Clay Cane is a New York City-based writer who is recognized for his contributions in journalism. Clay is a regular contributor for various print and online publications such as The Advocate and BET.com. He is the author of the highly anticipated novel Ball-Shaped World, which is a fictionalized account of the black and Latino ballroom scene. Also, he is the Entertainment Editor at BET.com and a member of New York Film Critics Online.
He can be reached at email@example.com.
When people talk bad girls in TV and film, they always say Angelina Jolie roles, Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct and Bond Girls. However, the sisters are always forgotten. When I say bad girls, I mean the sassy, relentless, no-holds barred chick who basically makes the story.
Check out the top ten baddest black girls in television and film!
10. Dead Presidents (1995)/28 Days Later (2002)
N'Bushe Wright - Delilah Benson Best scene in Dead Presidents is when Delilah jumps out of the dumpster screaming and shooting. Her entire character had sass, attitude, and full-tilt drama. Dead Presidents is one of the most underrated films of the nineties.
Naomie Harris - Selena The only sistah for the two hours of 28 Days Later, Selena wasn't playing. She hacked "the infected" away and was willing to chop up anyone else who got in her way. Screaming and angry, with the perm still tight, Selena was a UK bad girl.
9. Set It Off (1996)
Queen Latifah - Cleopatra 'Cleo' Sims
Lesbian bad girl, with her cornrows and gangster stroll. Latifah nailed this role, in a movie that I thought deserved some Oscar nods.
8. Sparkle (1976) Lonette McKee – Sister For 1976, Sister was an edgy bad girl. Making out with her man in the car and dressed in mini-skirts or skin tight pants with leopard print—back in the day, only a harlot wore animal print!
7. Boomerang (1992) Robin Givens - Jacqueline Boyer Givens manipulated, played, and treated Murphy’s character like a desperate tramp. Who can forget when she left the money on the nightstand? Jacqueline was professional, intelligent, and evil, only Robin Givens could’ve played this character.
6. Eve’s Bayou (1997) Lisa Nicole Carson - Matty Mereaux Southern bad girl! Matty was a bad girl just for smoldering at the bar with her white dress and red flower print—lusting for a married man. Carson’s character was a major plot line, causing death and destruction. By the way – what happened to Lisa Nicole Carson? She was such a talent.
5. Harlem Nights (1989) Della Reese – Vera
Vera was the cussing, boozing, and fighting broad who owned a whorehouse. The fight with Eddie Murphy’s character goes down in black movie history. One of her best lines was, “You shut the fuck up, Bennie! I would tell you to kiss my ass, but knowing you, you probably can't find it, you blind motherfucker!”
4. Women of Brewster Place (1989) Jackée Harry - Etta Mae The saucy minx of Brewster Place, with the flashy car, tight clothes and always carried her LPs, full of bluesy and ungodly music. Her baddest moment was when she had sex with the preacher, took the walk of shame home and Mattie (Oprah) was waiting up for her in the rocking chair—listening to that tawdry secular music.
3. Ugly Betty (2006 – 2008) Vanessa Williams - Wilhelmina Slater Shady, powerful, rich, quick mouth, and makes the show. Honestly, Ugly Betty would be a yawn without Wilhelmina. Favorite line is when Wilhelmina spat to Betty, "Let's not talk around this like a couple of dull white people!"
2. Coffy (1973) Pam Grier When you see Pam’s titties you knew someone was about to die! Pam became a 70s legend for her portrayal of the nurse by day and vigilante at night in urban Los Angeles.
1. Dynasty (1984 – 1987) Diahann Carroll–Dominique Deveraux Dominique Deveraux is television history. The character rejuvenated the show with the wild cat fights, over the top glamour and biting lines. Diahann Carroll proudly says she was "the first black bitch on television." Legend and the baddest sister of them all!
Carroll's biography, The Legs Are The Last To Go, is in stores now. The woman is still beautiful -- a breast cancer survivor and 74 years-old!
Check out one of Deveraux's best moments.
Honorable mentions: School Daze (1988) Tisha Campbell - Jane Toussaint, New Jack City (1991) Vanessa A. Williams – Keisha, Why Do Fools Fall in Love (1998) Vivicia A. Fox - Mickey Waters, Two Can Play At That Game (2001) Gabrielle Union - Conny Spalding