25 Black Actresses Under 40 You Need To Know

Twenty-five black actresses under 40, you should know, are Keke Palmer, Zoë Kravitz, Kat Graham, Skai Jackson, Amandla Stenberg, and many others who have expressed their acting prowess in various movies and have gained enormous fame. 

These actresses have had many years of experience acting and have won numerous awards for their work. Read on to learn more about these super-talented black actresses under 40 who have become a force to be reckoned with.

List of 25 Black Actresses Under 40 You Need To Know

  1. Amandla Stenberg
  • Date of Birth: October 23, 1998
  • Age: 25 years old as of 2024
  • Nationality: American

Amandla Stenberg is one of the 25 black actresses under 40, and she doubles as a singer and model. She was born in Los Angeles, California, United States, on October 23, 1998, and is 25 years old as of 2024. The actress was born to a Danish father, Tom Stenberg, and Karen Brailsford, an African-American spiritual counselor and writer.

Amandla kicked off her career in showbiz as a child model for Disney. At 13, she debuted in the film Columbia as the younger version of Zoe Saldana. However, she had her breakthrough role in 2014 in The Hunger Games, where she starred as Rue. The actress has starred in various onscreen projects that have received positive remarks from critics.

Notable Movies:

  • Columbia
  • The Hunger Games
  • Beyoncé: Lemonade
  • Everything Everything
  • Let My Baby Stay

Awards Won:

  • NAACP Image Award
  • BET YoungStars Award for her role in Beyoncé: Lemonade

2. Zendaya Stoermer Coleman

  • Date of Birth: September 1, 1996
  • Age: 27 years old as of 2024
  • Nationality: American

Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman is an American actress and singer born in Oakland, California, United States, on September 1, 1996. The 27-year-old was born to Kazembe Ajamu Coleman and Claire Stoermer, both teachers. The actress developed a penchant for the arts at a young age, took part in school dances and plays, and eventually began performing at the California Shakespeare Theater in Orinda, California.

Subsequently, she took part in modeling gigs and released a couple of songs before making her professional debut in the superhero film Spider-Man: Homecoming as Michelle. She eventually had her breakthrough in the HBO series Euphoria, where she was cast as Rue. Zendaya has also appeared in various notable movies in which she received about thirty-six awards out of ninety-six nominations.

Notable Movies:

  • Euphoria
  • Dune
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home
  • Malcolm & Marie
  • The Greatest Showman

Awards Won:

  • Two-time Primetime Emmy Awards- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
  • BET Awards- Best Actress
  • Golden Globe Award as the Best Actress in a Television Series/Drama
  • Three-time Black Reel Awards
  • Seven-time Teen Choice Awards winner
  • Critics’ Choice Movie Awards- #SeeHer Award
  • Critics’ Choice Television Awards as the Best Actress in a Drama Series
  • Black Reel Awards
  • Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards
  • Three-time People’s Choice Awards
  • CDFA Fashion Awards
  • Critics’ Choice Celebration of Black Cinema Awards

3. Keke Palmer

  • Date of Birth: August 26, 1993
  • Age: 30 years old as of 2024
  • Nationality: American

Third on this list of 25 black actresses under 40 is Lauren Keyana Palmer, who is also a singer and television host. She was born on August 26, 1993, in Harvey, Illinois, United States, and is 30 years old as of 2024. She was born to Sharon and Lawrence Palmer, who once had a stint in acting. Currently, her father works for a polyurethane company, while her mother works as a high school teacher specializing in autistic children.

Prior to her big break in acting, she signed a recording deal with Atlantic Records. Her music genres include R&B, pop, and hip-hop, and she has recorded lots of music. Keke Palmer has three extended plays, three mixtapes, two albums, and many singles.

The actress’s journey into acting began as a child when she debuted in Barbershop 2: Back in Business. She later gained widespread fame for playing the titular character, Akeelah, in the film Akeelah and the Bee. Lauren Keyana Palmer has won a total of 16 awards so far out of 61 nominations.

