10 Best Black History Month Movies

Friday, February 25 by Dan MacIntosh

The 10 best Black History Month movies include films about history, as well as just plain historical movies. Yes, it is possible to be informed and entertained at the same time. All of these films are worth watching during February's Black History Month, or any other month for that matter.

  1. "Amistad" This excellent 1997 film concerns a mutiny on a 1839 slave ship. It was also directed by Steven Spielberg. Slavery is one of the more depressing American Black history moments, but also essential to fully appreciate Black History Month.
  2. "Glory" Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington star in this film. It's set in the American Civil War. This is the war that changed Black history forever in America, and a topic well worth discussing during Black History Month.
  3. "Malcolm X" Some consider Malcolm X to have been the angry side of the Civil Rights Movement. His slogan was, "by any means necessary," which certainly flew in the face of Martin Luther King's passive resistance. This is a fine film choice to explore during Black History Month.
  4. "The Tuskegee Airmen" One of the benefits of Black History Month is that it highlights some of the overlooked accomplishments of Blacks in America. This film explores a group of African American United States Army Air Force combat pilots.
  5. "Bamboozled" Spike Lee is never afraid to pinpoint embarrassing moments in American history. In this film, he looks at how some Black TV shows pander to their primarily black audiences. This is perfect for a current Black History Month discussion.
  6. "Do the Right Thing" This is another Spike Lee movie — see a pattern? This film speaks to what happens when racial tensions arise. The Public Enemy music also makes a great soundtrack for Black History Month.
  7. "Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire" This gripping, modern film takes place in Harlem. It's main character is illiterate, overweight and expecting her second child already. Sadly, this film tells some of Black present, as well as Black history.
  8. "Lilies of the Field" This one has it all. It has nuns. It takes place in the South. It even features escapees from Communism. You name it. It's the sort of Black history you don't always read in history books.
  9. "In the Heat of the Night" You know this was a great film because it beat out "The Graduate" for Best Picture Academy Award in 1967. It features a big city Philadelphia police detective, sent to solve a murder in a racist Mississippi town.
  10. "The Color Purple" This film feature great music and great human struggles. It was even made into a successful musical. It's not actual historical, but its story is the story of a lot of Black Americans.
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