served as the president of Angola from 1979 to 2017, dos Santos is Africa's second-longest-serving president. An influential and powerful man, dos Santos also served as the Angolan Armed Forces' commander in chief throughout his presidency. In 2014, he was named Man of the Year by Africa World magazine.  

 44 Siad Barre

Siad Barre
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: October 6, 1919
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bardhere, Italian Somalia
Died: January 2, 1995

Somali military general Siad Barre became the country’s president after overthrowing the existing republic in 1969. His dictatorial rule witnessed the imposition of “Scientific Socialism” and a new Roman alphabet. He was forced into exile in Nigeria after a rebellion ousted him from power and launched a civil war.

 45 Mia Love

Mia Love
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: December 6, 1975
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: nowrap New York City, New York (state) New York, U.S.

 46 Herman Cain

Herman Cain
16
Famous As: Businessperson
Birthdate: December 13, 1945
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Died: July 30, 2020

The son of a janitor and a domestic help, Herman Cain used his talent in math to join Purdue University. He had worked with the Navy and been an analyst for Coca-Cola. He later headed Pillsbury as its VP. He had announced his presidential candidacy in 2012 but later withdrew.

 47 Ibrahim Babangida

Ibrahim Babangida
5
Famous As: 8th President of Nigeria
Birthdate: August 17, 1941
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Minna, Nigeria

 48 Bola Tinubu

Bola Tinubu
4
Famous As: Accountant, Politician
Birthdate: March 29, 1952
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lagos State

 49 Alveda King

Alveda King
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: January 22, 1951
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia (U.S. state) Georgia, U.S.

 50 William Ruto

William Ruto
3
Famous As: Deputy President of Kenya
Birthdate: December 21, 1966
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Uasin Gishu County

William Ruto is a Kenyan politician and the current Kenyan deputy president. Between 6 and 8 October 2014, Ruto served as the acting president when President Uhuru Kenyatta was in the Netherlands at the International Criminal Court. Apart from being a politician, William Ruto also owns an interest in several real estate developments, including the Weston Hotel in Kenya.