Notable Movies:

  • Akeelah and the Bee
  • Jennifer Lopez: Halftime
  • Real Husbands of Hollywood
  • The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder
  • Madea’s Family Reunion, and more

Awards Won:

  • BET Awards
  • Black Reel Awards
  • New York Film Critics Circle Awards
  • Six-time NAACP Image Awards
  • New York Film Critics Circle Awards
  • Newport International Film Festival Awards
  • Primetime Emmy Awards and more
  • Young Artist Awards
  • Toronto Film Critics Association Awards
  • ShoWest Convention Awards

4. Yara Shahidi

  • Date of Birth:  February 10, 2000
  • Age: 24 years old as of 2024
  • Nationality: American

Yara Sayeh Shahidi is one of the 25 black actresses under 40, and she doubles as a producer. She was born on February 10, 2000, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the United States, and is 24 years old as of 2024. She was born to Keri Salter Shahidi and Afshin Shahidi, who is a photographer.

Kicking off a career in the movie industry as a child actor has helped many carve a niche in the sector, and Yara Sayeh Shahidi is one of them. She made her onscreen debut in television commercials for top brands at the age of six before bagging her first acting gig in the 2007 HBO comedy series Entourage.

Her breakthrough role in the comedy film Imagine That earned her a Young Artist Award nomination. One of the onscreen projects she is known for is the ABC comedy series Black-ish, for which she won an NAACP Image Award.

Yara Sayeh Shahidi has also appeared in other notable works that have earned her honors. The actress also has credit as a producer on the television shows, Grown-ish, and Hair Love. She is also a model, signed to New York’s Women Management modeling agency, and has been recognized for her work in the sector.

Notable Movies:

  • Imagine That
  • Black-ish
  • Peter Pan & Wendy
  • Grown-ish
  • Extrapolations
  • The Sun Is Also a Star

Awards Won:

  • NAACP Image Award- Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
  • BET Award for YoungStar

5. Coco Jones

  • Date of Birth:  January 4, 1998
  • Age: 26 years old as of 2024
  • Nationality: American

Courtney Michaela Jones is an American actress, songwriter, and singer. She was born in Columbia, South Carolina, United States, on January 4, 1998. The actress, who is 26 years old as of 2024 was born to Mike Jones, a former NFL player, and Javonda Jones, a session vocalist.

Courtney started her acting journey at the age of thirteen as a guest star on So Random!, a Disney Channel television series. Her breakthrough role was in Let It Shine, a television Disney movie where she starred as Roxie.

The actress is also a singer and songwriter and signed to Def Jams and Hollywood Records. She has released several albums, extended plays, mixtapes, and singles. Courtney Michaela Jones has won about three awards for her career and also has many other pending awards to be won.

Notable Movies:

  •  Let It Shine
  • Bel-Air
  • Vampires vs. the Bronx
  • Flock of Four
  • Disney Channel Summer Sing-Along

Awards Won:

  • Give Her FlowHERS Awards- My Sister’s Keeper Award
  • 54th NAACP Image Awards- Outstanding New Artist
  • BET Awards- Best Actress

6. China Anne McClain

  • Date of Birth:  January 4, 1998
  • Age: 25 years old as of 2024
  • Nationality: American

China Anne McClain is an American actress and singer born in Decatur, Georgia, United States, on August 25, 1998., and is currently 25 years old. She was born to Michael McClain, a music producer, and Shontell, a songwriter and former screenwriter. The actress developed an interest in the arts at an early age and was urged to pursue it by a music executive after he heard her sing.

With her exceptional voice, she bagged her first acting role in the Christian drama film The Gospel. Her acting prowess earned her major acting gigs like Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, Daddy’s Little Girls, and more.

