Black Celebrities From Texas

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African-American influence in Texas has been around for over five centuries, just as long as any European culture. The first Africans were believed to have come to Texas in 1528 and have been a vital part of the region ever since. Galveston, Texas, is the birthplace of African American freedom, where Juneteenth occurred. 

Black celebrities from Texas have been making their mark on the world for decades. The Lone Star State has produced countless talents in many major industries, like music, film, sports, and other entertainment. Today, we celebrate these amazing people. 

Michael Strahan at the 92nd Academy Awards - Texas View

Black Celebrities From Texas

It doesn’t have to be Texas Black History Month to honor the most talented African Americans to come out of this great state. Texans are proud and respectful people. So, there’s never a wrong time to shine a light on some of our brightest shining stars. 

As part of our Famous People from Texas series, we’ve already covered female celebrities, young celebrities, and celebrities from certain cities. So, for this article, we’ll include some fresh faces on the list. The fact that we can do this shows how many African-American Texas heroes there are. 

Let’s take a look: 

Halle Berry Jamie Foxx and Leona Lewis 1 - Texas View

Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx has been one of the biggest stars in Hollywood for the past two decades. His charisma, style, and multiple talents make him one of the planet’s most sought-after and unique entertainers. From stand-up comedy to singing, and from impressions to acting, he can do it all. 

Although Foxx is one of the most famous celebs on the planet, he comes from humble beginnings and was born in Terrell, Texas, a small city outside Dallas. Before adopting his stage name, Foxx went by his birth name, Eric Marlon Bishop. His parents separated soon after he was born, and so he was raised by his grandparents. 

Foxx was brought up in a strict Baptist household and was heavily involved in the church throughout his childhood, where he began singing and playing piano at five years old. He was a natural performer and was popular in school among teachers and students for his personality and joke-telling. 

His talents earned him a scholarship to the United States International University in San Diego, where he studied classical piano and music theory. As a student, he began performing in comedy clubs. His signature act was doing impressions of famous people, like Mike Tyson, Bill Cosby, and Ronald Reagan. 

Foxx’s comedy reputation led to him securing a place on the hit TV show, In Living Color. From here, there was no turning back and Foxx embarked on an award-winning career across music, TV, and film. Some of his most famous movies include: 

  • Any Given Sunday (1999)
  • Ali (2001)
  • Collateral (2004)
  • Ray (2004)
  • Miami Vice (2006)
  • Django Unchained (2012)
  • Rio (both movies)
  • Spiderman (two movies)
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Ciara at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards - Texas View

Ciara

Ciara, the Princess of Crunk, was an important figure in the 2000s R&B scene, and in truth, is still a star to this day. She had a number of major hits from 2004 to 2010, like 1, 2 Step (featuring Missy Elliot) and Oh (featuring Ludacris). Her album, Goodies, went triple platinum and received two Grammy nominations.

Many people don’t realize that Ciara is a Texan because she spent most of her childhood moving around with her army parents. Although she was born in Fort Hood, she grew up in several different states, including New York, Georgia, California, and Arizona. 

When she was in her teens, Ciara’s family eventually settled in Atlanta, where she went to high school. She formed a girl group with friends and although they recorded some demos, they separated. Ciara didn’t give up, however, and began writing songs. While still in school, she got a publishing deal as a songwriter. 

After contributing to Blu Cantrell’s success in the early 2000s, Ciara started to build a reputation. As a fresh high school graduate, she was signed by famous music executive L.A. Reid to the LaFace Record company. Within two years, Goodies was released, and Ciara became a star. 

Today, Ciara has been married to NFL quarterback Russell Wilson for over seven years. The couple have two children together, a boy and a girl. Ciara continues to release new music, but her career has veered toward entrepreneurism and philanthropy. She and Wilson co-wrote a New York Best Seller book called Why Not You?

George Foreman in 1973 - Texas View

George Foreman

Big George Foreman is one of the best and most accomplished heavyweight boxers in the sport’s history. Throughout his career, Foreman won virtually every title, crushed records, and was involved in some of the most iconic fights in boxing. 

But it wasn’t always that way. Foreman was born in Marshall, Texas, in 1949 but grew up in the neighboring Houston, in the infamous Fifth Ward district. His childhood was trouble-filled, and he even proclaimed to have been a thug, having gotten involved in street gangs after dropping out of school in the ninth grade. 

At 16 years old, Foreman decided to step away from the violent lifestyle he’d become embroiled in, and with his mother’s help, enrolled in the Jobs Corp. Here, he was introduced to boxing coach Doc Broadus, who encouraged Foreman to swap street violence for amateur boxing.

Within three years, he qualified for the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Most people didn’t realize how good this Texan kid was. Fighters were shocked by his power, especially his left jab, which he later became renowned for. 

