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10 Black Historical Films That Will Entertain, Inform, & Inspire You

Black woman watching television with her dog sitting on her lap

Happy Black History Month! One great way to celebrate this month is by watching films inspired by Black history. Films that explore Black stories allow you to learn about the past and acknowledge the resilience and achievements of Black people through a popular medium of entertainment. We have curated a list of 10 incredible Black historical films that are sure to entertain, educate, and inspire you.

These films go beyond the surface, showcasing the richness and complexity of Black experiences throughout history. They celebrate triumphs, confront injustices, and document the fight for equality. 

Grab your popcorn, get comfy, and be prepared to be moved by these 10 films:

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1. Selma (2014)

Selma Movie Trailer

Selma follows the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. up to the day of the historic march from Selma to Montgomery. This film shows the powerful and emotional journey towards voting rights. 

2. 12 Years a Slave (2013)

12 Years A Slave Movie Trailer

This movie is difficult, yet essential, to watch. The film follows Solomon Northup, a free Black man who is kidnapped and sold into slavery. It’s a brutal (and unforgettable) look at the horrors of enslavement in America.

3. Hidden Figures (2016)

Hidden Figures Movie Trailer

This film celebrates the brilliance of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, three Black women mathematicians who played pivotal roles in the advancement of NASA’s early space program. This film documents their uplifting story of perseverance and defying the odds.

4. Malcolm X (1992)

Malcolm X Movie Trailer

This film follows the life of Malcolm X, a prominent leader in the civil rights movement. 

5. The Color Purple (1985)

The Color Purple (1985) Movie Trailer

Based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, this film tells the story of Celie, a Black woman who overcomes abuse and finds her own voice. This film is about resilience, sisterhood, and self-discovery.

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6. I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

I Am Not Your Negro Documentary Trailer

This documentary uses James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript of “Remember This House” to explore race relations in America. It’s a powerful and thought-provoking look at the issues that continue to affect America today. 

7. Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)

Judas and the Black Messiah Movie Trailer

This film tells the story of Fred Hampton, the deputy chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, and his betrayal by an FBI informant. This film sheds light on the FBI’s COINTELPRO program and its impact on Black activism.

8. Summer of Soul (2021)

Summer of Soul Documentary Trailer

This documentary unearths footage from the Harlem Cultural Festival, a six-week event celebrating Black music and culture in 1969. This film is a joyful, uplifting celebration of Black excellence.

9. One Night in Miami (2020)

One Night in Miami Movie Trailer

This film follows the night in Miami when Muhammad Ali won the world heavyweight championship against Sonny Liston. The film is centered around Ali celebrating his win that night with Malcom X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown.

10. 13th (2016)

13th Documentary Trailer

This documentary explores the history of racial inequality in the United States with a focus on the connection between slavery, the 13th amendment, and mass incarceration.

Remember, history is the stories we carry, the struggles we overcome, and the impact we make on the world.

 Written with lots of care, 

Kaylannk

Your Internet BFF

P.S.  Share your favorite Black historical films in the comments.

Check out: Free Black History Documentaries That Will Teach You Everything Your Teacher Did Not

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