California State University East Bay

Must see Black History Month films

March 12, 2015

Here’s a list of films to watch during Black History Month that help to explore and celebrate the depths of the African American experience throughout history.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? (1967)
The Drayton’s daughter brings home her African American fiancé, forcing her parents to reevaluate their view on interracial relationships in the process.

Hollywood Shuffle (1987)
Robert Townsend plays an actor forced to play stereotypical roles because of his ethnicity. This satirical film explores African American actors in Hollywood.

12 Years A Slave (2013)
Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.

Glory (1989)
Robert Gould Shaw leads the first all-black volunteer company in the U.S. Civil War while facing opposition and prejudice from both the Confederates and his fellow Union army soldiers.

The Great Debaters (2007)
A drama based on the story of Wiley College professor, Melvin B. Tolso and the first debate team at that college.

Remember the Titans (2000)
Based on the true story of an African-American coach appointed to lead a team through their first season of a desegregated team

Cry Freedom (1987)
South African journalist Donald Woods is forced to flee the country after attempting to investigate the death in custody of his friend the black activist Steve Biko who spearheaded the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa during the apartheid.

A Time to Kill (1996)
A white lawyer defends an African American man standing trial the murder of two white men who beat and raped his 10-year-old daughter.

Selma (2014)
The chronicle of Martin Luther King’s campaign to secure equal rights through a march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

Higher Learning (1995)
Race, rape, responsibility and education collide in John Singleton’s portrayal of college life in the 90s on a campus already divided along racial, socio-economic and gender lines.

Red Tails (2012)
A crew of African American pilots in the Tuskegee training program, face segregation while kept mostly on the ground during World War II.

Malcolm X (1992)
A biographical film based on the influential Black Nationalist leader, Malcolm X.

The Color Purple (1985)
Alice Walker’s The Color Purple depicts the life and trials of Celie, a young African American woman, during the 1930s.

Bamboozled (2000)
Frustrated in his job, an African American TV writer pitches a blackface minstrel show in protest that turns into a huge hit.

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