There are a lot of young actors these days rising to fame in series and films that center around kids as protagonists, and we love the early opportunities these young actors are receiving.
We’ve compiled this list of young black male actors under 20 to know now before or as they continue to become even more incredible Hollywood sensations:
1. Seth Carr
Born on August 16, 2007, Seth has been acting almost his entire life. He began starring in commercials before he could talk, and his career is already taking off at the young age of 14.
You can find Seth in several well-known series and films. Next time you watch Black Panther, keep an eye out for Seth playing young Killmonger.
You can also see Seth in his first leading role as Leo in The Main Event on Netflix.
If you’re interested in this young black actor’s future, check out Season 1 of The Mysterious Benedict Society and get excited for Season 2, which aired in September 2022.
Check out the trailer video for Seth’s newest work in The Mysterious Benedict Society, and don’t forget to watch Season 2 in September:
2. Lonnie Chavis
Born on November 23, 2007, Lonnie has already had a successful 7-year career in acting. At the young age of 14, he has quite a few films, series, and even award nominations under his belt.
You might recognize Lonnie from This Is Us, where he played Randall Pearson. In 2020, he had a great year, starring in three films: Magic Camp, The Water Man, and The Boy Behind The Door.
Though Lonnie is not yet working on anything new, you can see his incredible performance in The Boy Behind The Door in this trailer video:
3. Jalyn Hall
Born on December 18, 2007, young Jalyn is a talented actor probably best known for his leading role in the CW series All American.
Jalyn has made a few other appearances in different films and series, usually in a guest role.
The 4th season of Jalyn’s hit show, All American, aired on the CW starting in October 2021. There is no word yet on a Season 5, but check out this trailer video for the 4th season if you want to get to know Jalyn better:
4. Jaydon “JD” McCrary
Born July 18, 2007, JD is both an actor and a singer. He has been performing in various capacities since 8, and he has blown up since.
You will most likely know JD as the voice actor for Young Simba in Disney’s 2019 version of The Lion King. He sang all of Young Simba’s songs as well.
Also notably, JD had a main role as Kenny Payne on Tyler Perry’s Oprah Winfrey Network sitcom, The Paynes, in 2018.
JD has released an EP, Shine, and many singles available for streaming. You can listen to his newest single from October 2021, Brain on Love, in this video:
5. Isaiah Russell-Bailey
Born on December 9, 2006, Isaiah has been popular on-screen since 2018, having already captured viewers’ hearts in his few projects, and there is undoubtedly more to come from him.
He is best known for playing Shaka McKellan in the Netflix series Family Reunion. The show also made a movie in 2019, A Family Reunion Christmas, which is heartfelt and warm, and you definitely shouldn’t miss it.
If you’re interested in Isaiah’s newest work, keep an eye out for his upcoming film, Crater, with Dinsey+. He will play the lead role of a young raised on the moon. No release details are available yet.
In the meantime, check out more from cute Isaiah in this We Can Be Heroes Tricking & Parkour Training video:
6. Maceo Smedley
Born on February 7, 2007, Maceo is an up-and-coming young actor with a bright future ahead of him.
You may have seen Maceo in the sweet and funny Christmas movie, Noelle, or maybe you’ll remember him from his recurring roles in Cloak & Dagger and All About The Washingtons.
You can watch the trailer video for Maceo’s most recent work, Horror Noire:
Or you can listen to this sweet video podcast with Maceo to get a taste of what this young talented actor is like:
7. Isaac Ryan Brown
Born on July 12, 2005, Isaac has been performing in some way since he was very young. When he was only six years old, he auditioned for and made it quite far in America’s Got Talent. He now acts and does a lot of voiceover work.
Most will know Isaac from the hit series Raven’s Home as the titular character’s son, Booker. The series has been airing for five seasons now, and you can watch the latest episodes each week on Disney+.
Check out the video trailer for Season 5 of Raven’s Home, where you get glimpses of Isaac performing amazingly in his role:
8. Miles Brown
Born on December 28, 2004, Miles is an actor, rapper, and dancer and the youngest member of the Junior NBA Leadership council.
Miles is only 17 years old, yet he has quite the resume already. You will recognize him from playing Jack Johnson on the hit series Black-ish. You also may have heard his album, We the Future.
You can see Miles in the 8th and final season of Black-ish in this season trailer video:
9. Shamon Brown Jr.
Born on July 17, 2004, Shamon is a reasonably new breakout star and rapper. His first big role and probably the most well-known is as Papa on The Chi.
You can watch the 4th season’s video trailer to see Shamon in his leading role in this fantastic series about the realities of living in Chicago and being a young black male in America:
10. Alex R. Hibbert
Born on July 4, 2004, Alex gained his stardom with his first performance in the Oscar-winning film, Moonlight in 2016, where he played Little, the main character, in the film’s first part.