China Anne McClain is one of the 25 black actresses under 40 who speaks talents, as she also composes and sings songs. Some of her songs have been used in various films, like Exceptional in the Disney Channel series ANT Farm, Something Real in the movie How to Build a Better Boy, and more. Her song, Calling All the Monsters, made it to the Billboard Kids chart in 2011. It peaked at number 29 on the US Billboard 200 and at number 2 on the US Top Soundtracks.

Being an artist with a wealth of talents, it comes as no surprise that she has been able to earn awards and honors. 

Notable Movies:

  • Tyler Perry’s House of Payne
  • Hannah Montana
  • Hubie Halloween
  • Ten: Murder Island
  •  Blood Brother
  •  Madea’s Family Reunion

Awards Won :

  • Two-time NAMIC Vision Award- Best Performance Actress of Comedy
  • NAACP Image Awards- Outstanding Performance by a Youth

7. Serayah McHeill

  • Date of Birth: June 20, 1995
  • Age: 28 years old as of 2024
  • Nationality: American

Serayah Ranee McNeill is one of the 25 black actresses under 40. Also a singer and model, she was born on June 20, 1995, in Encinitas, California, United States, and is 28 years old as of 2024. She was born to Kanika McNeill and Joseph Eyres.

The actress made her acting debut in the American musical drama television series Empire as Tiana Brown, which was also her breakthrough role. She is also notable for appearing in The Black Mafia Family, an American crime television series.

Serayah Ranee McNeill’s talent has also made her find herself in the music sector. She began her music career by appearing in music videos before releasing her debut extended play in 2018, titled Addicted. As much as she has yet to win an award, she is still releasing songs and bagging onscreen roles.

Notable Movies:

  • Black Mafia Family
  • Empire
  • Kingdom Business
  • Hip Hop Family Christmas Wedding
  • Best Friend
  • The Sound of Christmas
  • Takeover
  • Wu-Tang: An American Saga

8. Kiki Layne

  • Date of Birth:  December 10, 1991
  • Age: 32 years old as of 2024
  • Nationality: American

Kiandra Layne is an American actress and model born in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States, on December 10, 1991, and is 32 years old as of 2024. The actress was born to Sandra Layne, who played a crucial role in her rise to fame. 

Kiki developed a passion for acting and an interest in arts at an early age but only began acting at 24 years old. She inked her first acting gig in 2015 in the American drama television series The Chi. The actress had her major break in acting in the romantic drama film If Beale Street Could Talk. Kiandra Layne has won two awards so far out of sixteen nominations.

Notable Movies:

  • If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Coming 2 America
  • Chip’ n Dale: Rescue Rangers
  • Don’t Worry Darling
  • The Old Guard

Awards Won:

  • Black Reel Awards- Outstanding Actress, Motion Picture
  • Women Film Critics Circle- Best Screen Couple

9. Storm Reid

  • Date of Birth: July 1, 2003
  • Age: 20 years old as of 2024
  • Nationality: American

Storm Reid is one of the 25 black actresses under 40 who started her career young. She was born on July 1, 2003, in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, and is 20 years old as of 2024. The actress was born to Robyn Simpson Reid and Rodney Reid, who raised her alongside her three siblings in Los Angeles.

Storm Reid was able to nurture her young dream of becoming an actress due to her supportive family, who moved to Los Angeles for her to accomplish it. At the age of nine, she made her onscreen debut in A Cross To Bear, a 2012 television film, but gained recognition for appearing as Meg Murry in A Wrinkle in Time. Though Storm has yet to bag an award, she has earned about four nominations.

Notable Movies:

  • Sleight
  • A Wrinkle in Time
  • Euphoria
  • When They See Us
  • Don’t Let Go
  • The Invisible Man
  • The Nun II

Awards:

  • Teen Choice Awards- Choice Fantasy Movie Actress (nominated)
  • NAACP Image Awards- Outstanding Breakthrough Role in a Motion Picture (nominated)
  • BET Awards- YoungStars Award (nominated)

10. Letitia Wright

  • Date of Birth: October 31, 1993
  • Age: 30 years old as of 2024
  • Nationality:  Guyanese-British 

Black Actresses Under 40

Letitia Wright is a Guyanese-British actress who began her career with guest roles in television series. The actress was born on October 31, 1993, in Georgetown, Guyana, and is 30 years old. She is the second child of her parents, whose identity is not known. 

