Most Influential Black People


The Top Ten

1 Martin Luther King Jr Martin Luther King Jr Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement.

This guy is the reason behind the respect of any black man, without him Obama wouldn't have been president, and M. J wouldn't have been a singer.

Think carefully before you vote... this guy changed the WORLD! - DJZeezo

I LOVE this guy! For real! I used to listen to his speech I have a dream all the time. At one point, we where learning about it in class and where split up into groups. We where told to pick someone to read the speech to the rest of the speech and this one guy decided to go. The entire time I was pissing him off by saying the whole speech while he did it! LOL! - dipperpinesfangirl618

Michael jackson really? He's only a singer... This man changed the world and would have kept changing the world if not for his tragic death.

Best by far

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2 Nelson Mandela Nelson Mandela Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist, who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country's first black chief executive, and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election.

This man was a true genius, he fought for peace and remains in the heart of not only Africans but people all around the world. Michael Jackson inspired pop artists not precisely African Americans. He's only being voted at the top because of sympathy votes.

He was in my opinion greatest black man of new ages because he has done so much for his nation that no other black man has ever done. He sacrificed his own ego and kept his race and country at first instead of his own revenge, which made his country so powerful and united.

Not because I'm from his country but because this man of honor did not want any kind of oppression

He was soumd

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3 Malcolm X Malcolm X Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little and also known as el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, was an American Muslim minister and human rights activist.

The fact that Malcolm X isn't number one is sad. He told the unadulterated, politically incorrect truth about race in America. Whereas MLK talked about a dream, Malcolm preached the ugly reality. He encouraged Black people to learn their true history, be proud of who they are, and to rely on each other. He deserves every bit of the celebration and reverence that King gets.

Clarity of the affects of slavery on a group of enslaved Africans came from this master teacher. He gave African Americans consciousness of true "self worth". Studying his ideology dismiss one's perceived inferior complex manufactured from slavery in the U.S.

He and martin both believed in equal rights, but x was violent


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4 Barack Obama Barack Obama Barack Hussein Obama II served as the 44th president of the United States of America. He was elected in 2008 after serving in the Senate from 2005-08, beating John McCain and becoming the first African-American to be elected President of the United States. He was elected again in 2012, beating Mitt more.

Barack Obama is the greatest president of my life "i'm 30" his Health Care Act gave Healthcare to my father for $50 a month. He got the unemployment rate to the lowest it's almost ever been he also save the economy after Bush destroyed it in 2008. And this is coming from a liberal.

I don't like Barrack Obama. I dislike him because he is reposible for doubling our national debt. He is also part of the reason why my dad needed a new job. Obamacare is one of the dumbest things ever. It made it so private practice can't thrive. My family was making it's way to the upper class. Now, we're lower middle class. Also, Obama care is only good if you're healthy and younger than 50. If you are 50 or over you're consider disposable.

He should be at the top! He is first African-American president of the United States!

Being the first black president doesn't mean he was influential. - Moorefamval

He lowered the unemployment rate to 4%, and broke a major color barrier.

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5 Michael Jackson Michael Jackson Michael Joseph Jackson was an American singer, dancer, and songwriter born on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana and passed away on June 25, 2009. He donated (at least) a remarkable 500,000,000 dollars to charity. Michael is also known as The King of Pop (a title given to him by Elizabeth Taylor) or under more.

It is said that he used his fortune amassed from his artistic success to donate over 300 million to charity, and supported around 39 charities. He and Lionel Richie wrote a song that was responsible for saving millions of lives in Africa during the deep famine in the 80's. His legacy is not just his music, it is the message of unity, love, and brother/sisterhood that will last for generations. He also substantially changed the face of popular music and video in America and the world, breaking racial barriers every step of the way. From the chitlin circuit to owning the most valuable music catalogue in the world, to breaking every musical record ever set, this man gave his all, and did it with humility and love.

Such an amazing man, full of passion and compisition. Even today his greatest hits can still be heard amongst the biggest radio stations across the world. With early fame an success he went on to continue to go from strength to strength with no1. singles such as "Thriller", "Man in the mirror", "Beat it" and such others.

Michael Jackson was the most famous human being on the planet for years of his life, he is undoubtedly the most influential black person of all time

His work and humanitarian contributions have influenced the world including me! He's such a great Inspiration..

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6 Rosa Parks Rosa Parks Rosa Louise McCauley Parks was an African American civil rights activist, whom the United States Congress called "the first lady of civil rights" and "the mother of the freedom movement".

I feel as if the fact that she did something about the segregation of blacks and whites back then is just the courage and pride in self that is needed on a daily basis, not to mention the fact that black women were also on they're own being overlooked by society.

