While we’re just beginning to recognize African American actresses the way we should in Hollywood, African actresses, who were either born on the continent or in the U.S. to parents from the motherland, still don’t often get the recognition they deserve. We’re going to attempt to put a stop to that with this list acknowledging 13 of our favorite African Queens of the big screen.
Although she was born in Mexico, Lupita Nyong’o was raised in Kenya once her family moved back to their native country. After attending college in the U.S., the 30-year-old actress and filmmaker worked behind the camera before making her debut in a short film in 2008. Nyong’o headed back to school and enrolled in the acting program at the Yale School of Drama. Immediately following graduation, she was cast in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave. Up next for Nyong’o is Non-Stop, costarring Liam Neeson.