Actors Who Dared to Play a Slave

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

Kerry Washington in Django Unchained (2012)

As the object of Django's determined rescue mission, Washington's role was criticized by feminists as passive. But the actress sees her character Broomhilda, a slave waiting to be rescued by her man, differently. "I really saw the value of having a story that empowers the African American man to do something chivalrous for the African American woman," she explained. "It's something we've never been allowed to dream about."

(Photo: The Weinstein Company)

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