Letitia Wright was raised in her home country before her family relocated to London, where she eventually kicked off her career after being inspired by Keke Palmer’s role in Akeelah and the Bee.

The actress’s first acting gig was in 2011 when she appeared in the series Top Boy. In that same year, Letitia Wright inked a role in two episodes of Holby City and had her major break in her first lead role in Urban Hymn. She has also appeared in other movies that have kept her on the list of many fans, like Black Mirror, Chasing Shadows, The Silent Twins, The Commuter, Small Axe, Doctor Who, and more.

The actor also has a play credit in The Convert, which was performed at London’s Young Vic Theatre. Letitia Wright has won about five awards so far out of twenty nominations for her exceptional acting skills.

Notable Movies:

  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • Guava Island
  • Black Panther
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Avengers: Endgame

Awards Won:

  • Two-time NAACP Image Awards- Outstanding Breakthrough Performance in a Motion Picture and Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance – Motion Picture
  • British Academy Film Awards- Rising Star Award
  • Black Reel Awards- Best Breakthrough Performance, Female
  • Teen Choice Awards- Choice Sci-Fi Movie Actress

11. Skai Jackson

  • Date of Birth: April 8, 2002
  • Age: 21 years old as of 2024
  • Nationality:  American

Skai Jackson is one of the 25 black actresses under 40 who began acting at an early age. The actress was born in New York City, United States, on April 8, 2002, and is 21 years old as of 2024. She was raised by her parents, Jacob Jackson and Kiya Kole, but she spent most of her growing years with her mother.

Skai Jackson marked her acting debut in the independent film Liberty Kid, where she starred as Destiny. She gained notoriety for starring as Zuri Ross in the Disney Channel sitcom Jessie. The actress also appeared in other onscreen projects that gained positive remarks from critics like Dora the Explorer, KC Undercover, Dancing with the Stars, Muppets Haunted Mansion, Sheroes, Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil, and more.

The actress has also appeared in Lil Nas X’s music video, Panini. Apart from her onscreen career, she has also authored Reach for the Skai: How to Inspire, Empower, and Clapback. Skai Jackson has been recognized for her acting prowess and has won an award out of three nominations.

Notable Movies:

  • Sesame Street
  • Jessie, Rescue Me
  • The Smurfs
  • My Dad’s a Soccer Mom
  • The Watsons Go to Birmingham

Awards Won:

  • Young Entertainer Awards as the Best Young Ensemble in a TV Series

12. Marsai Martin

  • Date of Birth:  August 14, 2004
  • Age: 19 years old as of 2024
  • Nationality: American

Caila Marsai Martin is an American actress and producer born in Plano, Texas, United States, on August 14, 2004, and is 19 years old as of 2024. The Texas native was born to Carol Martin and Joshua Martin, who are of African-American heritage. The actress developed an interest in entertainment at an early stage after her glamour pictures were used for a national commercial for Choice Hotel.

Caila Marsai Martin’s first acting project was in the ABC sitcom Black-ish, which also became her breakthrough role. Subsequently, she appeared in other movies that received positive remarks from critics, including PAW Patrol: The Movie, Amari And The Night Brothers, A Black Lady Sketch Show, Wild’ n Out, and more. She has also had other credits as a producer in Saturdays, Fantasy Football, and more. The actress has won twelve awards out of twenty-five.

