Slavery movies dramatize the most horrific atrocities forced upon human beings. Its lessons are important when it comes to teaching audiences the value of humanity, not to mention the fact that the story of slavery can provide a tremendously dramatic backdrop for a great story. An audience can discern conflicts of character, integrity, and spirit in the context of slavery and freedom. And even through the most heinous of circumstances, true heroes, factual or fictional, can emerge. Everyone would do well to watch these five slavery movies and learn a little more about the perils of enslavement.
One of the most famous in the genre of slavery-movies was based on the best -selling novel from Alex Haley Jr. The movie, depicting Haley’s ancestral line from slavery to freedom, starred LeVar Burton as Kunte Kinte. It helped launch Burton’s career, leading to long-term roles of some major shows. “Roots” spawned sequels, each with diminishing quality, and the African American actors featured read like of Who’s Who of the 1970s‘. Lou Gossett Jr, Richard Roundtree, and Cicely Tyson notably were among the cast.
“The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.”
This movie features a fictional character of an African American woman from the 1971 novel of Ernest Gaines. The movie is remarkable in that the main character, Jane, experiences life through both the Civil War and Civil Rights Movement. The movie is told through flashbacks as Miss Jane narrates while being being interviewed by a white journalist played by Michael Murphy. Starring Cicely Tyson as Jane Pittman, the movie shares powerful and heartbreakingly honest scenes of heroism and perseverance. The most touching scene is at the end, when the 100 year old Miss Jane makes her own symbolic act of freedom.