She helped M.L. K and was the major push for the civil rights movement when she refused to give up her seat in the black section when then white section was full.

Utter bravery which contributed to a sea change.

She should 4th or more because unlike Malcolm X she did promote violence

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7 Muhammad Ali Muhammad Ali Muhammad Ali (January 17th 1942 - June 3rd 2016) was an American former professional boxer . He was generally considered among the greatest heavyweights in the history of the sport.

He was one of the greatest because he solely not only fight against his so many greats but also stood against the dictatorship of US government too and he kept his mind clean and thoughts too. He was the great boxer ever born and despite against all odds he always proved No. 1

Extremely wise & he never gave up!

He gave so many people confidence in themselves irrespective of what they were going through he just was honestly an ambassador of self worth that if you have love and confidence in yourself you can achieve your goals.

He is beautifal

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8 Oprah Winfrey Oprah Winfrey Oprah Gail Winfrey is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist.

Beaten and abused, Winfrey is one of the greatest talk show hosts of all time-she was even named the most paid female T.V. entertainer of 2010. She helps women all around the world with her Charities and she is one of the best talk show hosts to walk this earth.

Most people don't even understand the depth of why she has a channel called "OWN" and what she is telling you in that one word. Black people need to take heed to that.

Oprah is probably the most inspiring black woman of all time


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9 Bob Marley Bob Marley Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley was a Jamaican reggae singer, songwriter, musician, and guitarist who achieved international fame and acclaim.

Changed my views on the world, he also changed my thought process if I become successful he is partially to blame

He is a great icon! Live that man. He changed my views on this earth

He wrote songs about good things in life HE IS VERY POSITIVE

Very good artist

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10 Frederick Douglass Frederick Douglass Frederick Douglass was an African-American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman.

Frederick Douglass was really one of the first African Americans to stand up to the slavery institutions and degradations of the US. With his great intelligence and astute manner, he convinced many that his people deserved better. He really was the MLK of his day.

Read about this man if you don't understand he should be top10

Without fredrick, all those people above in the list might still be slaves, no offense. - wren6

Malcolm X and Martin Luther King JR would probably equate to what Frederick Douglas achieved in 19 th century. See his influence on Jefferson and Lincoln’s abolition laws then rate him. Surely in top 5.

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The Contenders

11 Tupac Shakur Tupac Shakur Tupac Amaru Shakur, also known as 2Pac, was an American rapper and actor born on June 16, 1971 in East Harlem, New York. Tupac sold over 75 million records worldwide and has been referred to in multiple major publications such as Rolling Stone as one of the greatest music artists of all time. 2Pac was more.

Songs like Keep Ya Head Up, Dear Mama, Brenda's Got A Baby, If My Homie Calls, Life Goes On, Changes, Letter 2 My Unborn Child, Lord Knows, I Wonder If Heaven's Got A Ghetto, Trapped, It Ain't Easy, Nothing To Lose, Holler If Ya Hear Me, the' Lunatic, So Many Tears and a lot of others are the perfect example of how this guy was a revolutionary, in the beginning Thug Life was a movement that 2Pac created that had several rules that helped a lot to reduce the rate of crime and murder in a lot of cities and prisons in the USA, the words and poems of this men help a lot of people, more than the best rapper ever he was a visionary with a great future, R.I.P. Tupac

He was so influential just listen to Brenda's got a Baby or Keep ya Head Up! Those were very Influential songs! Tupac's legacy is still shown today, and he is still making albums 15 years after his death.

He was really just an intelligent black man, self educated after dropping out of school and still being able to give poetic messages through to the public in his music knowing that media is the best way to have your voice heard, he really inspired more than just one generation.

Tupac is the best rapper on Earth and frankly he is basically the BLACK JESUS nobody asked for

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12 Bill Cosby Bill Cosby William Henry "Bill" Cosby, Jr., is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and author. more.

He is so god at them memes

Bill Cosby above Frederick Douglass. Lol - N4XUS

When Lisa Bonet wouldn't come out vigorously for him, that told me everything. Sad sad.

he's ok

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13 Michael Jordan Michael Jordan Michael Jeffrey Jordan, also known by his initials, MJ, is an American retired professional basketball player.

He is the most famous and respected black person every, who else on this list could be know by a image around the world?

Just a bit of a lad really

He slam dunk his way to black victory, nice one Mike.

Sonia loves this man

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14 Desmond Tutu
15 Bantu Steven Biko

Such a legend

16 Beyoncé Beyoncé Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, is an American singer and actress, who started out in the popular pop/r&b girl group Destiny's Child. They had multiple top 5 hits such as "No, No, No", "Say My Name", "Bills, Bills, Bills", "Survivor", "Independent Women", "Bootylicious", and "Jumpin', Jumpin" from more.

