Black History Month: Movies to Watch
As we celebrate Black History this month, one way to honor and learn is through a family movie night.
Movies can serve as lessons of past and present struggles, while others add diversity into our children’s lives. While some of these movies are clearly for older kids, all of these films lead to conversations that can help educate our kids.
So whether it is a film about the civil rights movement or one about an inventor who brings kids joy, all of these movies are worth celebrating.
Psst..check out 12 Children’s Books to Read for Black History Month.
Here are nine movies to watch during Black History month and beyond.
Rated PG, Disney+
A family movie for all ages. Soul tells the story of Joe Gardner (Jaime Foxx), a middle school band teacher who has been waiting to play jazz with the best players out there and finally gets his chance.
Unfortunately, Joe finds himself at the wrong place at the wrong time and ends up at The Great Before, where new souls are sent to get a new personality. This sends Joe and his new friend Soul 22 on a journey where both end up realizing that life has a lot more to offer than they thought, and maybe he actually was at the right place all along.
Rated PG, Disney+
A must-see movie for your space obsessed kids. Based on the true story about the smart, strong Black women mathematicians known as “computers” who worked at NASA in the space program’s early years.
Starring Janelle Monáe, Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer, the movie shows that segregation existed for these women even while at work and how they overcame obstacles and were game-changers in the “Space Race.”
The Hate U Give
Rated PG-13, Hulu
Starr Carter feels like she’s living between two worlds: the poor, predominately Black neighborhood where she lives and the mostly-white prep school she attends. When her childhood best friend is killed by a police officer, she has to find her voice and stand up for what’s right.
Rated PG-13, Amazon
Selma focuses on the 1965 voting rights marches stretching from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. The film highlights just a fraction of the work done by Civil Rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr.
Love & Basketball
Rated PG-13, HBO Max
Watch main characters Monica and Quincy navigate through life’s challenges together as they explore their relationship with each other and, of course, play basketball.
Rated R, Amazon
Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) is the first Black detective to serve with the Colorado Springs Police Department, and the film follows Stallworth as he goes undercover and infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan.
Working with his partner, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), the two detectives manage to ‘join’ the local Ku Klux chapter.
While the movie is not easy to watch, director Spike Lee directs a film that not only shares the story of Stallworth but shows how horrible racism is. This movie is better suited for older kids and teenagers.
Daughters of the Dust
Not Rated, Amazon
The first feature film directed by an African American woman distributed theatrically in the United States, Daughters of the Dust tells the story of three generations of Gullah women on Saint Helena Island as they prepare to migrate off of the island and to the North.
Director Julie Dash explores an area of Black history not commonly explored by other films.
Rated PG-13, Nexflix, Hulu, Prime Video
Directed by Lee Daniels, this movie is loosely based the life of long-time White House employee, Eugene Allen.
The film stars Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, and David Oyelowo, to name just a few of this stellar cast.
The fictional Cecil Gaines shares the story of what life was like having a front-row seat for three decades working in the White House, mostly the Oval Office and how his loyalty to his job caused friction at home with his wife and son.
Rated R, Amazon
Glory is a cinematic Oscar-nominated film about the American Civil War’s 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, the first Unions’ African American regiment. While these men served bravely during this war, they learned that the Confederacy had issued an order for all Black soldiers to be returned to slavery.
While the characters are fictional, the story is based on the regiment’s heroic actions at the Second Battle of Fort Wagner.