Raven Baxter, Penny Proud, And 13 Other Black Disney Channel Characters That Dominated The Network



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Being born in '99, I truly feel like I experienced the best entertainment in the '90s and early 2000s.

Disney Plus / Via giphy.com

Hip-hop music was at its best in the '90s — celebrating true Black culture, and television was at its prime with bangers. Disney Channel continued to bring Black characters that I absolutely loved and could not get enough of. 

So, here's my list of the Black Disney characters that absolutely made my childhood:

1. Raven Baxter

Raven-Symoné on left; Raven Baxter on right

Rodin Eckenroth / Getty Images; Disney Plus

My absolute favorite character of all time is Raven Baxter. Not only did she set fashion trends on the Disney channel, but at the time she was the youngest Black woman to have a show named after her. That's So Raven taught many Black women valuable lessons from racism to discrimination. Also, her one-liners were funny AF: "Ya nastyyyyy."

Raven Baxter was way ahead of her time. 

2. Mr. Moseby

Phill Lewis at an event, Phill Lewis as Mr. Moseby from "The Suite Life on Deck"

Disney Plus

Who didn't love Mr. Moseby from The Suite Life of Zack & Cody? Mr. Moseby served as a father figure to Zack and Cody. He gave great advice, taught them valuable lessons. Mr. Moseby reminded the audience of the nerdy, overprotective parent in our own lives.

3. Mary Thomas

Keke Palmer at 2023 New York Critic's Choice Awards on left; Mary Thomas on right

Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images; Disney Plus

Keke Palmer started acting in Akeelah and the Bee, and we've seen her grow up on Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. If you need to remember who Miss Mary Thomas is, let her double-dutch skills show you. Jump In! is a great movie on achievements and how jump rope is a sport. Mary Thomas is one of the strongest lead characters in a Disney movie. 

4. Cyrus & Roxie

Michael Kovac / Getty Images for Champagne Collet & OBC Wines;Frederic J. Brown / AFP via Getty Images, Disney Channel

Cyrus (Tyler James Williams) and Roxie (Coco Jones) from Let it Shine shared an undeniable bond! This was one of my favorite storylines centered around Black characters on Disney. Let it Shine is a mixture of High School Musical and Drumline, as it follows the classic trope of a man showing his hidden talents to win over a girl.

5. Cory Baxter

Kyle Massey on left; Corey Baxter on right from "That's So Raven"

Prince Williams / FilmMagic; Disney Plus

Cory Baxter from That's So Raven and Cory in the House is a true OG from Disney Channel. He was the annoying brother every girl has grown up with. I loved watching him on both shows. Fun fact: Cory Baxter, aka Kyle Massey's brother, is Zoey 101's Michael Barret, aka Christopher Massey. 

6. Rocky Blue

Zendaya at 2022 Emmy's red carpet on left; Rocky Blue on right in "Shake it Up"

Michael Buckner / Variety via Getty Images; Disney Plus

Shake It Up! was another classic on Disney Channel. It's where Zendaya got her  start in Hollywood. She starred as Rocky Blue alongside Bella Thorne, who played CeCe Jones. The show followed the besties as they chased their dreams of becoming stars, all through their love of dance. And honestly, who doesn't love every character Zendaya has played?

7. Taylor McKessie

 Louder and Prouder on left, Taylor McKessie in High School Musical 2 on right

Tommaso Boddi / Getty Images; Disney Plus

Taylor McKessie (Monique Coleman) played BFF to Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens) in High School Musical. She's proof that everyone deserves a friend like her in their lives.

Though we found out about the mistreatment of Coleman behind the scenes of High School Musical and why she wore a headband all the time, she was a big part of the iconic HSM franchise. She was a positive representation of a Black woman not subjected to any stereotypes, but still being fully supported.

8. Penny Proud

 Louder and Prouder" premiere on the left; Penny Proud on the left

Tommaso Boddi / Getty Images/ Disney Plus

Penny Proud from The Proud Family, who was played by Kyla Pratt, represented every girl's coming-of-age story. The series showed the importance of family, no matter how dysfunctional they can be, and that was a beautiful thing to witness on TV as a kid.

9. Chyna Parks

China Anne McClaine on left Chyna Parks on the right

Unique Nicole / Getty Images; Disney Plus

A.N.T. Farm reminded me of some of the musical Disney Channel Original Movies, but it was so much more than that. The show follows music prodigy Chyna Parks, played by China Anne McClain, as she tries to make the most of her high school experience while also excelling in the prestigious A.N.T. (Advanced Natural Talents) program.

10. Chad Danforth

 The Series," and Chad on the right

Valerie Macon / AFP via Getty Images; Disney Plus

We love Chad! Chad Danforth (Corbin Bleu) is the lifelong friend of Troy Bolton in the High School Musical franchise, who wants his friend to "get his head in the game" as he battles to figure out what he wants from basketball. Chad remains a fan-favorite because not only did he keep it real, but he also kept me laughing.

11. Zuri Ross

Skai Jackson on the left; Zuri on the right

Tiffany Rose / Getty Images for HollyRod Foundation; Disney Channel

Jessie was one of the shows that seemed like it went on forever because it truly felt like I watched the cast grow up with me. The storyline was something Disney Channel had never explored before — mutliracial adopted children living the life of their dreams with a young, fun nanny. Zuri Ross (Skai Jackson) was always the highlight of the show for me, because she stole every scene she was in, especially when she delivered on of her hilarious one-liners. 

12. Wade

Tahj Mowry on the leftl; Wade from "Kim Possible" on the right

Craig Barritt / Getty Images for ReedPop; Disney Plus

Kim Possible, call me, beep me...well, you know the rest. Wade is the technical genius played by Tahj Mowry, who helps Kim Possible in all of her missions. I mean where would be she without his iconic invention the Kimmunicator. Also, this genius is 10 years old, but has already graduated high school and eight months of college. True Black excellence! 

13. Galleria

Raven-Symoné on the left; Galleria from "The Cheetah Girls" on the right

Steve Granitz / FilmMagic; Disney Plus

Galleria from The Cheetah Girls was my favorite because she knew the importance of hard-work, craftsmanship, and unity. All she wanted the girls to be was "international superstars" and she made sure everyone remembered that. Seeing Raven-Symoné in another culturally-dominating role was also amazing, or should I say..."CHEETAHLICIOUS!"

14. Ivy Wentz

Raven Goodwin on the left; Ivy Wentz on the right

Paras Griffin / Getty Images; Disney Plus

Back in the old Good Luck Charlie days, Ivy Wentz was that girl! Played by Raven Goodwin, she was the bestie of Teddy Duncan (Bridgit Mendler), and was on her way to acting success. Ivy always brought the jokes and her fashion was always on point.

15. And Alexandra Fielding and Camryn Barnes

Tia and Tamera Mowry on the top; Alex and Cam on the bottom

Araya Doheny / WireImage; Disney Plus

The Twitches films were the best Halloween movies on Disney Channel! I love any project that brings our Sister, Sister duo, Tia and Tamera Mowry, back on-screen. The films explored how the twins strengthened their bond through magic. Although I loved them both, but Alex (Tia) will always be my favorite. 

Did one of your favorite Disney Channel characters not make the list? Tell us who yours was in the comments below!

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