Notable Movies:

  • Black-ish
  • Mixed-ish
  • Vampirina
  • Fun Mom Dinner
  • Little

Awards Won:

  • Nine-time NAACP Image Awards
  • Kidscreen Awards- Best Acting
  • Shorty Awards- Phenom Award Entertainment
  • BET Awards- YoungStars Award

13. Zazie Beetz

  • Date of Birth: June 1, 1991
  • Age: 32 years old as of 2024
  • Nationality:  German-American

Zazie Olivia Beetz is one of the 25 black actresses under 40 who started her acting career in community theaters and on local stages. She was born to Thomas Beetz, a cabinet maker, and Michelle, a social worker, on June 1, 1991, in Berlin, Germany, and is 32 years old as of 2024. 

She started her career with an appearance in the 2015 American drama film James White. However, she had her breakthrough role in 2016 in the American comedy-drama television series Atlanta. The actress has starred in various onscreen projects that have received positive remarks from critics, like Home Movie: The Princess Bride, History of the World, Part II, Margot vs. Lily, Bullet Train, Dead Pigs, and more. 

Notable Movies:

  • Geostorm
  • Nine Days
  • The Harder They Fall
  • Joker
  • Black Mirror
  • Invincible

Awards:

  • Emmy Award nomination as an Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

14. Dominique Fishback

  • Date of Birth: March 22, 1991
  • Age: 32 years old as of 2024
  • Nationality:  American

Dominique Fishback is one of the 25 black actresses under 40 who developed a penchant for acting when she was ten. She was born on March 22, 1991, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, and is 32 years old as of 2024. 

Meanwhile, her dream to become an actress came true at 23 years old, as she made her acting debut in 2014 in Subverted, an Off-Broadway play. She made her major professional onscreen debut in 2015 in Show Me a Hero, where she was cast as a single mother, Billie Rowan

Her breakthrough role was in The Deuce, where she played Darlene, a sweetly vulnerable prostitute. Dominique Fishback’s unique acting role has earned her two awards out of nineteen nominations.

Notable Movies:

  • The Deuce
  • Blue Bloods
  • Judas and the Black Messiah
  • The Hate U Give
  • The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder
  • Random Acts of Flyness

Awards Won:

  • African-American Film Critics Association Awards- Best Supporting Actress
  • Black Reel Awards- Outstanding Supporting Actress

15. Kiersey Clemons

  • Date of Birth: December 17, 1993
  • Age: 30 years old as of 2024
  • Nationality: American

Kiersey Nicole Clemons is an American actress and singer born on December 17, 1993, in Pensacola, Florida, United States. She made it to the list of 25 black actresses under 40, as she was born to African-American and white parents. 

The actress began acting in 2010, portraying the role of Danielle in two episodes of the television show Shake It Up. Subsequently, she starred in other movies like Cloud 9, Bucket & Skinner’s Epic Adventures, Good Luck Charlie, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, What’s Next for Sarah?, and Austin & Ally before gaining recognition.

Kiersey had her major break in 2015 after she played the role of Cassandra Andrews in Dope. She has also appeared in some music videos for top artists like Lady Gaga and DJ Snake ft. Bipolar Sunshine, and Trey Songz. So far, she has bagged four awards out of seven nominations for her acting prowess.

Notable Movies:

  • Transparent
  • BoJack Horseman
  • The Flash
  • Sweetheart
  • Michael Jackson’s Halloween
  • Lady and the Tramp
  • Red Bird Lane

Awards Won:

  • Black Reel Awards- Best Breakthrough Performance, Female
  • Atlanta Film Festival- Phoenix Award
  • Fantastic Fest- Best Actress

16. Lovie Simone

  • Date of Birth: November 29, 1998
  • Age: 25 years old as of 2024
  • Nationality: American

 

Lovie Simone Oppong is one of the 25 black actresses under 40 whose black roots are from both parents. She was born on November 29, 1998, in New York City, United States, to a Ghanaian father and an African-American mother. Her passion for acting saw her through an acting school in New York.

