Ones to Watch: 13 Black Actors on the Verge of Blowing Up was originally published on

1. Shameik Moore

This Atlanta native got his break as the retro, yet cool music nerd in the 2015 flick ‘Dope.’ Moore continues to be a blast from the past as DJ Shaolin Fantastic in the early hip-hop series ‘The Get Down’ on Netflix. With a background in dance and singing, Moore’s eclectic talents are sure to shine in multiple projects on the way.

2. Keith Powers

Powers is making moves and stealing hearts with his gradual rise to stardom. You might first remember him as Dr. Dre’s half-brother who was tragically killed in ‘Straight Outta Compton.’ Now you can watch him as a troubled actor on the new Freeform show ‘Famous In Love.’ You can also catch his take as Ronnie Devoe in the sure to be syndicated telemovie The ‘New Edition Story’ on BET.

3. Afton Williamson

Williamson started off as the understudy to Kerry Washington in the Broadway play ‘Race’ before succeeding her in later runs. Now you can catch Williamson as a fiery hip-hop go-getter in VH1’s ‘The Breaks.’ As a lead actress holding her own, Williamson has nowhere to go but up.

4. Rotimi

This actor got his big break on the Starz series ‘Boss,’ starring Kelsey Grammer. After a short two seasons, the series ended. However, the New Jersey native got another chance with the network as the shifty hustler Dre on the hit series ‘Power.’ You can now spot Rotimi left and right, with roles in Netflix’s ‘Burning Sands’ and ‘Deuces,’ as well as an upcoming spot in the Bruce Willis lead film ‘Acts of Violence.’

5. Algee Smith

Smith gave us depth and sensitivity as Ralph Tresvant in ‘The New Edition Story’ on BET. He’s sure to give us a lot more with a blossoming music career and acting resume. Next up, you can find Smith in Katherine Bigalow’s racially charged period drama ‘Detroit.’