After this first huge success and incredible performance, Alex went on to make a brief appearance in Black Panther and also starred in The Chi, alongside Shamon Brown Jr.
After re-watching Moonlight, be sure to watch baby Alex in 2017 in this interview video where he speaks about his role in this feature film debut of his:
11. Jahi Di’Allo Winston
Born on December 1, 2003, this young man is a talented and accomplished actor.
Jahi is probably most well-known for either his recurring role in the 2016 series, Feed The Beast, or for his lead role in Charm City Kings opposite famous rapper Meek Mill.
If you’re interested in this young actor’s career, you can check out his forthcoming film, We Have A Ghost, on Netflix. You can also see a brief glimpse of Jahi in this promotional preview video of all the upcoming series and movies that Netflix released recently:
12. Caleel Harris
Born on April 19, 2003, Caleel has appeared in many series and films at the young age of 19.
With more than 27 actor credits on IMDb, you could have seen Caleel in a number of things already. Some of his most well-known works include When They See Us and The Loud House.
Caleel received a lot of attention and praise for playing Anton McCray on Netflix’s When They See Us, which was certainly well-deserved.
He also did some voice work for the role of Clyde on The Loud House, and he also can be seen in the AppleTV series Swagger as Musa.
Watch him in the trailer video for the new series Swagger:
13. Sayeed Shahidi
Born on February 14, 2003, Sayeed is not just a young actor but also a model. If his last name sounds familiar, that’s because he’s Yara Shahidi’s little brother.
Sayeed featured most prominently on the TV series Uncle Buck and Switched At Birth in his recurring roles.
Watch this Black Hollywood Live video interview with young Sayeed to get to know him better:
14. Asante Blackk
Born on October 20, 2001, Asante is another young star who gained widespread fame from When They See Us. His role as Kevin Richardson alongside Caleel Harris garnered him praise and recognition.
You’ll also likely remember Asante from This Is Us, in which he starred in a recurring role alongside Lonnie Chavis.
If you’ve ever seen young Asante before, you probably think he has a familiar face. This is because his aunt is beloved actress Samira Wiley from Orange Is The New Black fame, and they share some of their excellent physical traits.
Watch Asante in this promotional video for the animated series The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder to catch a glimpse of him doing voice work:
15. Dusan Brown
Born on December 2, 2001, Dusan is probably most well known for his voice. He has voiced the sweet main character of AJ, the monster truck driver in Blaze and the Monster Machines, for over five years.
You can also hear Dusan’s excellent speaking and singing voice on Disney’s The Lion King spinoff series, The Lion Guard.
Watch Dusan speak about his role in the critically-acclaimed film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, in this interview video:
16. Niles Fitch
Born on July 12, 2001, Niles broke out with his recurring role on the TV series This Is Us as well, and since then, he has gone on to star in several other incredible projects.
Most recently, Niles starred in the film, The Fallout alongside other young talented performers of his generation, and the performance was well-praised.
Watch Niles in his role as Quinton in this trailer video for the movie, The Fallout:
17. Chosen Jacobs
Born on July 1, 2001, Chosen has been performing for many years, starting when he was only 15, on the TV series Hawaii Five-0.
He is probably most well known for starring in the adaption of the Stephen King novel, It and its subsequent sequel, It Chapter Two as Mike.
Watch Chosen in this trailer video for his newest work in the leading role of El in Disney’s Sneakerella:
18. Myles Truitt
Myles has set his sights on an acting career since age 11. Myles’ breakout role came in 2018 with the film Kin, where he starred as the protagonist.
Most recently, Myles starred in a lead role in Black Mafia Family and joined the young cast of Stranger Things in their most recent season, Season 4.
Watch Myles speak about his life and career and how he landed his Stranger Things role in this video:
19. Caleb McLaughlin
Born on October 13, 2001, Caleb is last on this list, but he is certainly not the least. Perhaps the most recognizable face on this list, Caleb shot to worldwide fame at 14 when Stranger Things Season 1 premiered on Netflix and captured everyone’s hearts.
You probably already know all about Caleb’s Stranger Things stardom, but did you know that before the series, he performed on Broadway in The Lion King? Young Caleb has always been a star, and it’s clear when we look at his career.
In 2021, Caleb made the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for the first time, which was an enormous honor. Caleb has been nominated for many awards and won 2 of them.
It’s very clear that he is a highly talented, mega-famous young man with a bright future and many working prospects ahead of him.
You can find Caleb goofing off with the rest of the Stranger Things cast in this promotional video:
Top Young Black Male Actors Under 20, Final Thoughts
There are so many amazing young boys and men with bright Hollywood futures to get excited about. We hope this list introduced you to some new young talent. Be sure to watch out for them as their careers inevitably bloom in the future.
Did we miss anyone? Who’s your favorite young black male actor aged 20 or younger?