The 40 Most Beautiful Black Women of ALL-TIME (Top 20)

It’s finally here! People have been tweeting and debating the Top 40-21 of the Most Beautiful Black Women of All-Time and wondering who will be in the Top 20. I called together a group of respected bloggers, writers, podcasters, comedians, and MCs to compile this list.  My idea of coming up with this was to highlight some of the great Black beauties. I gave the all the  panel a preliminary list of around 80 women and asked them to rank the women based on face, body, marketability, relevance, and grace.

The Panel

12 Kyle( @12kyle) of 12 Radio

Eclectik Relaxation ( @eclectik ) of The Cold Slither Podcast

Leon Scott (@listentoleon) of Listen to Leon

Comedian Jovan Bibbs( @jovanbibbs) host of Straight Outta Lo Cash

Slim Jackson( @slimjackson) of Single Black Male

Ted Simpson IV ( @60secmarathon) Producer/Member of Straight Outta Lo Cash

Lincoln Blades ( @thisisyourconscience) of This is Your Conscience

Anslem Samuel ( @nakedwithsocks) of Naked with Socks

My UK Brother Justin Credible(@crediblej) of Brothers With No Game

Comedian Tony King( @tonykingisfunny) of MissyRadio

Rapper and Producer Vandalyzm( @Vandalyzm) of

*drum roll please*

Finally without further adieu what you all have anticipated the Top 20…

20.  Micheal Michelle (tie)- Actress

20. Sade (tie)- Singer

19. Paula Patton- Actress

18. Jada Pinkett- Actress

17. Gabrielle Union- Actress

16. Tyra Banks- Model, Actress, Mogul

15. Dorothy Dandridge- Actress and Singer

14. Iman-Model

13. Phylicia Rashad-Actress

12. Vanessa Williams- Singer, Actress, Former Ms. America

11. Salli Richardson-Actress

10. Kerry Washington-Actress

9. Lena Horne- Singer and Actress

8. Aaliyah- Singer and Actress

7. Beverly Johnson- Model and Actress

6. Pam Grier- Actress

5. Beyonce- Singer and Actress

4. Janet Jackson- Singer and Actress

3. Nia Long- Actress

2. Stacey Dash- Actress and Model

1. Halle Berry-Actress

The list has finally been unveiled of The 40 Most Beautiful Women of All Time! What do you think about our list? Weigh in with your thoughts!


Make sure you check out this week’s episode of the “Straight Outta Lo Cash” Radio Show. This week’s show “Let’s Get Upfront and Straightforward” with special guest author, dating coach, and radio personality Alan Roger Curie. You can also subscribe to the show on I-Tunes or listen on your Android, I-Phone, I-Pad or Black berry with Stitcher Radio

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96 responses to “The 40 Most Beautiful Black Women of ALL-TIME (Top 20)

  1. Pingback: The 40 Most Beautiful Black Women of ALL-TIME (21-40) « From Ashy to Classy·

  2. Tough task for the panel!!! I’m pleased that Phylicia is top 13, Kerry Washington is top 10 and Nia Long (my all time crush) is top 3. On looks alone, I”m not mad at Halle being #1…I’m convinced she wakes up looking beautiful! Good job all, this could NOT have been easy!

    Ben Holcomb (@bholcomb)

  3. I demand a recount!!! Robin Givens did not make the list at all? Did no one see Boomerang? She might not be the thickest in the world but she was smoking in the 90s (and still now).



    All jokes aside, thanks for the list and the opportunity to be part of the panel.

  4. I’m not co-signing Halle Berry as # 1. Though choosing is interesting, Any of these could be #1 and Sanaa Lathan should have been in top 10. Kerry Washington is alight but not top 10. For #1 I’m going with… Pam Grier.

  5. Kerry Washington! Mm Mm Mm! and Stacey Dash, Pam Grier back in the day! And as a kid, Janet and around same age so I got on my knees and prayed she’d be my lady! LOL, true story!

    Love to see more natural beauty on the list though, as beautiful as a these women are more a fan of what’s naturally beautiful about the black woman. Favorite picture used.. Pam Grier!

  6. Although I feel like there were a few snubs on the list (Tamia, Ananda Lewis, Cree Summer, Tamia and.Tamara) I’m more than pleased with Queen Berry at the top of the list!

    • Tamia was definitely a snub! Her in “stranger in my house video” was just whew…I would’ve swapped her w/ Kerry Washington…ranked Kerry in the 21-40 rank

  7. This list is wonderful and I see some of my all time favorites but with all list the “Hollywoodism” continues as I see no truly curvy black women on here. But again, the list is wonderful and subject to the judges eye.

