Black History Month: Top African-American Television Characters

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  • Queen Latifah
  • Jackée Harry
  • Jaleel White
  • Sherman Hemsley/Isabel Sanford
  • Good Times
  • Martin Lawrence
  • The Game
  • Will Smith
  • Tracee Ellis Ross
  • Diahann Carroll
  • Bill Cosby
  • Danielle Spencer
  • Diahann Carroll
  • Redd Foxx
  • Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
  • Soul Food
  • bhm12 cover TopAfricanAmericanTelevisonCharacters
  • Taraji P. Henson
  • Viola Davis
  • Kerry Washington
  • Gabrielle Union
  • Jussie Smollett
  • Chandra Wilson
  • In Living Color
  • Jasmine Guy/Kadeem Hardison
  • Michael K. Williams

Steven Q. Urkel (Jaleel White) in Family Matters

To create perhaps one of the most memorable characters in TV history, Jaleel White had to defy both nature — he managed to maintain the voice and appearance of a pre-teen well into his twenties — and expectation. Originally conceived to be a fringe character on the series, Urkel became the reason viewers tuned in for nearly a decade. Plus, fans of the show still remember the now-inonic slogan, "Did I do that?"

(Photo: Courtesy ABC)

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