Actors Who Dared to Play a Slave

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

Halle Berry in Queen (1993)

Berry played the title role in Alex Haley's (Roots) mini-seriesnQueen, which was based on Haley's paternal grandmother, a biracial slave who struggled through life trapped between two cultures. The soon-to-be Oscar winner was widely criticized for the role but the film earned nine Emmy nods — Berry was not nominated.  

(Photo: Courtesy Warner Bros)

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