  8. Hold up wait a minute…Jill Scott? Lauryn Hill? Janelle Monae? Yeah, we don’t know what her cleavage looks like, but can’t that be beautiful too? She’s mad talented and is “pretty” enough to fit this aesthetic list of beauties. Chrisette Michele?! She is Beautiful, Curvy and talented. Historically can we not do Angela Davis and Assata Shakur? Angela is an icon and it was her aesthetics that people know and Assata is power and was such a cutie as a young woman and is still so beautiful. These were just the first to jump to my mind. I will be patiently waiting the Top 40 for MEN as that would only be fair :) Love and Light!

    p.s. I agree with O’dells pick too!

  9. Definitely should have been more Naturally Beautiful, curvy, chocolate women on the list…Personally I think Halle Berry is a little overrated but I wasn’t on the panel soooo good job.

  10. Good job guys! I have my choices on who I thought but I know it was a hard job. props for putting Beverly Johnson on here! People sleep on her!!

  11. This is an epic fail both lists!! Hardly any brown sistas AT ALL! When will ya’ll black men get over complexion??

  12. Ok I see some sistas on the web have been upset but this list was done by men not women! Its what some men think! Its just something for fun they did. Also look at the criteria they used. Jill Scott and Lauryn Hill didn’t change no game for beauty as much as she is likeable she didn’t!!

    This probably real hard for the brothers to do! Let’s just discuss and debate the women instead making it into some color and hair complex. If you don’t like the choices cool all of them aren’t mine either but these brothers did good work!

  13. Interesting mesh of the top 20. I would’ve liked to see Lauryn Hill in there somewhere too (the transformation from Sister Act 2 to The Score to The Mised. was pretty big for female hip hop). The Salli Richardson pick literally came out of nowhere (only thing I remember her in was Low Down Dirty Shame). The only 1 I really have issue w/ is Paula Patton in the top 20. Me personally, I think she’s ranked wayyyy too high for a list titled “of all time”. Her spot should’ve been given to Tamia

  14. Great job with the list, although I would have ranked some people differently than you all did. I would have had Ms. Berry at #1 too. That’s one beautiful, sexy, and fine woman. I would have included Alicia Keys in this list, especially considering the predetermined standards used to compose this list. Again, great job!

  15. Once again…props to the homie Diggame! This is a dope post and it was good to contribute to it.

    I hope that sistas who view this post understand that it’s not about light or dark skin. It’s 2011 and we’re still talkin about that? As you can see, most of these sistas are in entertainment (Hollywood). You have to look at the dynamics of Hollywood and what they want on the screen. Personally, I think Alec Welk could be on this list. My point is…black is black. And we are always about our sistas. Period

    Again, thanks Diggame!

  16. Good job with the list, although I do think there was a predominance of light skinned sistas on here. This may just be due to the fact that there is a predominance of them in hollywood. In either case, it would be nice to see what a list compiled by women would be like!

  17. How is this any better than the white-washed list in Men’s Health or whatever men’s magazine it was that inspired this? Judging by the amount of light skinned women here, your tastes aren’t so off from theirs. SMH.

  18. And yes, it’s 2011 and we’re still talking about skin color issues. I hate when black people fake surprise at that, as if the issue’s been solved, just as much as I hate it when white people act “surprised” that racism exists. Let’s not act like the tentacles of slavery and Jim Crow don’t continue to run deep.

  19. Very disappointed not to see Jill Scott on the list. Sure she isn’t AMERICA’s choice but she’s a beautiful woman regardless of size. Because this is opinion based, I can’t fault you all for not having more ‘shades’ of women on here but it does say a lot about the taste of our black men. Dark women are rarely seen as beautiful, unfortunately. I’m sure I’ll see the comments about getting over color, however regardless if we speak on it or not, it’s deeply rooted in our society. In you guys defense, unfortunately there aren’t a plethora of dark women to choose from, the industry’s fault of course. So at the end of the day, is it the lack of dark women or preference? I guess we will never know…

    • I’m sorry, I can’t ignore the Eurocentric biases here and just chalk it up to opinion. Here’s the difference between this list and any other these-are-chicks-I-find-attractive list a random Joe Schmo might throw up on the web: some of the guys who put this list together have taken on the role of cultural critic. If you’re going to sit in that post and throw daggers at whatever racist nonsense is in the headlines, you better be prepared to be called out on your own issues, in this case the fact that you’re color-struck.The whole point of this list was to big up black beauty.Why do the paper bag rules still apply? Thought you brothers were more evolved than that.

