By Savannah Lopez
Blog Content Contributor
Since it is Black History Month, it is definitely time to recognize some of the most talented, up and coming African American actors of our generation. They are criminally underrated and long overdue for some recognition.
Caleb McLaughlin, who most people will know from his role as Lucas in the television show “Stranger Things.” He has starred in “Stranger Things” since 2016, but he has been acting since 2012. His first role was on Broadway as a young Simba in “The Lion King.” Being on “Stranger Things” has helped his career flourish, and recently he has been cast in three new movies. I am excited to watch his performance in them.
Letitia Wright portrays Shuri in the “Black Panther” movies. She has been acting since 2011, but her breakout role was “Black Panther” in 2018. She has won a NAACP Image Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and Teen Choice Awards for the movie. Rightfully so, her performances in the Marvel franchise thus far have been phenomenal. I can’t imagine the number of awards she will win throughout her life.
Daniel Kaluuya is a lot more well-known than the other actors on this list, but he has been acting the longest. His most notable works have been the movies he has done with African American director Jordan Peele including, “Get Out” and “Nope.” “Get Out” is what some people consider Daniel’s breakout role, even though he’s been acting since 2006, and that movie came out in 2017. I would say it is one of his best acting performances, but he has so many other well-known roles that people don’t appreciate. He has recently booked another Marvel role (he had a supporting role in “Black Panther”) as Spider-Punk in “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.” He has won an Oscar, a Golden Globe, two BAFTAS, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. I would expect nothing less as he is one of the greatest actors of this generation.
Storm Reid made her acting debut in a supporting role in “12 Years a Slave”. Her most notable work to date is Gia, Rue’s younger sister, in the television show “Euphoria.” She is a very young actress, but she gives very raw performances. Other works of hers include, “A Wrinkle in Time”, “The Suicide Squad” and “The Invisible Man.” These directors and producers clearly recognize her superb acting abilities. Most recently she is the star in a movie called “Missing,” which is on my watchlist!
Justice Smith has been in a lot of big-name movies, but he is severely overlooked, probably due to the fact that the movies he stars in are usually with other big name actors. Nonetheless, he is personally one of my favorite actors, my favorite movie of his being “All the Bright Places,” where he gave such a real and gut-wrenching performance. Other works of his include, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” “Pokémon Detective Pikachu” and “The Get Down”. He is also going to star in the new Dungeon and Dragons movie, which I cannot wait to watch.
Taylor Russell is another actress who has a lot of well-known works so far, but you can tell she is just getting started. Her most notable works are “Escape Room,” “Lost in Space” and “Words on Bathroom Walls.” She can give very good dramatic performances. In her most recent movie, “Bones and All,” she gave one of the best performances I have seen her give. I am excited to watch all her future projects.
This is just to name a few. There are so many African American actors that don’t get nearly as much recognition as they deserve. I hope the trend of African American actors getting nominated and winning more and more awards progresses even further in the future.
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