Asante Blackk
Source: Mat Hayward/Getty Images for “STORY AVE”

Defining Moments: Asante Blackk's Most Influential Roles

Discover how Asante Blackk went from high school to a Primetime Emmy nomination with roles in "When They See Us" and "This Is Us." His journey unveiled.


Dec. 24 2023, Published 7:37 p.m. ET

The learning curve of transitioning from acting in your high drama club to acting in a professional setting can sometimes be too steep for some actors. Only the best tend to thrive in such a transition. And only the top-crème will do such a good job that they get nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for their first on-screen display.

Asante Blackk (whose real name is Asante Ma'at) is one such talented actor. Asante Blackk went from playing the role of Charlie in his high-school re-enactment of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to walking down the red carpet at the 2019 Emmy Award shows after getting nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie. This made him one of just 12 actors and actresses to get nominated before their 18th birthday.

He is a seriously good actor who's most likely destined to scale the heights of Hollywood in the coming years. However, let's delve into his career so far and analyze the roles he has played that have impacted his career and audience.

‘When They See Us’

Top on the list of most important characters Blackk has played is the role of Kevin Richardson in When They See Us. Blackk expertly portrays the harrowing experience of Kevin Richardson as one of the Central Park Five. They were wrongly accused and convicted of assaulting and raping a white woman as she jogged in Central Park in 1989.

The moving performance showed us the emotional toll that Kevin experienced after being wrongly accused and convicted while still at the young age of 14 years.

Although he had auditioned to play Korey Wise, another member of the exonerated Central Park Five, the choice to cast him as Kevin proved right when he was nominated for an Emmy Award.

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Malik Hodges on ‘This Is Us’

Right on the heels of his emotive performance in When They See Us, Blackk was cast to play Malik Hodges, a teenage single dad on the NBC series, This Is Us. Speaking to TODAY, Blackk said this of his character, "He's a young Black father who's there for his daughter, and he's not ashamed of his daughter. He loves her. He's happy he has her. She's his world. It's a level of responsibility you don't see in most 16-year-olds."

While Blackk joined the show in Season 4, Malik became a centerpiece of the show as people were drawn to his character. The character is not only a teenage father but a complex character, making it easy for the audience to relate to him.

Black was a show regular, appearing in 18 episodes between 2019 and 2022.

‘Story Ave’

He portrayed Kadir Grayson in Story Ave. Kadir is a young graffiti artist going through a rough time while mourning the death of his younger brother. He is only saved from a path of gangsterism by his would-be mug victim, an MTA conductor played by Luis Guzman.

Story Ave is an interesting watch for Asante's fans — and we can’t wait to see what role he takes on next.

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