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5 Free Black History Documentaries That Will Teach You Everything Your Teacher Did Not

Women peacefully protesting at the March on Washington 1963

Black History Month is here! It’s the perfect time to learn Black historical facts. African Americans have significantly impacted and continue to impact America everyday by encouraging change in legislation that positively transforms the lifestyle of the average American.  

If you prefer not to read books and would rather watch videos this post is for you. I am a visual learner, so I understand that books can be boring, or the information just doesn’t stick. So, I created a list of Black historical documentaries that are worth your time. Within an hour you can learn interesting historical facts you would never learn in school. 

1. 13th (2016)

Genre: Documentary | Rating: Not Rated 

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Netflix’s 13th is a documentary created by popular filmmaker Ava DuVernay that explores the history of racial inequality in the United States with a focus on the U.S. prison pipeline.

13th Documentary Full Video

2. Get in The Way: The Journey of John Lewis (2015)

Genre: Documentary/ History | Rating: Not Rated 

Get in The Way: The Journey of John Lewis is a documentary that follows the life journey of John Lewis starting with his childhood as the son of a sharecropper to his early adulthood as a civil rights activist and a congressman in his final years. 

Get In The Way: The Journey of John Lewis Documentary Trailer

3. The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (2015)

Genre: Documentary | Rating: Not Rated 

The Black Panthers: Vanguards of the Revolution is a documentary on the rise of the Black Panther Party. The documentary also details the impact the organization had on American society with a focus on the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. 

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The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution Documentary Trailer

Click here for the documentary for free on YouTube

4. Let The Fire Burn (2013)

Genre: Documentary / Drama | Rating: Not Rated 

On May 12, 1985, there was a standoff between black liberation group, MOVE, and the City of Philadelphia (the Philadelphia Police Department) that led to the destruction of an entire neighborhood. Let The Fire Burn is a documentary that reenacts the events that led up to this tragedy.

Let The Fire Burn Documentary Full Video

5. Reconstruction: America After the Civil War (2019)

Genre: Documentary / Drama | Rating: Not Rated 

Reconstruction: America After the Civil War is a docuseries narrated by historian Henry Louis Gates Jr. exploring the years leading up to the American Civil War and the years after that are referred to as the Reconstruction Era (1865-1877). The documentary emphasizes the significance of the Reconstruction Era and how it shifted in American democracy at the time. 

Reconstruction: America After the Civil War Documentary Trailer

Click to go to PBS for the entire documentary

Check out: 10 Books I Recommend You Read To Learn About Race In America

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