Skyfall, the James Bond flick scheduled to release in 2012, has black entertainment abuzz after naming UK-born Naomie Harris, as part of the cast. You’ll remember this actress from the sizzling sex scene opposite Jamie Foxx in Miami Vice. I sure do.
While not an official “Bond girl” i.e. willing conquest of 007’s infamous powers of seduction, Harris makes history as the first black woman to ever be cast as Jane Moneypenny, Second Officer and secretary to M, Bond’s boss. Over the years the Moneypenny character has secretly lusted for 007, but unlike actual Bond girls, her relationship with the spy is strictly professional.
I may be forced to take offense if that dynamic suddenly up and changes now that Naomie Harris fills in as Miss Moneypenny. Yet I digress. The franchise is no stranger to African-American Bond girls, though they have come few and far in between over the decades. That also rings true for black actors across the board. So it’s always exciting news when an actress like Naomie is cast in a major role in a classically white franchise like Bond and definitely re-ignites my interest in the never-ending 007 sequels.
It also got us thinking about the 007 world as a whole and how black people have graced Bond films in years past.
While we wait over a year for the release of Skyfall, enjoy this little trip down memory lane for a look at the best black Bond characters and the milestones the actors achieved: