Former Black Child Stars Who Are Having Even More Success As Adults

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The common story is that child stars have a tumultuous experience in Hollywood. They start off with so much potential and end up in the wrong circles doing the wrong things. Or maybe they keep their noses clean and have success as young stars, but as adults, seemingly lose their luster or fade into the background. Or maybe they grow up, do okay for themselves, but then start talking crazy like Raven-Symone.


But the young people on this list have managed to keep a good head on their shoulders and continue to have success, and in some cases, more success than they did as kids. Check out 10 Black child stars who kept it together and have done well as adults.

Jurnee Smollett-Bell

Now 30, the Underground star has done quite well for herself since her early days as Denise on Full House (from 1992 to 1994).

Keke Palmer

Keke Palmer

Say what you want about her style or sense of freedom in all things, but Palmer, now 23, tends to stay out of trouble and stays with a big acting gig. She first started acting in 2004 when she was in Barbershop 2.  She’s currently a star on Scream Queens and awaiting the release of her film Pimp. 

Amandla Stenberg

Amandla Stenberg

It wasn’t that long ago that Stenberg, at 13, was facing racial backlash for her role as Rue in The Hunger Games. Now 18, Stenberg has become an outspoken activist against racism, sexism and on sexuality — all while keeping acting gigs. See her in her latest film, Everything, Everything this month.


Zendaya Coleman

Who knew the former Shake It Up! Disney star would go on to be such a fashion maven? Now 23, Coleman just wrapped up shooting Spiderman: Homecoming and slaying the Met Gala red carpet.

Tia & Tamera

Tia and Tamera Mowry (now Hardrict and Housley) were acting even before we met them on Sister, Sister, which ran from 1994 to 1999. At 38, they’re both still doing big things, including releasing books and co-hosting The Real. 

Tyler James Williams

Tyler Jesse Williams

Before Everybody Hates Chris, Tyler Jesse Williams had already worked extensively as a child star, including having a voice role on Little Bill and appearing on various episodes of Sesame Street. Now 24, he’s currently starring on the spinoff drama Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.

Tristan Wilds


Tristan Wilds

Originally on Miracle’s Boys, Wilds hit it big when he was cast as Michael Lee on HBO’s The Wire. These days the 27-year-old isn’t just killing it on-camera, starring in VH1’s hit The Breaks and Fox’s Shots Fired, but he’s also doing his thing with music off-camera.

Meagan Good

Meagan Good

Good’s first film role was in Friday in 1995, but she had appeared on the show Gabriel’s Fire way back in 1991. Now 35, she’s still going strong, recently starring in Deuces and Love by the 10th Date. Look out for her new film with Omari Hardwick, Love on Election Night, soon.

Black child stars

Imani Hakim

Another Everybody Hates Chris star, Hakim, now 23, appears in the Netflix film Burning Sands and the sequel to Chocolate City.

Jhene Aiko

Yes, Aiko is a child star. My fellow B2K fans remember her being featured on several songs by the group and appearing by herself on the Master of Disguise soundtrack way back in 2002. Now 29, Aiko is one of the top voices in R&B and dating frequent collaborator Big Sean.

Images via WENN 

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