Looking for good movies for Black History month? Here are 18 must-watch films that are perfect for celebrating the contributions of African Americans throughout history.
The best way to understand any culture or its people is by their representation in cinema. It offers insight into others’ lived experiences and makes us aware of our history so that we don’t forget our roots.
African-American culture is widely known for its literature, music, art, and dance. So this black history month, let’s celebrate the power of art.
Watching the best Black History Month movies will not only offer you a learning experience but these movies beautifully capture the struggles of overcoming racism and fighting for civil rights.
If you’re a movie buff and a lover of history, then the following list could be your companion for this month.
But before you add these movies for Black History Month to your watchlist, let’s know why this month is important to people of color around the world.
What Is Black History Month?
This major event started in the United States and now many countries around the world celebrate Black History Month on February 1st, as an annual event. This is also known as African-American History Month.
It honors significant people and events that affected the history of African-Americans. Carter G. Woodson, a historian in the United States, initiated the origin of Black History Month in 1926.
This month-long celebration in the United States and Canada is an opportunity to honor Black achievements while also serving as a reminder that systematic racism still exists and giving hope to those working to change it.
There are many ways to celebrate Black History Month from reading books and supporting businesses to watching Black History movies and documentaries. So what are you waiting for?
Come and get the best of both worlds – entertainment, and education, with the best movies for black history month!
Some of The Best Movies for Black History Month Of All Time
1. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)
One of the most groundbreaking films to watch for Black History month. It explores the world of Wakanda and its people as they come to terms with the loss of their king and who are fighting to protect their home from intervening world powers.
2. Is That Black Enough for You?!? (2022)
This is a thought-provoking film that offers a unique perspective on the Black experience and explores the perceptions of Blackness and what it means to be Black in America.
The film features interviews with Black activists, artists, and scholars, and provides a nuanced examination of the intersections of race, culture, and identity. Through a series of conversations, the film challenges the idea of a monolithic Black experience and looks at the complexities and nuances of what it means to be Black in America.
3. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020)
When talking about black history month movies on Netflix, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom based on true events tops the list. Starring eminent actors like Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman, it celebrates the unfathomable talent of black artists. This movie is about an influential blues singer who is often referred to as the “Mother of the Blues,”. Her band faced unstable conditions during recording sessions in the 1920s in Chicago.
4. 42 (2013)
Another suggestion for the Black History Month movie list is 42, starring the late Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford. This movie is set in 1946. The legendary manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, defies major league baseball’s notorious color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson to the team.
When confronted with the blatant racism on all sides, Robinson shows great courage and remarkable composure by refusing to retaliate and allowing his undeniable talent to silence the critics.
5. Moonlight (2016)
Want good movies to watch for Black History month? This poetic and coming-of-age drama focuses on a young black man who struggles to fit in while growing up in a poverty-stricken neighborhood in Miami.
It is also a cinematic milestone for an all-black cast and the first LGBTQ+ related film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture.
6. Malcolm X (1992)
Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X” is one of the black history month movies for students and people around the world to learn about black liberation. It is also one of the most inspiring biographies that celebrate American life and is a tribute to the black activist and leader of the struggle for black liberation.
Malcolm, an African-American leader, started out as a small-time gangster but after he hit rock bottom, becomes a member of the Nation of Islam.
Related: 80+ Fascinating Movies To Not Miss
7. Just Mercy (2019)
Want to learn about systemic racism? Among the movies to watch during black history month, Just Mercy tells a story about a man who was wrongfully convicted for murder. Bryan Stevenson played by Michael B Jordan, a young defense attorney proceeds to overturn the conviction and save him from the death sentence.
8. Hidden Figures (2016)
Another celebratory addition to the black history films is Hidden Figures. This movie is about three brilliant African-American mathematicians who play a pivotal role in astronaut John Glenn’s launch into orbit. Meanwhile, it was set in the 1960s which means that despite their contribution they also have to deal with racial and gender discrimination at work.
9. The Color Purple (1985)
The Color Purple is an adaptation of Alice Walker’s novel about the turbulent life of Celie, a teenager growing up in the Deep South of America in the 1900s.