The actress started her onscreen appearances in a national commercial before eventually appearing in the Oprah Winfrey Network drama series Greenleaf as Zora Greenleaf. Her first film role was in the drama Monster, where she played a supporting role as Renee Pickford. Though Lovie Simone Oppong has yet to win an award, she has been nominated once.

Notable Movies:

  • Monster
  • Selah and the Spades
  • The Walk
  • 57 Seconds
  • Orange Is the New Black
  • Blue Bloods

17. Jaylen Barron 

  • Date of Birth: August 31, 1998
  • Age: 25 years old as of 2024
  • Nationality: American

Jaylen Barron is an American actress and singer born in Reno, Nevada, United States, on August 31, 1998. The 25-year-old was born to a Mexican father and an African American mother. She nurtured the dream of becoming an actress as a child but only embarked on it at fourteen. Jaylen Barron made her first onscreen appearance as Ashley Otton in the comedy-drama television series Bones and the American sitcom Shake It Up.

The actress had her breakthrough role in the comedy-drama Shamess, where she was cast as Dominique Winslow. As much as Jaylen Barron has yet to bag an award, she has appeared in many movie projects that have received positive remarks from critics.

Notable Movies:

  • Those Who Can’t
  • Free Rein: The 12 Neighs of Christmas
  • Blindspotting
  • Explosion Jones
  • Free Rein: Valentine’s Day

18. Raven Goodwin

  • Date of Birth: June 24, 1992
  • Age: 31 years old as of 2024
  • Nationality: American

Raven Shamira Goodwin is an American actress born on June 24, 1992, in Washington, DC, United States, to Rodney Goodwin and Rosalind Davis Goodwin. She launched her er acting career when she was nine years old in the comedy film Lovely & Amazing. The actress’s acting debut was a big hit and earned her recognition in the movie industry, paving the way for her to bag other notable roles.

She made it to this list of 25 black actresses under 40 following her outstanding talent and exceptional contribution to the movie industry. Raven Shamira Goodwin has yet to win an award, but she has been highly recognized for her work in the movie industry.

Notable Movies:

  • Abbott Elementary
  • Malcolm in the Middle
  • Good Luck Charlie, It’s Christmas!
  • The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel
  • Everybody Hates Chris
  • Snatched
  • All About Us

19. Ajiona Alexus

  • Date of Birth: March 16, 1996
  • Age: 27 years old as of 2024
  • Nationality: American

Ajiona Alexus Brown is one of the 25 black actresses under 40 whose talents extend to singing. She was born on March 16, 1996, in Tuskegee, Alabama, United States, and is 27 years old as of 2024. She was born to Ernest Brown, a music maker, and Tasha Brown, Ajionu’s supervisor. 

Ajiona Alexus Brown began her journey into acting at twelve, but gained fame for starring as the main cast in The Rickey Smiley Show.

As much as she has yet to bag an award for her acting prowess, she has gained widespread fame for her appearance in major movies. Meanwhile, Ajiona is also a talented singer with many music credits to her name. She has released two mixtapes, two singles, two promotional singles, and four music videos.

Notable Movies:

  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • Empire
  • Black Mafia Family
  • Mary J Blige’s Strength Of A Woman
  • 13 Reasons Why, Code Black
  • Something Like Summer
  • Acrimony
  • Breaking In

20. Chloe Bailey

  • Date of Birth: July 1, 1998
  • Age:  25 years old as of 2024
  • Nationality: American

Chloe Elizabeth Bailey is one of the 25 black actresses under 40 who speaks talents, as she is also a singer, songwriter, and record producer. Bailey was born in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, on July 1, 1998. She actress started her career in showbiz by taking on minor acting roles, making videos and posting them on her YouTube channel, and appearing on talk shows. 

With time, she began appearing in major movie projects like Grown-ish, The Georgetown Project, and more. With her unique voice, she has starred in various movies where she lent her songs, like Austin & Ally, where she performed the song Unstoppable

Before bagging major acting roles, she launched a YouTube channel with her sister and performed as Chloe X Halle. The duo later signed to Parkwood Entertainment and has released lots of songs together. 

