It’s officially Black History Month and between the events, books, workshops, and service projects you may have planned, a nice way to wind down and still get your dose of black history is with a good movie. If you’re looking for a few good films to spend your time watching this month, check out a few hits from our list below:
The true story about three black woman mathematicians who worked at NASA and assisted with the United States progress during the “space race”. A captivating story about the resilience of black women, our contributions to our history’s greatest accomplishments, and the real life struggle through it all. This is a great film to watch with the young black girls in your life.
In 2013, Lee Daniels’ The Butler appeared in theaters and it was met with critical acclaim. The movie follows a man who works as a butler in the White House during the Civil Rights era. The film stars Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Terrence Howard, and Cuba Gooding, Jr. The film won two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actor and Outstanding Supporting Actor.
Not a movie, but a harrowing documentary about mass incarceration. Both from a historical context and through the present days lens. Directed by Ava Duvernay, this is one that is tough to watch but necessary so that we can work to change the systems that have devastating effects on black women and men.
The 2011 film The Help was based off of the 2009 novel by Kathryn Stockett. The story follows a young white woman who aspires to become a journalist. She decides to write a novel exposing racism and tells the narrative from the viewpoint of the maids. The film became a massive success and grossed over $215 million in the box office. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards where Octavia Spencer won for Best Supporting Actress.
12 Years a Slave
In 2013, 12 Years a Slave appeared in theaters and received critical acclaim. The adaptation of a slave narrative, the film told the story of Solomon Northup, a free-man who was captured and sold into slavery. The film starred Chiwetel Ejiofor and breakout star, Lupita Nyong’o. The film did exceptionally well and tallied over 140 awards including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress at the Academy Awards as well as Best Motion Picture at the Golden Globes.
Based on the true story of Oscar Grant, the 2013 film Fruitvale Station describes in detail the events leading up to his death. Oscar Grant was killed by a police officer at Fruitvale Station in Oakland. The film was originally introduced at the Sundance Film Festival and after winning the Grand Jury Prize was released in theaters. The film stars Michael B. Jordan as Oscar Grant and was produced by Forest Whitaker.
Although these are some of our favorites, there are several other films to choose from like Glory Road, Selma, The Color Purple, and Glory. In the comments, let us know some of your favorite films to watch on black history!