10. Taraji P. Henson
“Black don’t crack” is not my favorite expression, probably because I didn’t come up with it, but if aging gracefully means that your face don’t change and you’re already impressive Bubble gets, well, bubblier, well, then Taraji, from the days of Baby Boy, to ruling the Empire might even look better as the years continue to pass.
9. Tessa Thompson (tie) Teyonah Parris
I don’t remember Tessa from Selma and (shame! shame!) I haven’t yet seen Chi-raq, otherwise I might be able to pick a winner in this one. The one movie I remember either of them from they were both in, Dear White People, and while I was leaning towards Teyonah from the door, that scene where Tessa gets outta bed with the white boy thus exposing the Bubble turned it into a push.
8. Lonette McKee
Color-struck thought I shamefully am, I usually don’t go for women this light-skinned but nobody coulda been hotter in Which Way is Up? Plus, as an actress, she has the goods. Cotton Club, He Got Game, Jungle Fever, Sparkle, I am a fan of talent, make no mistake.
7. Gloria Hendry
That waist, tho… Never mind the thighs; or do mind. And natural hair, of course. Lie to me like you wouldn’t take a flesh wound from that gun she’s holding if she let you put the tip in. First ever Black Bond Girl in Live and Let Die and Tommy’s girl in Black Caesar and Hell Up in Harlem.
6. Angela Bassett
She’s a vampire, My Dude. Ain’t no way in the world a woman’s supposed to look better pushing 60 than she did in her 20s. Shut-down-everybody fine in Jumping the Broom and she was supposed to be, like, the surrogate mom or something!
5. Halle Berry
Never sold on her, never liked her, wasn’t a fan. Guess that’s cause I thought she couldn’t act. Then I saw Cloud Atlas. Take it all back, Halle. You got chops. Sadly, the one movie where the Bubble’s exposed and we can salivate over just how good she looks, was B*A*P*S*, one of the worst movies ever.
4. Gabrielle Union
Like you don’t wanna lick her. And that’s somebody’s wife! You should be ashamed of yourself! And I was only talking about on the arm or something; you’ve got a dirty mind. If she only made Deliver Us from Eva, she wouldn’t drop not a single spot.
3. Dorothy Dandridge
Most underrated Bubble ever. She is killing those dresses in Carmen Jones. The only other movie I saw her in was The Decks Ran Red. Can’t even remember if she played Black or some sorta “exotic”. Poor Dorothy is proof that Hollywood can kill you.
2. Judy Pace
Good lord, if you’ve never seen Cotton Comes to Harlem, find a way to see it right now, but buy all the appropriate lubes and ointments you’ll need to be able to enjoy it “appropriately”. No idea why she never became a Huge Star. The only other thing I’ve seen her in was The Slams. Damn shame.
1. Pam Grier
Oh, come on! Act like you wouldn’t have hung me by my neck till I was dead if this wasn’t the Top Pick. The basketball equivalent of a quintuple-double with 100 points, 50 rebounds, 50 assist, 25 steals, 25 blocks and no turnovers. Bubble, 10-Face, and uh, there’s also another audacious quality she was known for… escaping me now… While you have your ointments and creams, grab Coffy. You won’t make it past the first 10 minutes before you’ll need to wash up.
*Honorable Menion: Nia Long.