There are many famous black families. Some with multiple family members working under the spotlight, others with one or two members becoming famous, then the rest being known by association.
However they became well known, here is our list of famous black families.
1. The Obamas
Barack Obama served as the 44th President of the United States while his wife Michelle Obama became the first African-American First Lady. Together, they have two daughters, Malia and Sasha. The family rose to fame when Barack became the first African American President in US history.
His success in 2008 was a turning point for civil rights and race relations in the country. Even after Obama’s tenure in 2017, the family is still in the limelight. They’re both successful authors of best-selling books.
2. The Harveys
Steve Harvey is a household name because of his charming and hilarious personality. Steve is married to Marjorie Harvey, and the couple together have seven children.
Before transitioning into acting, he came into the entertainment industry as a stand-up comedian. Besides hosting on radio and television, he’s a comedian, actor, author, and producer. Steve Harvey represents his whole family in the entertainment industry.
3. The Smiths
A list of the most famous black families without the Smiths is incomplete. Led by Will Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, the couple has built a powerful dynasty in the entertainment industry. Will Smith is an actor and producer who have made appearances in films like “Men in Black” and “Independence Day.”
Jada Pinkett-Smith is an actress and a talk-show host who has had roles in films such as “Matrix Resurrections” and “Collateral.” Together, the couple has three children (Jaden, Willow, and Trey), who are successful entertainers in their own right.
4. The Knowles-Carters
Both Jay-Z and his wife, Beyonce, are household names. They’ve been making moves in the music industry for many years. Jay-Z doubles up as a rapper and record producer, while Beyonce is a singer and actress. Jay-Z’s rapping career has stood the test of time as he makes good music that resonates with his fanbase.
In addition, he has been instrumental in helping several artists to get their music careers off the ground. Beyonce got her musical start with the girl group Destiny when she was just a youngster. She later established a solo music career after the group’s dissolution, achieving a lot of success.
5. The Jacksons
The Jacksons are perhaps the most famous black family in the history of music. The Jacksons began their musical career as The Jackson 5 band in 1964. Initially, the family band’s members were Michael, Marlon, Tito, Jermaine, and Jackie Jackson. Jermaine did exit the band in 1975, and Randy Jackson took his place.
Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson later went on to have incredible solo careers, earning the titles “King of Pop” and “Queen of Pop”. Marlon runs the Study Peace Foundation, which advocates for global peaceful coexistence with more emphasis on children’s well-being.
6. The Ross
The Ross family consists of Diana Ross and her five children, Rhonda Ross Kendrick, Tracee Ellis Ross, Chudney Ross, Evan Ross, and Ross Naess. Diana Ross has been a major force in the music industry since the 1960s as the lead singer of The Supremes.
She is also an actress and philanthropist. Some of Diana’s children have successful careers in the music and acting industries.Her daughter Tracee Ellis Ross is a model, actress, and comedian best known for her role in the ” Blackish ” series.
The family’s lastborn, Evan Ross, is a musician and actor starring in films such as “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and 2.” Rhonda Ross Kendric has also made appearances in numerous Television series.
7. The Simmons
John Simmons, better known as Rev Run, is a husband to Justine Jones and a father to seven children. Rev Run is a rapper and DJ from the legendary hip-hop group Run DMC. He’s also an active minister. His wife, Justine Simmons, is an author, philanthropist, and designer.
The family rose to fame with their MTV reality show Run’s House from 2005 to 2009. The show was about the family’s everyday lives and has since been credited with pioneering a new reality television genre. His children Jojo and Diggy Simmons are still in the limelight, leading successful careers as rappers.
8. The Norwoods
William Jay Norwood Jr. and his sister Brandy Norwood are prominent faces in the entertainment industry. Brandy is a singer, actress, model, songwriter, and producer. Her journey in the music industry began in the 1990s before moving into acting.
Her best releases include “I Wanna Be Down” and “Missing You.” She has made appearances in numerous films and Television Series such as “Moesha,” “The Parkers” and “One on One.”
Her brother Ray J has also made his mark in the music industry as a songwriter, singer, rapper, and record producer. Furthermore, he has a successful acting career, appearing in many reality shows.
9. The Mowrys
The Mowrys family has built a name for themselves in the world of show business. The most recognizable members of the Mowry family are Tia and Tamera, identical twin sisters who starred in the popular sitcom “Sister Sister.” Tia Mowry has since gone on to star in many shows, such as “The Game,” “Instant Mom,” and “Family Reunion.”
Her sister, Tamera Mowry, has also had a successful acting career, appearing in television series such as “Strong Medicine,” “Roommates”, and Things We Do for Love.” In Addition, she hosts “The Real,” a daytime talk show.
10. The Atkins
Trecina Atkins and Erica Atkins-Campbell are two sisters who have contributed majorly to the revolutionization of gospel music. They’re better known by their stage name Mary Mary.
They did broaden urban gospel’s fan base by combining soul, hip-hop, jazz, and funk components in their songs. Among their greatest projects to date include “Walking,” “Can’t Give Up Now”, and “Shackles.” Besides singing and writing songs, the sisters are prominent TV personalities running their reality show, Mary Mary.
11. The Wayans
The Wayans family has built an empire by releasing comedy specials. The family comprises Marlon, Shawn, Kim, Keenen Ivory, Damon Jr., and Craig Wayans. The siblings debuted in the show industry with the airing of Keenen Ivory’s legendary show, “In Living Color.”
