Actors Who Dared to Play a Slave

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  • Chiwetel Ejiofor
  • LeVar Burton
  • Samuel L. Jackson
  • Kerry Washington
  • Lisa Gay Hamilton
  • Halle Berry
  • Denzel Washington
  • Oyafunmike Ogunlano
  • S. Epatha Merkerson
  • Hattie McDaniel

Samuel L. Jackson in Django Unchained (2012)

When Quentin Tarantino called his frequent collaborator Jackson to play the scene-stealing part of evil "house n----r" Stephen in his controversial "slave spaghetti western," the veteran actor agreed immediately. "'You wrote this 15 years too late for me to be Django, but now you really want me to be the most hated Negro in cinematic history?’" Jackson recalled telling Tarantino. Thankfully, audiences loved to hate Jackson's character in the Oscar-winning film.

(Photo: Courtesy The Weinstein Company)

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