10 Young, Positive Black Actresses

As we can all agree, many of the up and coming black actresses of today have fallen victim to objectifying themselves in movies and the media. While their talents are undeniable and we (as adults) are able to differentiate acting from real life, I personally do not want my daughters being subconsciously inspired by the oversexed characters some of our black women are left to portray in movies today. So after much contemplation and three hours of research & networking, my 13 year old daughter and I compiled a list of prominent, young, African American actresses who have had moderate to extreme success and (thus far) have kept their images in good standing. My daughter listed them in order of her preference and I’d would like to share our findings with you…


10) Rhyon Nicole Brown

DOB: 10/6/1992

Debuted: 1999

Did You Know: Rhyon has been acting since she was 4 and is the middle child of three

Seen on:  Santa & Pete, That’s So Raven, Judging Amy, Lincoln Heights, In Plain Sight, 7th Heaven, Numb3rs, The Adventures of Brer Rabbit, Earthquake, One on One, Two and A Half Men, ER, Boston Public, Hidden Hills, The Ellen Show, My Wife & Kids, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Geena Davis Show, Providence and Get Rich or Die Tryin’

Destiny9) Destiny Edmond

DOB: 12/20/1990

Debuted: 2003

Did You Know: Wears glasses or contacts

Seen on: Dragnet, The District, Judging Amy, ER, The Tracy Morgan Show, Woman Thou Art Loosed, That’s So Raven, Everybody Loves Raymond, Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide, Marilyn Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dancing & Charm School, Hannah Montana and Lincoln Heights

Sahara8.) Sahara Garey

DOB: 6/5/1991

Debuted: 2004

Did You Know:

Seen on: Seen, American Dreams, Joe Willie’s Friend, The Shield, Akeelah and the Bee, That’s So Raven, Everybody Hates Chris, Eleventh Hour and This Bitter Earth (in production)


7) Sydney Park

DOB: 10/31/1997

Debuted: 2005

Did You Know: “Syd the Kid” rites her own comedy material with her Mom from real life experiences

Seen on: The Tom Joyner Show – Big Break, America’s Got Talent, Entertainmentstudios.com w/ Byron Allen, The Cutting Edge: Going for the Gold, That’s So Raven, Chelsea Lately, My Genie, The Hill, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Entourage, Hannah Montana, Spork (in production)


6) Willow Smith

DOB: 10/31/2000

Debuted: 2007

Did You Know: Is the only daughter of Will & Jada Pinkett Smith

Seen on: Kid’s Choice Awards (presenter), Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (Baby Gloria’s voice), I Am Legend, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl , Entertainment Tonight, Testing True, and Amulet (in production)


5) Camille Winbush

DOB: 2/9/1990

Debuted: 1994

Did You Know: Owns an ice cream parlor in Pasadena California and is a gymnast!

Seen on: Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, Eraser, Dangerous Minds, Criminal Minds, That’s Life, The Norm Show, NYPD Blue, Any Day Now, Geppetto, Grey’s Anatomy, ER, Strong Medicine, The Tangerine Bear: Home in Time for Christmas, Dinosaur, Recess, The Ladies Man, 7th Heaven, Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper, Minor Adjustments, CBS Schoolbreak Special, Viper, Larry king Live, The Sharon Osbourne Show, NAACP Image Awards, The Bernie Mac Show, The Secret Life of the American Teenager and more!


4) Kyla Pratt

DOB: 9/1986

Debuted: 1995

Did You Know: Kyla is member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. & attends Hamilton Academy of Music

Seen on: Caramel (in production), Dr. Dolittle: Million Dollar Mutts, Hotel for Dogs, Dr. Dolittle: Tail to the Chief, Hell on Earth, One on One, Dr. Dolittle 3, The Proud Family Movie, The Proud Family, Lilo & Stitch: The Series, Fat Albert, Veronica Mars, The Seat Filler, Lizzie McGuire, Dr. Dolittle 2, Strong Medicine, Moesha, The Hughleys, Love & Basketball, The Parkers, The Parent ‘Hood, Jackie’s Back!, So Weird, Lost, Becker, Any Day Now, Smart Guy, Doctor Dolittle, Barney’s Great Adventure,  The Pretender, Mad City, Walker, Texas Ranger, A Walton Easter, Family Matters, Riot, Friends, Touched by an Angel, Public Morals, ER, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Sisters, In the House, The Show, Living Single, The Baby-Sitters Club, Dr. Phil, BET Awards, Super Short Show/The Proud Family Movie/That’s So Raven: Raven’s House Party, Express Yourself, HBO First Look – The Making of ‘Dr. Dolittle 2, Sister, Sister, Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards ’99, The Rosie O’Donnell Show & more!