Marlon Wayans is an actor, comedian, writer, and producer starring in some of the most popular comedies of the 21st century, such as “White Chicks” and “Scary Movie.” Shawn Wayans is best known for his role in the movie “Don’t Be a Menace”. Damon Wayans Jr. is an actor and comedian known for his roles in “New Girl,” “Let’s Be Cops”, and “Happy Endings.”
Besides co-producing and co-starring in the show “Second Generation Wayans,” Craig Wayans has made appearances in movies such as “The Sixth Man.” Kim Wayans is a famous actress for her roles in “In Living Color” and “A Different World.”
12. Ciara and Russell Wilson
Russel Wilson Carrington is a prominent American National Football League quarterback. His wife, Ciara, is a dancer, songwriter, and singer. She came to the music industry’s limelight as part of the famous group, Hearsay. Some of her best releases to date include “Goodies,” “Like a Boy”, and “Level Up.”
The couple has two children together. They’re also outspoken Christians who frequently make business decisions that reflect what it means to build a legacy, improve the lives of others around you, and prioritize family. In 2014, Wilson launched the Why Not You Foundation, a charitable organization that aims to educate and empower young people.
13. The Kings
Martin Luther King, Jr. is among the most prominent figures in the fight for civil rights. He was a husband to Coretta Scott and a father to four children, Yolanda, Martin Luther III, Dexter Scott, and Bernice. His activism didn’t die with him, as their kids are still pushing the agenda.
Yolanda has had a successful career as an actress, appearing in numerous Television series and movies. Martin has been very vocal in pushing his parent’s legacy.
14. The Shumperts
Iman Shumpert and Teyana Taylor are particularly famous for their achievements as a couple and individually. The couple has two kids, Rue Rose Shumpert and Iman “Junie” Tayla Shumpert.
While most people know Teyana as a choreographer, dancer, singer, and actress, Iman has a successful career as a basketball player, winning the NBA championship in 2016. Some of Teyana’s biggest hits include “Google Me,” “Gonna Love Me”, and “Maybe.”
15. The Wades
Dwayne Wade is well-known for being a basketball player. He’s a husband to Gabrielle Union and a father to five children. They’re a power couple showcasing the greatness of blended families and advocates of LGBTQ children.
Wade and Union came out to support his transgender daughter after revealing she’s transgender. Since then, they have been quite vocal about the negative effects of anti-trans laws.
16. The Johnsons
John H. Johnson went down in history as one of the most prosperous African-American publishers ever. After completing his education, Johnson launched the magazines that would go on to have significant impacts on Black culture: Negro Digest, Ebony, and Jet.
His wife, Eunice Johnson, is famous for founding the Ebony Fashion Fair, a yearly celebration of Black women’s fashion.
17. Al Roker & Deborah Roberts
Al Roker and Deborah Roberts are a super couple in the African-American community. Al is a television personality, actor, author, and weatherman. He is best known for hosting NBC’s “Today” show. He was also the first African American to get an appointment as a chief meteorologist.
His wife, Deborah, is an award-winning news journalist, reporter, and correspondent who has worked for ABC News, NBC News, and Good Morning America. They’ve been married for nearly 30 years, demonstrating devotion to family and personal development.
18. Magic & Cookie Johnson
Earvin “Magic” Johnson is a retired professional basketball player, while Cookie Johnson is an author, businesswoman, and philanthropist. After leaving basketball, Johnson became a successful motivational speaker, broadcaster, philanthropist, and entrepreneur.
Cookie Johnson has written best-selling publications such as “Believing in Magic,” “Essence”, and “Glamor.” She’s also the founder of the Magic Johnson Foundation, which focuses on improving health, education, and quality of life for people living in underserved urban communities.
The couple has been very vocal in raising awareness about the HIV/AIDS menace.
19. Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee
Ossie Davis and his wife Ruby Dee left a solid legacy. They had widespread prominence due to their successful acting careers and human rights activism. They have appeared in numerous Television series and movies, such as “Purlie Victorious.”
Besides being active members of the human rights movement, the couple won several awards and had three children who are successful in their own right. Their daughter Nora Day Davis continues to further their social justice agenda as an activist and an educator.
Their son Guy Davis is a songwriter and blues guitarist who has won multiple awards. Hasna Muhammad Davis is a prominent photographer, writer, and educator.
20. Geoffrey Holder & Carmen de Lavallade
Geoffrey Holder is a multi-talented actor, director, choreographer, artist, and musician. He was a Broadway dancer in the musical “House of Flowers.” He was also the director and choreographer of Alvin Ailey’s “American Dance Theater” and “Dance Theater of Harlem.”
His wife, Carmen de Lavallade, is a dancer and actress. She has had an extensive career on both stage and screen. That includes appearances on Broadway in “House of Flowers.” The couple was together for about 60 years until Holder’s death in 2014.
21. Harry T. & Henrietta Moore
We typically hear the names of families whenever the issues of the human rights movement come up. However, on December 25, 1952, the murders of Harry T. and Harriette Moore were major turning points. Their assassination sparked outrage, helping fuel the civil rights movement that had begun to gain traction.
The couple formed the NAACP’s first branch in their hometown. They left an indelible mark in history due to their courage and dedication to fighting for justice and equality. Their work brought attention to racism and racial injustice in the South at a time when nobody could speak out.
Famous Black Families, Final Thoughts
Black families’ impact on the entertainment industry and politics is evident. They serve as iconic symbols of success and resilience. They’re proof that African Americans can reach greater heights. All the famous black families on our list have made an indelible mark on our culture.