Sammy Davis Jr. in Rufus Jones for President
In this 1933 musical comedy, a young child (a 7-year-old Sammy Davis Jr.) becomes president of the United States.
James Earl Jones in The Man
In the 1972 political drama The Man, James Earl Jones signed on to play the first African-American president after current president and Speaker of the House die in a freak accident.
Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister jr. in The Fifth Element
In the 1997 science fiction film The Fifth Element, ex-wrestler Tommy “Tiny” Lister Jr. plays Federation President Lindberg, the scary, larger-than-life first black president of a space federation set in the twenty-third century.
Morgan Freeman in Deep Impact
Freeman brought his considerable gravitas to this hit 1998 disaster film. Freeman’s Tom Beck had to lead the nation during as asteroid crisis.
Dennis Haysbert on 24
Haysbert’s believable and charismatic turn as President David Palmer on the hit show 24 may have paved the way for President Obama.
Chris Rock in Head of State
The concept of a black president seemed so far-fetched in 2003 that it was the basis for this fish-out-of-water Chris Rock-directed comedy about an alderman who has an unlikely rise to the White House.
D.B. Woodside on 24
Woodside’s Wayne Palmer (brother of Haysbert’s David Palmer) climbed the political ladder on 24, first as Chief of Staff and later as the show’s second black president.
Dave Chappelle as ‘Black Bush’ on Chappelle’s Show
Dave Chappelle’s uproarious send-up of the Bush administration featured the politically incorrect comedian injecting an urban flavor into the former president’s wartime bravado.
Terry Crews in Idiocracy
Terry Crews plays an African-American president named after a soft drink: Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho who happens to be a former wrestler and porn star, in the 2006 comedy Idiocracy which takes place 500 years in the future where anything can happen.
Danny Glover as President Thomas Wilson in 2012
In the science fiction disaster film, 2012, Danny Glover plays President Thomas Wilson, who must do everything in his power to comfort his fellow Americans during a catastrophic chain of natural disasters.
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Dennis Haysbert cut a memorable figure as president of the United States on the hit television show 24. But he was the not the first or last African-American to portray the leader of the free world. There have been many notable, sometimes comedic, attempts to portray a black president in the White House before and since the real thing happened. TheGrio takes a look at Hollywood’s version of a black presidency.
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