3) Raven Symone

DOB: 12/1985

Debuted: 1989

Did You Know: The city of Winnfield declared December 20 as Raven-Symoné Day & is a producer.

Seen on: Tinker Bell: A Midsummer Storm (in production), Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure (post-production), Tinker Bell, American Dad!, College Road Trip, That’s So Raven, Kim Possible, Cory in the House,  Raven-Symoné: Raven’s Postcards from Spain, Everyone’s Hero, The Cheetah Girls 2, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, That’s So Raven: Raven’s Makeover Madness, For One Night, That’s So Raven: Disguise the Limit, Kim Possible: So the Drama, Higglytown Heroes, The Cheetah Girls, Fat Albert, That’s So Raven: Supernaturally Stylish, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, Zenon: Z3, Fillmore! Kim Possible: A Sitch in Time, Kim Possible: The Secret Files, The Cheetah Girls, The Proud Family, My Wife and Kids, Dr. Dolittle 2, Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child , The Princess and the Pauper, Zenon: Girl of the 21st Centur, Doctor Dolittle, Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper, The Little Rascals, Queen, Blindsided, The Cosby Show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Muppets at Walt Disney World, ABC TGIF,  A Different World, Today Show, An Evening of Stars: Tribute to Patti LaBelle, Progressive Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular, Good Hair, The Morning Show with Mike & Juliet, The Bonnie Hunt Show, Celebrity Family Feud, WrestleMania XXIV,  Entertainment Tonight, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Phenomenon, NAACP Image Awards, Biography, Dear Santa, Cheetah Tips! How to Be Cheetah-licious,  Showbiz Tonight, Good Morning America, Stadium of Fire, Totally Suite New Year’s Eve, MADtv, Teen Choice Awards 2005, Disney 411, Punk’d, Inside Dish with Rachael Ray, Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Total Request Live, BET Comedy Awards, MTV Video Music Awards 2004, The Teen Choice Awards 2004, On the Set: The Princess Diaries 2 – Royal Engagement, The Cheetah Girls: Behind the Spots, Motown 45, Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards ’04, Weakest Link, E! True Hollywood Story, VH-1 Where Are They Now?, 25th NAACP Image Awards, Soul Train Comedy Awards, Muhammad Ali’s 50th Birthday Celebration, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Comic Relief IV, The Chipmunks: Rockin’ Through the Decades, Night of 100 Stars III, The Earth Day Special and more!


2) KeKe Palmer

DOB: 8/1993

Debuted: 2004

Did You Know: KeKe’s legal name is Lauren Keyana Palmer

Seen on: Oreo (in production), Vapors, (in production), True Jackson, VP, Madea Goes to Jail, Shrink, Unstable Fables: Tortoise vs. Hare, The Longshots, Cleaner,  House of Payne, Jump In!, Madea’s Family Reunion, Akeelah and the Bee, Knights of the South Bronx, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, ER, Second Time Around, Keke & Jamal, The Wool Cap,  Strong Medicine, Cold Case, Barbershop 2: Back in Business, The Teen Choice Awards 2009, The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, BET Awards 2009, 2009 MTV Movie Awards, The Bonnie Hunt Show, The Jace Hall Show, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, Rachael Ray, The 40th NAACP Image Awards, Kids’ Inaugural: We Are the Future, Entertainment Tonight, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, 6ABC Boscov’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Teen Choice Awards 2007, 38th NAACP Image Awards, Sing-Along Bowl-Athon, New Year Sing-A-Long Bowl-A-Thon!, The 2006 Black Movie Awards, The Early Show, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, 106 & Park Top 10 Live, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The 57th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, 36th NAACP Image Awards, 11th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards and more!


1) Rae’Ven Larrymore Kelly

DOB: 6/1985

Debuted: 1992

Did You Know: She was High School Valedictorian & is an Aids Education Advocate

Seen on: The Rogue (pre production), Preacher’s Kid, Genius in Heels, Tournament of Dreams, Hannah Montana, Good Girls Don’t…, Even Stevens, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Flossin, Cover Me: Based on the True Life of an FBI Family, Odessa, City of Angels, Freedom Song, Any Day Now, Milo, Blossoms and Veils, Maximum Bob, The Last Weekend, Ms. Scrooge, The Ditchdigger’s Daughters, Ghosts of Mississippi,  The Sentinel, A Time to Kill, ER, America’s Dream, How to Make an American Quilt, Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child, Touched by an Angel, Lily in Winter, Roseanne, Sweet Justice, Roc, Monty, I’ll Fly Away: Then and Now, Living Single, What’s Love Got to Do With It, Class of ’61, I’ll Fly Away, Dead Presidents, The Still Life and more!

