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15 Black Movies & Stories You Should Check Out (that are NOT The Help)

Updated: Sep 18, 2020

In the past few weeks as protests across all 50 states took places and cities, countries around the world joined in in support of Black Lives Matter, I have seen posts being published here and there on my feeds featuring movies and tv shows, as well as books, podcasts etc. with Black leads, Black stories, by Black writers etc.

Many of the lists that featured Black stories were Black Stories told by white people, from a white perspective, and stories that often utelize the common white savior trope, or are almost entirely based on lies. From Greenlight, to The Help. (yikes). I wanted to make a list that did not focus on movies about slavery, that did not solely feature stories of Black oppression at the hand of white people, I wanted to share stories about tenderness, fear, compassion, dreams and hopes, family, passion, courage, pain, but also, I wanted to share stories about Black love, too. Here are some movies that I have watched and enjoyed, in this list I tried to choose a diverse type of movies, TV shows, animated movies and documentaries as well. If you liked this, if it helped you find something to watch, let me know and perhaps I can make another list.


1. Moonlight

"Staring Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Janelle Monáe, Ashton Sanders, Jharrel Jerome, Naomie Harris, and Mahershala Ali. The film presents three stages in the life of the main character: his youth, adolescence, and early adult life. It explores the difficulties he faces with his sexuality and identity, including the physical and emotional abuse he endures growing up."

2. Precious

"The film stars Gabourey Sidibe, Mo'Nique, Paula Patton, and Mariah Carey. This film marked the acting debut of Sidibe, who portrays a young woman struggling against poverty and abuse."

3. Get Out

"Chris, an African-American man, decides to visit his Caucasian girlfriend's parents during a weekend getaway. Although they seem normal at first, he is not prepared to experience the horrors ahead."

4. When They See Us

"In 1989 a jogger was assaulted and raped in New York's Central Park, and five young people were subsequently charged with the crime. The quintet, labeled the Central Park Five, maintained its innocence and spent years fighting the convictions, hoping to be exonerated."

5. Dear White People

"The series follows a group of students of color at Winchester University, a predominantly white Ivy League college. The students are faced with a landscape of cultural bias, social injustice, misguided activism and slippery politics. Through an absurdist lens, the series uses irony, self-deprecation, brutal honesty and humor to highlight issues that still plague today's"post-racial" society."

6. See You Yesterday

"High school best friends and science prodigies C.J. and Sebastian spend every spare minute working on their latest homemade invention: backpacks that enable time travel. But when C.J.’s older brother Calvin dies after an encounter with police officers, the young duo decide to put their unfinished tech to use in a desperate bid to save Calvin."

7. Nappily Ever After

"Violet Jones has a seemingly flawless life – a great job, a handsome doctor boyfriend, and a meticulously maintained perfect coiffure. But after an accident at the hair-dresser, each of these things start to unravel, and Violet begins to realize that she was living the life she thought she was supposed to live, not the one that she really wanted."

8. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

"After gaining superpowers from a spider bite, Miles Morales protects the city as Spider-Man. Soon, he meets alternate versions of himself and gets embroiled in an epic battle to save the multiverse."

8. 13th

"Combining archival footage with testimony from activists and scholars, director Ava DuVernay's examination of the U.S. prison system looks at how the country's history of racial inequality drives the high rate of incarceration in America."

9. Kirikou And The Sorceress

"The tiny Kirikou is born into an African village upon which a sorceress called Karaba has cast a terrible spell: the spring has dried up, the villagers are being blackmailed, the men of the village have either been kidnapped or have mysteriously disappeared. He wants to rid the village of the curse so he goes on a voyage to the Forbidden Mountain, where the Wise Man of the Mountain, who knows of Karaba and her secrets, awaits him. "

10. Tangerine

"It's Christmas Eve in Tinseltown and Sin-Dee is back on the block. Upon hearing that her pimp boyfriend hasn't been faithful during the 28 days she was locked up, the working girl and her best friend, Alexandra, embark on a mission to get to the bottom of the scandalous rumor."

11. Hidden Figures

"Three female African-American mathematicians play a pivotal role in astronaut John Glenn's launch into orbit. Meanwhile, they also have to deal with racial and gender discrimination at work."

12. Black Panther

"After his father's death, T'Challa returns home to Wakanda to inherit his throne. However, a powerful enemy related to his family threatens to attack his nation."

13. I Am Not Your Negro

"In his new film, director Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished - a radical narration about race in America, using the writer's original words. He draws upon James Baldwin's notes on the lives and assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. to explore and bring a fresh and radical perspective to the current racial narrative in America."

14. Selma

"“SELMA” is the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historic struggle to secure voting rights for all people – a dangerous and terrifying campaign that culminated with the epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, and led to President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965."

15. The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind

"Against all the odds, a thirteen year old boy in Malawi invents an unconventional way to save his family and village from famine."

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