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Double Feature: Movies and Series to watch for Black History Month

I was inspired to create this list of movies and series to watch during Black History Month by "Women of the Movement", a mini-series jointly produced by Jay Z and Will Smith. This mini-series covers the events of Emmett Till's murder and his mother, Mamie Till Mobley's, fight for justice.

It got me to thinking, motherhood claims we're all one when it comes to our children, but, like Mamie, why are Black mothers constantly fighting alone when it comes to protecting and ensuring quality of life for our children? I guess we're not all one. I want non-Black moms to watch and share these stories with their children, families, and other mom groups, hoping that the conversation sounds differently than it did before.

I've been going back and forth on whether or not to categorize this list based on kid ages and how kid-friendly BUT I chose not for two reasons. 

  1. You know what children can understand.
  2. Racism and other systems of oppression doesn't filter through ages or how kid-friendly it is.

We live these experiences daily, no matter how micro- or macro- the aggressions are, so sitting for 2+ hours is the least any non-Black person can do, especially when people are constantly begging for resources. If it's "too much," "too graphic," or "too political," then that's too bad. If only we could be so lucky to turn off the inequality.

Black History Month is 28 days, 29 if given a leap year. There are 28 films on this list, give or take. Try to watch movie a day, either individually or collectively as a family. These movies are sure to jumpstart after-dinner table conversations. In addition to your Black History screen time, dive deep into some Black history suggested reading.

Heavy Viewing

The Hate You Give

Fruitvale Station

screen grab from Fruitvale Station movie

Antebellum

Just Mercy

Do the right thing

13th

image from 13th, a documentary to watch during Black History month

Judas and the Black Messiah

Miss Evers' Boys

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Detroit

Rosewood

Malcolm X

The United States vs. Billie Holiday

I Am Not Your Negro

I am Not Your Negro press image

Glory

Ali

The Birth of a Nation

Harriet

Marshall

Say Her Name- The Life and Death of Sandra Bland

Finding Kendrick Johnson 

Series

Women of the Movement

Women of the Movement poster for Black History month

Underground

When They See Us

When the See us series poster

The Kalief Browder Story 

Amend: The Fight for America

Lighter Viewing

Cinderella (Brandy & Whitney Houston)

Cinderella with Brandy poster

The Black Panther

Pride

The Great Debaters

Red Tails

Hidden Figures

Betty & Coretta

The Karate Kid (Jaden Smith)

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

The Princess & The Frog

Black is King

Black is King film by Beyonce

Colin in Black & White

Kevin Hart's Guide to Black History

The Watsons Go to Birmingham

Roll Bounce

Dr. Dolittle

Like Mike

Good Burger

Miss Virginia

Miss Virginia poster

Space Jam (Michael Jordan & Lebron James)

King Richard

See You Yesterday

See you Yesterday poster

Motown Magic

Ruby Bridges

Flint

Akeelah and The Bee

Home

Annie

Honestly, this list is never ending, which could extend your Black history watch party to throughout the year. If anything, these films and series show you that being hateful, unethical, unjust, and racist is easy; it's being actively anti-racist that takes the work.

Also, remember that the whitewashing of historical realities/narratives and Hollywood films does not measure up to the real life experiences of Black Americans. When you watch these stories, see you and your family on the receiving end of racism. Hopefully, a new perspective is gained.

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