She is not a inspiration - micahisthebest

No she's not either

She is an inspiration

Lover her go queen bee

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17 Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe

The greatest South African ever, if only South African media was not controlled then the world would realize the influence and greatness of this Man. Ironically the man above him on the list used to call this man a god when he walked in a room.

18 Dr. Ben Carson

Amazing influence and example set by a black man trapped in poverty, who became one of the greatest surgeons ever, and specialized in saving children's lives. Haters need to check themselves.

Maybe as far as being a surgeon goes. Definitely not as a politician.

The "Historic Revisionists" love to tear him apart.


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19 Jackie Robinson Jackie Robinson Jack Roosevelt Robinson was an American professional baseball player who became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era.

First black player in the mlb!

His my boy!

20 Jimi Hendrix Jimi Hendrix Jimi Hendrix (born November 27, 1942 - September 18, 1970) was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter . Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated more.

Invented so many famous guitar licks without him half the riffs played by bands today would not exist.

He has influenced the some of the best guitarists in the world today - Jazzman

21 Tyler Perry Tyler Perry Tyler Perry is an American actor, playwright, and filmmaker. In 2011, Forbes listed him as the highest paid man in entertainment, earning $130 million USD between May 2010 and 2011.
22 Jay Z Jay Z Shawn Corey Carter, known by his stage name JAY-Z, is an American rapper, record producer, entrepreneur and investor born on December 4, 1969 in Brooklyn, New York. He is best known for his albums Reasonable Doubt, The Blueprint, and The Black Album. He is considered to be one of the best rappers of more.
23 Biggie Smalls Biggie Smalls Christopher George Latore Wallace, better known by his stage name, The Notorious B.I.G (a.k.a. Biggie Smalls), is consistently ranked as one of the best rappers of all time. The Notorious B.I.G was born May 21, 1972, he was born in Brooklyn, New York. At the age of 24 The Notorious B.I.G was murdered more.

He was a great rapper.

Bog eye in half

I love him

R.I.P KING OF New York

24 Rihanna Rihanna Robyn Rihanna Fenty is a Barbadian-American pop singer. Born in Saint Michael and raised in Bridgetown, she first entered the music industry by recording demo tapes under the direction of record producer Evan Rogers in 2003. She ultimately signed a recording contract with Def Jam Recordings after auditioning more.

She's not either

25 Louis Farrakhan

The greatest leader next to his teacher Elijah Muhammad in modern time

I'm not a Muslim but I think he is the best scholar of all time

A very outspoken and truthful person...


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26 Whitney Houston Whitney Houston Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer, actress, producer, and model. In 2009, Guinness World Records cited her as the most awarded female act of all time. Houston is one of pop music's best-selling music artists of all-time, with an estimated 170–200 more.

Real Lady
Real Diva
Real Singer -

Need to move up to about #6

27 Paul Kagame

Proudly Rwandan and African!

28 Kwame Nkrumah

He is idealist and he thinks the black people are capable of managing their own affairs. He also of a holistic independence for all continent. He is a real legend.

He is idealist and he thinks black people are capable of managing their own affairs. He also think of a holistic independent for all oppressed continent..

He helped int he fighting for independence for the African Continent at larege. This man is a true hero

This man won the times africa’s Millennium man award over Nelson Mandela, he will always be top 5 among influential black people

29 Will Smith Will Smith Willard Carroll "Will" Smith, Jr. is an American actor, comedian, producer, rapper, and songwriter. He is best known for his acting career overall. He has been in many popular movies, These include, but are not limited to, the Men in Black franchise, The Pursuit of Happyness, and After Earth. He is more.

He's a pop culture icon... one of the first rappers to come up and not swear and not only that but giving mostly black kids and kids in general a feeling of collective understanding that "parents just don't understand"

Saved the world three times and defeated the zombies in New york


He should be #1

30 LeBron James LeBron James LeBron Raymone James is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. LeBron has played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and the Lakers.

A lot of people dislike him (for no reason) but LeBron is a great dude he gave Miami two rings and hopefully he'll give Cleveland at least one - 9713524179

He's thinks he's the best player in NBA when he's not

31 Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant Kobe Bean Bryant is an American retired professional basketball player. He played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. Kobe Bryant has won 5 NBA championships with the Lakers and is the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history.
32 Jomo Kenyatta

Kenya's 1st President, lead in struggle for independence for Kenya and other African countries

33 Chuck Berry Chuck Berry Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. He died on 18 March 2017.

He is so jazzy

34 Morgan Freeman Morgan Freeman Morgan Freeman (born June 1, 1937) is an American actor and narrator. Freeman won an Academy Award in 2005 for Best Supporting Actor with Million Dollar Baby (2004), and he has received Oscar nominations for his performances in Street Smart (1987), Driving Miss Daisy, The Shawshank Redemption and Invictus. more.