Apart from performing as a duo, Chloe Elizabeth Bailey also has a solo music career. She has released a studio album and many singles.

Being a highly talented artist, Chloe Elizabeth Bailey has earned awards and honors. She has been nominated over twenty times and has won five awards for her hard work as an actress and singer.

Notable Movies:

  • Black-ish
  • Meet the Browns
  • Beyoncé: Lemonade
  • Chloe Bailey presented by Fendi
  • Wild’ n Out
  • The Disney Holiday Singalong,

Awards Won:

  • MTV Europe Music Awards- Best R&B
  • ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards- Most Performed R&B/Hip-Hop and Rap Song
  • Hollywood Unlock Impact Awards- Fearlessness Award
  • Innovators & Leaders Awards- Innovater Honoree
  • Girls Make Beats Gala- Powerhouse Producer Award

21. Sydney Park

  • Date of Birth: October 31, 1997
  • Age:  26 years old as of 2024
  • Nationality: American

Sydney Park is an American actress who also performs as a comedian. She was born on October 31, 1997, in Berkeley, California, the United States, and is 26 years old as of 2024. The actress began acting in 2006 by appearing on a teen sitcom, That’s So Raven.

She gained widespread fame for appearing in AMC’s Walking Dead as Cyndie, and she’s also starred in There’s Someone Inside Your House. 

Sydney Park’s ability to interpret her role effortlessly has made her a name to be reckoned with in the movie industry, as she has earned awards and accolades.

Before debuting in the movie industry, she was performing as a comedian. She performed at The Improv, formerly called Hollywood Improv and was the youngest comedian ever to do so. The actress also made it to the semi-finals of America’s Got Talent using the stage name Syd the Kid but eventually ditched music to focus on acting. Though Sydney Park has yet to get an award, her contribution to the movie industry speaks for itself.

Notable Movies:

  • Big City Greens
  • The Thundermans
  • Instant Mom
  • Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists
  • First Love
  • Santa Clarita Diet
  • Knight Squad
  • Spirit Riding Free
  • Nicky, Ricky
  • Dicky & Dawn

22. Kat Graham

  • Date of Birth: September 5, 1989
  • Age:  34 years old as of 2024
  • Nationality: Swiss

Katerina Alexandre Hartford Graham is an American activist, actress, and singer born September 5, 1989. The 34-year-old was born in Geneva, Switzerland, but grew up in Los Angeles, California, United States. She began her acting career as a child actor, making her film debut in The Parent Trap and her television debut in Lizzie McGuire, a Disney Channel teen comedy series.

Katerina Alexandre Hartford Graham gained popularity after she starred in The Vampire Diaries as a young witch named Bonnie Bennett.

Thanks to her talent and dedication in interpreting her roles in the movie industry, she has made it to the list of 25 black actresses under 40 that you need to know. 

She began her career in showbiz by dancing and appearing in television commercials for top brands. Her exceptional talent covers acting and singing; she has a few musical credits as a singer and writer. Some of her songs, such as Derailed, have been used on the cover of a film titled Derailed.

Katerina Alexandre Hartford Graham has also authored a book called Seasons of You, released in November 2013. Her love and quest for humanity have earned her various awards and recognition, in addition to her years of experience as a talented artist.

Notable Movies:

  • Operation Christmas Drop
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
  • Hannah Montana
  • The Masked Singer
  • Malcolm in the Middle
  • The Holiday Calendar
  • Love in the Villa

Awards Won:

  • Teen Choice Awards- Scene Stealer Female
  • Black Women in Film Association- Creative Award
  • Teen Choice Awards- Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actress
  • Westfield Film Festival- Humanitarian Award
  • PETA: 40th Anniversary and Holiday Party- Humanitarian Award
  • World Influencers and Bloggers Awards- Human Rights Advocate

23. Imani Hakim

  • Date of Birth: August 12, 1993
  • Age:  30 years old as of 2024
  • Nationality: American

Imani Hakim is an American actress born on August 12, 1993, in Cleveland, Ohio, United States, and is 30 years old as of 2024. The actress’s journey to success was a challenging one, as she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her passion for acting at 11 years old and had to sleep in their car with her father for some time. She eventually inked her first acting gig in the American sitcom Everybody Hates Chris as Tonya, Chris’s little sister.

