We’ve talked so much about underrated actresses in the past, but the ladies on this list are women who had huge breakthrough roles in some of our favorite movies. And while it was easy for us to see them having all the luck and reaching superstardom in Hollywood (or at least black Hollywood), things haven’t been that easy. We’re still hoping they’ll become household names sooner or later. Check out 9 black actresses and the movies that put them on our radar and help us figure out why they aren’t as big as the Gabrielles, Tarajis, Nias and more. Where are they now?
Tracy Camilla Johns
My hair idol! And also the heroine in one of my favorite films of all time. Tracy Camila Johns was dope as the sexually liberated Nola Darling in Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It. She knew what she wanted, and the number of men she wanted it with, and scoffed at the idea of monogamy and being a one-man woman (how do you like that!?). But after she breaking through in one of Spike’s first feature films, she kept the momentum going for a second, and then fizzled out. Johns went on to have a tiny role in Mo Better Blues, was the scandalous girlfriend of G in New Jack City, and had a small role in an early Air Jordan commercial, but after ’91, that was it. *sad face*