Black History Month is a celebration of the legacies of Black leaders, thinkers, and pioneers who inspired future generations. Though the reflection during this month invokes stories of the pain and struggles Black people have tolerated and continue to experience during America’s past and present, it is important to also cherish and honour Black people’s talent, beauty, innovations, and culture, something that has been overlooked over the years. 

Film is one of the areas that portrays the enriched culture of Black people. Documentaries, fictional stories, biopics, and movies about Black people to honour their legacy, and to educate people of other colours in the world. Black narratives of all kinds are at the centre of attention, where these movies mix information and entertainment for the audience.

With February in its final stretch, consider making time for all of these movies. Here are 10-must-watch movies to honour and celebrate the plethora of talent displayed by Black people.

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1. Selma:

Black people were still seen as nothing despite the South being desegregated in 1964, as discrimination prevailed across the country with many Black people restrained from registering to vote. This movie shows the post-Civil Rights Act suffrage efforts led by Dr. King to get the Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed.

Where to watch: Amazon

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2. Just Mercy:

This film tells the story of Walter Mcmillian and Bryan Stevenson – a young man wrongfully convicted of murder and the defense attorney determined to find justice, as the viewers are taught about systematic racism.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

3. Say Her Name:

The Life and Death of Sandra: Black women tend to get overlooked when discussing the racial injustices faced by Black Americans. Activist Sandra Bland is found dead in her jail cell three days later, after being pulled over for a traffic violation. The movie shares her story and follows the two-year case.

Where to watch: HBO

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4. I Am Not Your Negro:

James Baldwin breaks down race relations in a way thats easy to understand and impossible to deny. This movie is based on Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript, “Remember This House,” and will take the audience through the history of the meaning of being a Black American and the evolution of it over time.

Where to watch: Netflix

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5. The Hate U Give:

Based on Angie Thomas’ best selling novel of the same title, this movie follows the story of a Black high schooler who mounts the privileged world of her school and the poor Black neighbourhood she grew up in. Starr is forced to wrestle both places when she is the only witness of the shooting of her friend Khalil by a white police officer.

Where to watch: HULU


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6. The Forty-Year-Old Version:

Writer/director Radha Blank stars in her semi-autobiographical comedy about a New York playwright who decides to reinvent herself as a rapper, after struggling to break into the theatre scene.

Where to watch: Netflix

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7. Malcolm X: 

He hit rock bottom during his imprisonment in the 50’s, he became a Black Muslim and then a leader in the nation of Islam. This movie takes a closer look at Malcolm X’s philosophies and why he was working so hard for Black liberation. 

Where to watch: HBO

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8. Moonlight:

A young Black boy living in Miami during the ‘80s struggles to come to terms with his sexuality while being raised by an abusive mother in this Academy Award Best Picture winner.

 Where to watch: Hulu

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9. One Night In Miami:

This movie directed by Regina King reimagines the events of February 25 1964, when one night, Muhammad Ali (Still Cassius Clay at the time), NFL star Jim Brown, musician Sam Cook, and Malcolm X discussed being Black in America, religion, and their own legacies during the civil rights movement.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

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10. The Black Godfather:

Directed by Reginald Hudlin, this 2019 documentary-film depicts the story of music executive Clarence Avant, a legend in the entertainment industry and a champion for civil rights. The story of Avant is told by the people he worked with. 

 Where to watch: Netflix

Published by: HOLR Magazine.