Yes, I'm a believer! 5 inspiring black Christian actresses that rep Jesus off-screen
Article By Taylor Daniels // EEW Magazine // Faith + Entertainment
They may be talented Hollywood actresses, but when it comes to loving Jesus Christ, they are each quick to tell you, it’s no act.
No matter what characters these fabulous five ladies play onscreen—vulgar or virtuous— off-screen, you can count on them to openly and unashamedly make their faith known to all, which is what EEW Magazine Online applauds.
Our list is by no means exhaustive, but as for today, there is only room for five—and here they are:
#1 Angela Bassett
The New York City-born, Golden Globe Award-winning Black Panther actress, Angela Bassett, is a sold-out-to-Jesus industry veteran, whose great grandfather was a pastor. In an interview with Parade Magazine, she shared how she grew up with strong faith influences. “My mother had us in Sunday school and choir,” she said.
Though some choose to reject Christ, the 61-year-old ageless beauty, who is married to Courtney Vance—a Church of God In Christ (COGIC) minister— told the publication, “Love of God makes so much sense to me when other things don’t.”
She added, “Everyone is going to serve something and that can become the center of their existence. Mine is love of God and faith, as opposed to fame and money.”
#2 Niecy Nash
The California-born Golden Globe-nominated star of Netflix’s “When They See Us” is bodacious, funny, warm and firmly rooted in her faith. This successful 48-year-old is also a former pastor’s wife, who gave her life to Jesus at 11 years old.
In an interview with One Church International pastor, Touré Roberts, while encouraging others to have a one-on-one relationship with Jesus, she said, “It’s one thing to know about the man—and He knows you—but you have a different disposition when you know Him.”
The wife and mom also said this about keeping her faith front and center in an industry that often tempts actors to compromise: “You’re going to struggle if you don’t know how to handle when God says no, because everything ain’t for you! If He says no and you go anyway, I don’t want to be there. If He tells you not to go and you do it anyway, that’s sin.”
#3 Letitia Wright
25-year-old Guyana-born newcomer, Letitia Wright, has spoken up on various occasions about being a born-again believer in Christ Jesus. While accepting the EE "Rising Star" Award at the British Academy of Film and Television arts (BAFTA), the actress who plays Shuri in two of Marvel's blockbuster films, Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, shared how her faith helped her win her battle with depression.
"I identify myself as a child of God,” she said. “A few years ago, I saw myself in a deep state of depression, and I literally wanted to quit acting. The only thing that pretty much pulled me out of that was God, my belief, my faith, my family, and an email from BAFTA saying that they wanted me to be a part of the BAFTA Breakthrough Brits, and I was like, 'let me try again.'"
The humble star took occasion to affirm the audience, saying, “I want to encourage you that God made you and you're important.”
#4 Meagan Good
The Los Angeles-born NAACP Award-nominated actress, Meagan Good, who was branded a sex symbol during her industry comeuppance is bold about her faith and unapologetic about the roles she takes. "You can’t just make projects for the Christian community, because I think they already have the right idea," said the 38-year-old wife of Hollywood executive, Devon Franklin in an interview several years back.
Make no mistake, however, Good won’t do just any old thing. "I have my parameters of what I feel in my spirit is appropriate," she said in an interview with LA Times, and revealed that she won’t do nude scenes.
The fitness guru and star of the new hit thriller, The Intruder, has played many diverse roles over the years in hopes of reaching audiences of all faiths, cultures and creeds. “We also have to create projects for those people who need something positive and relatable without being very preachy,” she explained.
#5 Sherri Shepherd
Last, but not least on our list, is Chicago-born Brian Banks star, Sherri Shepherd, formerly the host of ABC’s daytime talk show, “The View.” She has, for years talked freely about Jesus being her Savior and Lord. In 2018, when co-host Joy Behar equated hearing God to a mental illness, Shepherd retorted, saying, “As a Christian, that’s just par for the course. You talk to Jesus. Jesus talks back.”
In 2014, when she exited her role as regular co-host of her good-paying, influential daytime gig to pursue other opportunities, she said she believed it was the “divine timing” of the Lord. “The number seven is God’s number of completion and after seven seasons my time at ‘The View’ is now complete!” said the now 52-year-old single mother. And since that time, she has been steadily working and seeing God bless her with one opportunity after another.
There are believers in every profession. Whether they are musicians, doctors, lawyers, judges, athletes, or actors, God has designated many people in distinct places to let their light shine and point others to Christ throughout their journeys.
Let us support them and cheer them on, because when they shine, so does He!