Morgan freeman is like a god

35 Kendrick Lamar Kendrick Lamar Kendrick Lamar Duckworth (born June 17, 1987) is an American rapper and songwriter. Raised in Compton, California, Lamar embarked on his musical career as a teenager under the stage name K-Dot, releasing a mixtape that garnered local attention and led to his signing with indie record label Top Dawg more.

K dot u deserve to be higher than Ben Carson - 9713524179

One of the best rappers on the 21st century.big up king kendrick aka king kunta

Honestly one of the most socially, political and economically conscious rappers alive right now. the elegance in which he puts issues that clearly are gripping not only America but the entire world... from slavery to how black lives don't seem to matter in modern times. he really is good.

36 Samuel L. Jackson Samuel L. Jackson Samuel Leroy Jackson is an American actor and film producer. He achieved prominence and critical acclaim in the early 1990s with films such as Jungle Fever, Patriot Games, Amos & Andrew, True Romance, Jurassic Park and his collaborations with director Quentin Tarantino including Pulp Fiction, Jackie more.

For God's sake, he's one of the finest black actors EVER!

I'm sorry did I break yo concentration? - 9713524179

37 Nicki Minaj Nicki Minaj Nicki Minaj is a Trinidadian American rapper/pop music artist. Nicki is most known for songs like "Anaconda", "Only", "Truffle Butter", "Super Bass" and "Stupid Hoe" . Her real name is Onika Tanya Maraj. She was born on December 8, 1982 in Saint James Trinidad and Tobago. more.

I'm all for nicki minaj and I really like her sons and voice but I can't believe it has actually cme to that she is an inspiration

38 Colin Kaepernick Colin Kaepernick Colin Rand Kaepernick (born November 3, 1987) is an American football quarterback who is currently a free agent. Kaepernick played college football at the University of Nevada, where he was named the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Offensive Player of the Year twice. After graduating, he was selected more.
39 Denzel Washington Denzel Washington Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. is an American actor and filmmaker. He has received three Golden Globe awards, a Tony Award, and two Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor for the historical war drama film Glory and Best Actor for his role as a corrupt cop in the crime thriller Training Day.
40 W. E. B. Du Bois
41 Colin Powell

Should be top 20, becoming a four star general means devoting a majority of your life to serve this country and that's no easy feat.

42 Nat Turner
43 Kerry Washington Kerry Washington
44 Robert Johnson Robert Johnson Robert Leroy Johnson was an American blues singer-songwriter and musician. His landmark recordings in 1936 and 1937 display a combination of singing, guitar skills, and songwriting talent that has influenced later generations of musicians.
45 Ray Charles Ray Charles Ray Charles Robinson, professionally known as Ray Charles, was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and composer.

He wrote songs that are modern classic not one musical person or person in general doesn't the late great Ray Charles

46 Roberto Clemente Roberto Clemente

Roberto Clemente was NOT African American. He was 100% Puerto Rican. Get your facts straight

Puerto Ricans are a mix melting pot. They have African, European and Indian ancestry. I am Puerto Rican and we consider ourselves Latinos yes. Yet Clemente has Afro features. There is a huge American influence in PR and Puerto Rico is currently a U.S. territory. So think about how Clemente could be identified as African-American. And guess what? Rihanna is on this list and no one is saying she is "not" African American or not black and she is born and raised in Barrbaidos, in the carribean sea where many people are mixed too.

47 Lil Wayne Lil Wayne Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. is an American hip hop artist and is often referred to as one of the worst rappers of all time. He was signed to Cash Money Records by Birdman at a young age. Before he became a household name and the artist he is today, he was 1 quarter of the southern rap group The Hot Boys, more.

Most inspirational rapper. Helped many rappers of today such as: Eminem, Tupac Shakur, Biggie Smalls, Nas, Fat people

Best rapper of his time

48 Condoleezza Rice Condoleezza Rice
49 P.K Subban

pk subban

50 Marvin Gaye Marvin Gaye Marvin Gaye was an American singer, songwriter, and musician, and is regarded as one of the greatest singers of all time.

This man was more than just a great singer, his music was more than just a song, & he will always be cherished as a great among black men!


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List Stats

2,000 votes
219 listings
8 years, 269 days old

Top Remixes

1. Bantu Steven Biko
2. Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe
3. Nelson Mandela
1. Martin Luther King Jr
2. Nelson Mandela
3. Malcolm X
1. Martin Luther King Jr
2. Nelson Mandela
3. Malcolm X


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