Movies about Black History that you must watch!

10 Great Movies about Black History you should watch
As we mentioned in our previous article about Great black-owned businesses to support in the west coast, February was Black History Month and so that month after month you continue to learn about this topic, we want to comment on this article’s best movies about Black History. Because in the end, the first step to achieve a change is informing us about the situation.

Top 10 of the best movies about Black History

As we have mentioned, the objective of this article is to show the best movies about Black History that you must watch to understand the different situations that black people can experience in their day-to-day lives, especially black American men and women.


The first movie we want to mention is Moonlight, directed by Barry Jenkins and through which it won an Oscar for Best Picture. Jenkins also wrote this film along with his collaborator Tarell Alvin McCraney. Moonlight tells the story of a young black man who lives in Miami during the 80s and not only struggles to accept his sexuality but also struggles with everything that comes with being a black person.

Do The Right Thing

Do The Right Thing, directed by Spike Lee, is another of the films that you must see since, through it, the 24 hours in the life of a Brooklyn neighborhood are narrated in which there is a revolt between communities. In order to create this film, different real cases were taken into account since, through Do The Right Thing, it was intended to establish its own aesthetic codes to be able to denounce racial violence.

12 Years a Slave

Another of the most outstanding award-winning films, and probably one of the best known, is 12 Years a Slave. It is based on the memoirs of 1853 by Solomon Northrup and thanks to the great adaptation that was made, it managed to win the Oscar for Best Picture. Northrup was a black man born in New York who was kidnapped and sold as a slave to do backbreaking work on the southern plantation. In this way, this film narrates what the 12 years of slavery were like, Northrup’s efforts to escape, and how violence and abuse were exerted on blacks.

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson 

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson is a documentary through which an interview and recordings of Marsha, one of the most important icons of the LGBTI activist movement, as she shows what is like being a black and trans person in the United States from the 1960s to the 1990s. We wanted to highlight this documentary as Marsha died in a strange way when her body was found in the Hudson River, in 1992.


The next movie we want to mention is actually a Netflix documentary directed by Ava DuVernay through which an incredible reflection of how race and the justice system interact is made. That is, it shows in the most real way possible the criminalization suffered by African Americans and how their lives are in the prisons of the United States where they suffer even more.

I Am Not Your Negro

Another of the films that we want to highlight in this top 10 is I Am Not Your Negro. It was directed in 2016 by Raoul Peck, who has narrated the racial issue throughout his filmography. Specifically, with I Am Not Your Negro, the director intended to build a visual essay through the unfinished writings of James Baldwin, an American novelist, playwright, essayist, poet, and activist who was a close friend of important civil rights leaders such as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Medgar Evers.

In addition, this film also includes texts narrated by Samuel L. Jackson with the aim of showing everything that has been achieved in the past. It is important to mention that this film stands out for narrating current images through texts written decades ago by Baldwin to emphasize the idea that there is still much to change.

Black Panthers

In this top 10, we could not miss Black Panthers, a film from 1968 and recorded by Agnès Varda with her 16-millimeter camera. Varda met those known as the Black Panthers at the time of the Huey Newton trial protests in Oakland. Through this film, Agnès Varda portrayed the revolt of the black and feminist race to give a voice to the protagonists of this struggle.

The Hate U Give

Through this film, an adaptation of one of Angie Thomas’s most important novels is made, which tells how a black student witnesses how the police shoot a friend of hers in an incident. Through The Hate U Give, George Tillman Jr. shows the explicit racial message in a social drama setting for teenagers. In this way, what the director intends is to show the reality that adolescents and young people live and how they must deal with their race and social injustice from a very young age.

Get Out

We could say that Get Out is a must-see movie that everyone should see. This film was Jordan Peele’s great directorial debut and tells the story of Chris, played by Daniel Kaluuya, a black man who discovers a secret when he accompanies his white girlfriend to her parents’ house. Kaluuya won more than 8 awards for this role.

We said that it is a mandatory film since through this film a critique of race relations in the United States is made in a more fun and relaxed way. This new way of telling social problems became a great example of how stories about racism could be told in a simpler way.

One Night in Miami

This movie was released in 2020, directed by Regina King, an actress that you surely know from films such as If Beale Street Could Talk, Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde, Ray, and TV shows like Southland, Seven Seconds, American Crime, Watchmen and The Big Bang Theory. One Night in Miami is her debut as a director and tells the story of a fictional meeting between Muhammad Ali, Sam Cooke, Jim Brown, and Malcolm X in 1964.

Finally, a plus: When They See Us

As a bonus, we wish to make one last recommendation of a miniseries again from Ava DuVernay and which is available on the great streaming platform Netflix. Through When They See Us, the judicial system is discussed again and how it increases institutional racism. In this way, this miniseries tells the story based on real events of five Harlem teenagers who are unjustly accused of an attack for which they served time after being forced to confess.


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