10 Best Black Drama Movies

Wednesday, February 23 by Clara Havens

Here are the ten best Black drama movies of all time. All ten of these films are must-see movies by every serious movie-viewer. These films are noted for their great acting performances and excellent story lines. And they all help to define the Black experience.

  1. "The Color Purple." This is the film that made Oprah Winfrey a household name. Director Steven Spielberg made this 1985 Black drama movie that also stars Whoopi Goldberg. The setting is the early 1900s in the American South. A 14-year-old girl is pregnant by her own father. The movie follows her difficult life for 30 years and chronicles her struggles.
  2. "A Raisin in the Sun." What happens when a poor Black man gets an unexpected windfall? Sidney Poitier stars in this 1961 Black drama movie that is based on the play of the same name. Family relationships change forever. Ruby Dee also stars.
  3. "Imitation of Life." 1959 tearjerker Black drama movie. The daughter of a Black housekeeper appears to be white, so she denies her Black heritage and tries to pass herself off as white. Features Lana Turner and Sandra Dee.
  4. "Gone With The Wind." Hattie McDaniel won Best Supporting Actress as Scarlett O'Hara's Mammy in this 1939 classic about the Old South. Butterfly McQueen gives a memorable performance as Prissy, the simple-minded Black housemaid.
  5. "Hotel Rwanda." True story of an African hotel manager who shelters Tutsi refugees in his hotel during their conflict with the Hutus. Don Cheadle won the Academy Award for Best Actor 2004, in this Black drama movie.
  6. "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?" Best Picture nominee, 1967. Spencer Tracy (Best Actor) and Katherine Hepburn (Best Actress) play the parents of a young white woman who falls in love with a Black man, played by Sidney Poitier.
  7. "In the Heat of the Night." Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger star in this 1967 Black drama movie that won the award for Best Picture. A Black detective is wrongly accused of the murder of a white businessman. Spotlights the racially charged environment of the U S. South.
  8. "To Sir, With Love." Sidney Poitier gives a tour-de-force performance as an engineer who takes a job teaching in a tough London public school. His "temporary" stint turns into a lot more as he tries to instill discipline and respect into his students.
  9. "Lilies of the Field." An unemployed Black construction worker stops at a farm to get water for his overheated car. The farm is run by nuns who believe his is sent by God to build their church. Sidney Poitier won Best Actor in this 1963 Black drama movie.
  10. "A Soldier's Story." Nominated for Best Picture 1984, this Black drama movie features Denzel Washington in an early role. The setting is the South during WWII. A Black military officer investigates the murder of a Black sergeant. He encounters racism and segregation along the way.
Do you like this story?