Extra Credit: Academics as a College National Dean’s List student, active member of a State of California Honor Society and an International Honor Society, Community Service Support to Pediatric Aids Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Has been a Guest Speaker and lecturer at Florida A&M University, Spelman College, Pepperdine University, Winston-Salem Staye University, Wake Forest University. College Honors: National Dean’s List Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society Alpha Gamma Sigma Honors Society High School Honors: Nation Honor Roll Student Who’s Who Among American High School Students Voted Most Likely to Succeed by High School Faculty & Student Honors Graduate of Sunland Christian High School!


Also, please visit the YBS blog for more info on the up and coming young, African American stars of tomorrow:


About Queen Unique

Involved Parent/PTA Member Connoisseur of SOUL Music Lover of ALL things BLACK Poet/Spoken Word Artist Nostalgic Hip Hop head Graphic Artist/Painter Online Radio Hostess Motivational Speaker Habitual Hair Braider Freelance Journalist Random Twitter-er Selective Blogger Published Author Youth Volunteer Choosey Lover Autism Activist Visual Artist Bookworm See full bio at: www.QueenUnique.com
This entry was posted in Advocating for Kids, All Things Parenting, Black History, Entertainment, For OUR Daughters, Girl Power, Things I Love. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to 10 Young, Positive Black Actresses

  1. Tareyah says:

    Great post! Another who would fit well on this list is Jurnee Smollett!

    Thank you very much for posting our link. 🙂

  2. Secquil says:

    They are all very talented and very beautiful
    there were only two i didn’t recognize….great post!

  3. Tru-Dru says:

    I love the list, but I think that Raven-Symone should be #1 she is the Highest Achiever, and is the Legendary one on there…I never heard of the one you have as your most Favourite though until now.

    • Queen Unique says:

      Thanks Tru-Dru, I appreciate the comment & your viewing the blog! As I mentioned at the intro, my 13yo daughter listed these in order of her preferences. Rae’Ven was not selected as #1 based solely on popularity alone but a combination of charity works that happen to be parallel to those which my daughter has interest, her academic achievements & advocacy which in all are above & beyond. Thanks!

  4. Tru-Dru says:

    Raven-symone”s Charities: CMN, ARC, UNCF, UNICEF….Raven has done more than even I can count, and you are welcome.

    • Queen Unique says:

      Again, I assume maybe you didn’t notice I indicated this is a blog listing my daughter’s and my opinion, Tru-Dru. You’re more than welcome to create your own. Thanks for your comment. Be blessed.

  5. Wow. Great post! I didn’t even know about half of these young women.

  6. Eb says:

    KeKe Palmer is my favorite…She has consistently presented her self in a positive light and I love her energy. I hoping she can transition into an adult actress and do well.

  7. I am totally impressed! It’s great to see some of them going after their education.

  8. Mello says:

    Thank you! Everyone on this list is great in some way or another. But I have one problem. Even though these young ladies or handling themself, the roles that they play in always seems to have them come off loud or ” ghetto”. But it is always nice to know who and how many there are.

  9. Great story gotta love it!

    Here’s a new Talent Video Website you may like as well.
    U Got Talent . TV

  10. Fleurzty says:

    Such beautiful girls and young women! I love their energy and admire their passion!

  11. Jamil Usman says:

    Actually they are great girls with high IQ!

  12. Kerena says:

    I love the list above. They are really good actresses but I think these girls are always slept on. Google for their pictures.

    Here are Young Black Actresses also
    1. Paige Hurd
    2. Keshia Knight Pulliam
    3. Drew Sidora
    4. Tia nd Tamera Mowry
    5. Jordan Puryear
    6. Khadijah and Malika
    7. Shanica Knowles
    8. Regine Nehy
    9. Tiffany Hines

    • neosoleluva says:

      Hi Kerena,

      thanks for the other names. I have been looking for an update on this actress that appeared in a lot of black sitcoms. The best way I can describe her is her hair was usually in a ponytail, dark-skinned, tall, slim, and usually played the mean girl. That girl was everywhere! If anyone knows who I may be talking about, could you list the names please. Thanks a lot. Keep in mind she is probably mid twenties to thirties by now.

  13. Angela Burns says:

    It’s about time for a list to be compiled. Thanks!

  14. Don’t forget Shenell Edmonds so well-spoken for a 16 year old girl.

  15. Richard says:

    I think i love keke palmer and kyla pratt. They have carved a niche for themselves for every role they’ve been given. Way to go Girls!!!

  16. jaffieddu says:

    this is a gret post!

  17. Karizma Rose says:

    I am going to make this list someday! I yearn to help young girls like me feel as though they can do anything they set their minds to. Confidence is everything (Believe in Yourself)!

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