Her depiction of her debut character paved the way for her to bag other notable roles in movies like The Gabby Douglas Story, Mythic Quest, Chocolate City, and more. Though she has yet to be nominated or win an award, she has gained widespread fame for her perfect interpretation of roles and will be listed sooner or later.

Meanwhile, making it to the list of 25 black actresses under 40 infers that her work so far has been impressive, and she will continue to succeed in her career.

Notable Movies:

  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
  • Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake
  • Pokémon Concierge
  • Wizards of Waverly Place
  • Sharknado: The 4th Awakens
  • Reign Over Me
  • Dinner Party
  • Burning Sands

24. Paige Hurd 

  • Date of Birth: July 20, 1992
  • Age:  31 years old as of 2024
  • Nationality: American

Paige Audrey-Marie Hurd is one of the 25 black actresses under 40 who is also a model. She was born to an African-American father and a Puerto Rican mother on July 20, 1992, in Dallas, Texas. She made her first acting appearance at eight in the television series Felicity as Natasha.

Subsequently, she began bagging major roles and appeared in Everybody Hates Chris as Tasha, Chris’s next-door neighbor.

Her ability to carry on roles and interpret them effortlessly has gained popularity in showbiz. 

Apart from appearing in movies, she has also appeared in a couple of music videos for artists like Jasmine Villegas, Steph Jones, Justin Bieber, Trevante, G-Eazy, and more.

Notable Movies:

  • Hawaii Five-O
  • The Oval
  • Power Book II: Ghost
  • Ben 10: Race Against Time
  • The Suite Life of Zack & Cody
  • Greencard Warriors
  • The Adventures of Tango McNorton: Licensed Hero

25.  Zoë Kravitz

  • Date of Birth: August 12, 1993
  • Age:  30 years old as of 2024
  • Nationality: American

Zoë Kravitz is an American actress, model, producer, and singer born on December 1, 1988, in Venice, Los Angeles, California, the United States. She was born to Lenny Kravitz, a musician, and Lisa Bonet, an actress, who are both of half-African-American and half-Jewish heritage. Her appearance in the romantic comedy film No Reservations as Charlotte marked her first onscreen role. The actress eventually had her breakthrough by starring in the superhero film X-Men: First Class as Angel Salvadore.

This role contributed immensely to her rise to fame and helped her bag many other notable roles like The Divergent Series, Fantastic Beasts film series, Big Little Lies, and many others. 

As a model, Zoë Kravitz has appeared in Time magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People and the face of YSL Beauté. She has also appeared in campaigns for Alexander Wang, Vera Wang, Calvin Klein, Balenciaga, Coach New York, Tiffany & Co., and Tumi.

Zoë Kravitz founded the music band Lolawolf, under which she released two albums, Calm Down and Tenderness, two extended plays, and many singles. The actress demonstrates talents as she co-wrote and co-produced some movie projects like Pussy Island, High Fidelity, and more. With her contributions to the entertainment industry, she has won about three awards so far.

Notable Movies:

  • The Batman
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Morris & the Cow
  • It’s Kind of a Funny Story
  • Viena and the Fantomes

Awards Won:

  • Napa Valley Film Festival- Audience Award for Favorite Actress
  • Milano International Film Festival Awards- Best Supporting Actress

Recommended

Featured Today

Fact Check

We strive for fairness and accuracy, if you've found a possible error or something that needs updating, please contact us

Related Stories