      • I ask you this Um. The panel was asked it said in the piece to rate on 5 categories. All this women fit into that mold? It wasnt just off how fine of beautiful they are if you look from what I read about what the panel was asked to look at. 2nd who would you have wanted to have included since you are so much against this? I think they had a nice array of women from beverly johnson who is a dark sister all the way to Iman and sade(who are African) but you caught up in the skin thing…smh

  20. CorrectionTyrell, the judges who concocted this list (and who can only grudgingly admit that some of the critics have a point, maybe because they’re so used to being the critics) are the ones caught up in the “skin color thing.” I’m just pointing it out.This five criteria rationale is a cop out, and it’s funny, because I’m sure the Men’s Health editors could use the same defense to address why their list turned out the way it did. In any case, I’ve made my point.

  21. Like I said before: This list is the same “color-struck” soup, warmed over…

    As I commented in the previous post “The Most Beautiful Light-Skinned…21-40,” there is clearly a “light skin, straight hair” issue. Many of us don’t realize that until it’s put in our face; and some don’t even realize afterwards. And I agree with Um; putting yourself out there as a cultural critic opens you up to criticism. It appears the “jugdes” entered this critique with some fundamental misconceptions.

    It appears that you are not judging Afrikan/Black (all Black people are Afrikan) culture, but euro-american culture. Culture is a people’s TOTAL way of doing and looking at things. For anyone who ACTUALLY studies Black culture, you find that there is more to it than party dresses, straight hair, red carpet walks and how marketable you are to white political majority america.

    “Marketability?” In a white film industry? As a criterion for BLACK beauty? Sistas and Brothas-some of you got the whole Black thing way twisted! And what of “relevance?” Relevancce to what?

    Again, the Sistas listed are beautiful in their own right. But IF you truly believe “Black is Black” (as some defensive commentors have posted), why is Black beauty light-skinned with straight hair (with few, slight variations)? If we’re truly going to advance ourselves and honor our people, we must recognize those things that can hold us back.

  22. Diggame, my brother, we have similar taste,

    happy to see the sista Nia Long listed as high and I completely forget about Beverly Johnson.

  23. This is a disappointing list. Not just because of the color issue. But also because you guys have seemingly limited yourselves to the Black women who have gained mass acceptance amongst Whites. That to me is the most problematic thing about the list.

  24. this is a good list but I think Lisa Raye should be in the top 20 at least. and I had no clue how fine Mrs. Huxtable was!!! good lawd.

    To all the people throwing stones about the dark sisters that should be on here, do us all a favor and give me 5 to 10 sisters of a darker hue you would like to see on the list. If I’m not mistaken I counted several “dark skin” sisters on the list. I understand your critique, now I’m asking for an alternative.

    Be a solution.

  25. Yall trippin!! What is the deal with the light skin hate. This brothas came up with a lot of dark chicks in here. Yalll just want something to say just because you have problems with some chicks being bad

  26. Whenever the issue gets too complicated/painful to talk about folks always want to say people are hating. Nobody’s hating on light skinned brothers and sisters here, but come on, when are black people going to get past the internalized self-hatred and stop clinging to white beauty standards. If you cant see that reflected in this list the brainwashing is sho nuff deep #cmonson

  27. Wow…..what have I been missin’…..LOLOL!

    Have to co-sign with Funkdigital…..Sanaa should be in the top #10…with Pam @ #1……..
    She’d be more than just a ride or die……..she’d be the WIFE FOR LIFE!



  28. The only reason these “black” women are considered beautiful is due to having a white ancestor. Where are the stunningly beautiful all-black women if there are any?

  29. Pingback: The 40 Most Beautiful Black Women of ALL-TIME (21-40) « From Ashy to Classy·

  30. Pingback: Dear Black Twitter (Everything Aint Funny), « From Ashy to Classy·

  31. I think one woman was overloooked Azizi Johari, she was playmate of the month June 1975, One of the most Georgous and sexiest women, black or white anyone will ever lay eyes on !!! she’s not as famous as some others on this list but she is one awesome looking woman !

  32. Pingback: War of the Beauty: Essence of Beauty Through Music « From Ashy to Classy·

  33. Some of ya’ll be “too black” for no reason. This liost had all dimes and these playas did a good job!! Some of ya’ll chicks want everyone to think natural har and afro puffs is beautiful. Sorry most dudes don’t ladies.. ya’ll like that shit!

    • Thanks for being honest about the fact that most Black men don’t like afro textured hair on a woman. More Black men need to honest about their emotional investment in white supremacy.

  34. To be perfectly honest this list isn’t going to please everyone. Overall it is a decent list. But I fail to see how Whitney Houston was left off of this list. Undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous African American women to ever exist. Especially in her hay day. (Late 80s- Late 90s) A true natural beauty, with a voice anointed by the most high. Yes this comment is post death, but that doesn’t make the comment any less true. Her beauty could easily rival and dominate 90% of this list. Real talk.