This is one of the perfect movies on black history month directed by Steven Spielberg. This powerful movie accurately portrays how racism affects the lives of black people, especially black women. Despite all, it also contains a balance of humor, joy, and dark moments.
10. Black Panther (2018)
Here’s the most popular movie among the black history month movies. This film is well-known for its gender- and race-conscious casting and costumes. In this movie, black people are presented as kings and queens in powerful tribes, who use their knowledge, charm, and talents to create strong communities and prosperous partnerships.
From the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the plot is based around T’Challa’s return to Wakanda to inherit the throne, but he quickly finds himself having to defend it against a soldier with a strange past.
11. The Help (2011)
Skeeter, an aspiring writer, decides to write a book on the daily struggles of African-American maids who have spent their lives working for wealthy white families.
The main goal of this film is to depict the racism and cruel treatment that existed in the South at the time. This is also one of the great movies for Black History Month because it explores many difficulties that women of color have experienced.
12. 12 Years A Slave (2013)
Based on historical events, this is an extraordinary narrative of Solomon Northup, a free black man who was abducted from New York and sold into slavery in 1841.
This is one of the best movies for Black History Month, directed by Steve McQueen, a British filmmaker. Based on Solomon’s tragic memoir, it tells a tragic tale about slave trade and the brutality and injustice that went along with it.
13. ‘Straight Outta Compton’ (2015)
While mentioning the best movies for black history month one can never miss out on some musical or hip-hop.
Talking about the struggles of life in the hood, n 1988, a groundbreaking hip hop group from Compton aims to revolutionize music and pop culture, forever changing and impacting hip-hop, and spiraling into various issues as a result of their outspoken lyrics, music, and igniting a battle of ideas.
14. Fences (2016)
In 1950s Pittsburgh, Troy Maxson works as a sanitation worker. Maxson previously aspired to play professional baseball but was turned down due to racism. When his son gets a chance, he becomes enraged at his missed opportunity, causing further conflict in his family.
The term “fences” is a metaphor for the limits he confronts in his life, making this one of the best movies for Black History Month.
15. One Night in Miami (2020)
Muhammad Ali joins Jim Brown, Sam Cooke, and Malcolm X, the four great men of color in sports, music, and activism, meet on the night of February 25, 1964, in Miami. During the civil rights struggle, they address the responsibilities of becoming successful black men.
16. Soul (2020)
This is one of the finest Black History Month movies for kids as it is a reminder to believe in ourselves and love the smallest of the things that matter to us.
This story revolves around Joe, a middle-school music teacher whose life hasn’t gone quite as planned. His primary love is jazz, and he’s very skilled at it.
However, when accidentally dies and finds himself in an afterlife situation, he learns what it is to have a soul while assisting someone in discovering their true calling.
17. The Princess and the Frog (2009)
Tiana is a hardworking and ambitious young woman who dreams of owning New Orleans’ greatest restaurant. When she meets Prince Naveen, who has been turned into an amphibian by the malevolent Dr. Facilier, her fantasy takes a slight detour. The two embark on a journey through the swamps in search of a powerful voodoo priestess.
Among the best movies for Black History Month, this one had a huge impact on kids, especially black girls, who saw themselves as Disney princesses for the first time.
18. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
Looking for animated best movies for black history month? Here’s one of the most popular movies of 2018. The story is about Miles Morales protects the city as Spider-Man after receiving superpowers from a spider bite. Soon after, he meets various versions of Spiderman, he finds himself in the middle of a massive war to rescue the multiverse.
We hope you enjoy learning and entertaining yourself this month with our compilation of some of the best movies for Black History Month for students, children, and adults.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Why is black history month important?
This commemoration, also known as African-American History Month, honors significant people and events that affected the history of African-Americans.
Who founded black history month?
Carter G. Woodson, a historian in the United States, initiated the origin of Black History Month in 1926.
What is the purpose of black history month?
This month-long celebration is an opportunity to honor Black achievements while also serving as a reminder that systematic racism still exists and giving hope to those working to change it.