Foreman walked through each of his opponents before securing the gold medal for the USA with a second-round TKO (technical knockout) win over Ionas Chepulis, from the Soviet Union. Having reached the top of the amateur game, Foreman went pro the following year. 

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Foreman had an explosive introduction to the professional heavyweight ranks. His fights rarely went beyond three rounds as he KO’d opponent after opponent. Only three went to the judges’ scorecards in the 37 bouts (undefeated) leading up to his first world title shot. 

In just three and a half years as a pro, Foreman was 37-0 and in line to face champion Joe Frazier, who was also undefeated (29-0). The fight occurred in Kingston, Jamaica, and was labeled the Sunshine Showdown. Unexpectedly, the contest was highly one-sided. 

Foreman knocked Frazier down six times in two rounds, eventually leading to the referee stopping the bout. After two successful title defenses, he suffered his first pro defeat to Muhammad Ali, in arguably the most famous boxing match ever, the Rumble in the Jungle (1974). 

Foreman retired in 1977 but made a spectacular comeback ten years later. At 45 years old, Foreman won the unified IBF, WBA, and lineal titles when he KO’d Micheal Moorer. He defended his belts once before relinquishing them in 1995. At 46, Foreman became the oldest world heavyweight champion ever. 

Foreman retired for the second time in 1997 when he was 48 years old with a record of 76 wins (68 KO’s) and 5 losses. He has enjoyed an extremely successful career outside of boxing, mainly because of his grill that’s sold all over the world. In fact, his famous grill has earned him far more than his boxing career. 

Brittney Griner at the ESPYs - Texas View

Brittney Griner

Brittney Griner is not only one of the best female basketball players to come out of Texas but also one of the best women to ever play the game. Born and raised in Houston, she stood out because of her height and athleticism. She attended Baylor University and led her team to an NCAA Championship in 2012. 

That season, Baylor amassed an undefeated record of 40-0, setting a record for most wins in NCAA history. Although she was selected for the 2012 Olympics team, Griner withdrew because of family reasons and her school schedule. But she eventually went on to win two Olympic golds with Team USA.

Griner has an honors list that has to be seen to be believed. Here’s a quick snapshot of some of her accomplishments: 

  • First pick in the WNBA Draft
  • WNBA Champion (2014)
  • 9 time WNBA All-Star
  • 2 time WNBA scoring champion
  • 8 time WNBA block leader
  • 2 time Olympic gold medalist
  • 3 time Russian National League champion
  • 4 time EuroLeague champion

During the off-season, Griner regularly played overseas in Europe, Russia, or China. In 2022, she was the subject of a global scandal when she was arrested in Russia on smuggling charges for possessing medically prescribed hash oil. After being detained for 10 months, she was released in a well-publicized prisoner exchange. 

Chris Bosh and his wife Adrienne Bosh at the Do Something Awards - Texas View

Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh is a retired pro basketball player and NBA Hall of Famer, from Dallas Texas. Growing up in his birth city, Bosh played basketball and other sports. However, during his teens, he grew to be 6’11” tall and had a tailor-made frame for the court. 

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Bosh led his high school team to a state title and won many individual awards that season, including being named a first-team All-American by multiple publications. He also performed very well academically, making him one of the top college players on college scouts’ lists. 

After a single year at Georgia Tech, Bosh was selected fourth in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors. This was one of the most famous drafts ever as it also included Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Carmello Anthony. 

Bosh hit the ground running with the Raptors and quickly became the face of the organization. In his seven years in Toronto, Bosh was a five-time All-Star and also won an Olympic gold medal in 2008 with Team USA. When he left in 2010, Bosh was the Raptor’s all-time leader in minutes, points, and blocks.

After leaving Toronto, Bosh helped formed the Big Three in Miami with draft alumni Dwyane Wade and Lebron James. The Heat won two NBA championships in 2012 and 2013. Unfortunately, Bosh had to retire due to a blood clotting disorder. However, he was honored with a Hall of Fame induction, and his jersey was retired by the Heat.

Other Black Celebrities From Texas

Some other amazing celebrities to come out of the Lone Star State include: 

  • Lizzo (singer)
  • Michael Strahan (NFL)
  • Kelly Rowland (singer)
  • Forest Whitaker (actor)
  • Erica Banks (rapper)
  • Nelly (rapper)
  • Adrian Peterson (NFL)
  • Jalen Hurts (NFL)
  • Jack Johnson (boxer)
  • Megan Thee Stallion (rapper)
  • Patrick Mahomes (NFL)
  • Mark Henry (WWE)
  • Trae Young (NBA)

References

Author Profile

Christian Linden is a seasoned writer and contributor at Texas View, specializing in topics that resonate with the Texan community. With over a decade of experience in journalism, Christian brings a wealth of knowledge in local politics, culture, and lifestyle. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Texas. When he's not writing, Christian enjoys spending weekends traveling across Texas with his family, exploring everything from bustling cities to serene landscapes.

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