  35. so, this is a list of all time beautiful black women???????????? did this list actually include African women? I mean from Africa? coz all I can see is a bunch of African American women, where the black population is 13% of all people. So wanna tell me that as big as it is with Abillion black women Africa could not produce ten women to be included in this list? bull shit

  36. Another lighter than a “Paperbag” evaluation chart. How sad we are as a people. If we don’t humanize each other, why should we expect anyone else too.

  37. the list is ok,,,,however im trying to figure out how n the hell can you put halle berry over dorothy dandrigde and lena horn…..especially when halle played dorothy… backwards right….but i respect your opinion.

  38. It’s unfortunate that your list only include actresses. My home town of St. Louis has beauties that would knock have of these knockouts off the list.

  39. vanessa williams needs to be number 1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! are yall crazy or just blind!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! shes the only one of all that has been that beautiful for decades!!!!!!

  40. Pingback: 25 More Questions That Need to Be Asked « From Ashy to Classy·

  41. It’s hard to make a superficial/aesthetic list like this…but as this type of thing goes.. .I would favor more variety in skin tones,features and curvyness as well as more “natural” sistas.

  42. Are you kidding me! Most of them are mix. F this list man! The title shouldn’t be most beautiful black women, it should be most beautiful mix women. Put more dark skin girls on here, than we’ll be happy.

  43. Many of these women are only half black.

    Halle Berry is half black. Stacy Dash is about half black too.

    So basically the hottest black girls are biracial.

  44. No beef from me with this. Shows black women come in call kinds of colors and shades. We may need to do one for the fellas too (:

  45. Pingback: Beautiful and Crazy -The Halle Berry Stigma | From Ashy to Classy·

  46. I’m bit of duh since I don’t have tv at home and only watch movies twice a year at theatres. But even as someone of Asian descent, in looking at the women selected, who are all beautiful, there is the over-riding slant of Euro-centric more delicate features..and not too black skin. You know, some old thing for Asian women…women considered beautiful in movie business (in Asia and in North America) are also, fine facial features, lighter skin, etc.

  47. Really black is beautiful and I love it and mostly successful man and came from black beauty so I love black beauty ,there is no any defference black and white…….

  48. Is some people blind, there are several beautiful dark skin women on the list, including Gaberelle Union. And I do feel Halle Berry is very overrated, for the number one spot.

  49. With the exception of the mulatto girls, Pam Grier is the only beautiful African American among all those photos. The other girls look Black, but I have no clue what race those women are.

  50. I have no problem with this list that was made up of the top 40 beautiful black actresses I agree with the whole list.Hailey berry should be number 1 and stacey dash the number #2 alone deserves to be in long 3 spot I don’t diss her . everyone on this list is beautiful this list is correct.please let me know when there’s an update on this list please

  51. I should be #1 but wait when I made it hollywood. But I do like Halle as #1. But there are missing a lot ppl in like rihanna. Naomi cambell. Meagan good are you kidding me why she not in there smh. Kelly Rowland. There’s more a lot ppl in there should not be there take #16. 7 out average

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  56. The fact that Beyonce is on this list render’s the list invalid. Whoever chose these individuals, have no authority or credentials judging “beautiful black women”, let alone speak for the majority. Beyonce is “average” in looks, at her best. Furthermore, I’m disappointed to see that no one of deep dark skin tone made the list such as Naomi Campbell, that other African model, Viola Davis, Lauryn Hill, or that any thick sisters like Jill Scott made the list. In addition, everyone who knows beauty, knows that Diane Carroll should have had her ass on this list, to include Whitney Houston, Billie Holiday, Phyllis Hyman, and a host of others, WAY BEFORE you went and added the likes of a gott damn “Beyonce”, Tyra Banks, Aaliyah, or even that stupid republican bitch Stacey Dash. Sure, they are all “pretty”, but “most beautiful” they are NOT! The creater of the list ought to be ashamed of themselves for this travesty! Hell, Lola Follana was a prettier woman than half the women listed put together!

  57. Who ever made this list should be shot in both eyes, since they are clearly blind. The worst list of “Most beautiful black women” ever created and put online. Absolute worst! Aaliyah and Beyonce wouldn’t have even made the Top 70 for all the fine ass sisters that’s out there! And Tyra Banks? Really? Tyra Banks, Aaliyah, Beyonce and Gabby are in the Top 40, while Naomi Campbell, Jayne Kennedy, Whitney Houston, Grace Jones, Angela Bassett, Lola, Megan Goode, Vanessa Bell Calloway, a young Debbie Allen, Lisa Bonet, aw man i could go on…but whoever did this list “eff’d” it up. I mean the singer Tweet is more beautiful than Beyonce!!! without makeup and all that hair, Beyonce looks like a hood rat, and even with all that crap she’s no more than 4 out of 10! All she got is BOOTY…she’s “cute”, but she ain’t fine! Kelly Rowland is sexier and more beautiful than Beyonce!!

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