For those that don’t know there have been many great Black movies. Many of these movies have enriched to many lives. So, I have created this list to showcase some of these films. Many of these films you may not know and some you might, but they are all worth a look. Feel free to comment on the list, but most of all enjoy. These movies will enrich any movie collection. This is part 3 and final part of my list.
10. Love & Basketball (2000)
A romantic drama this film spans a thirteen years of friendship between childhood sweethearts Monica Wright and Quincy McCall. Monica and Quincy’s love of basketball is only matched by their love for other. This is movie shows not only how love grows, but how people grow as well. This is one of the few movies that blended sports and love together in a compelling story. This movie will make a few eyes tear up.
9. Selma (2014)
A chronicle of Martin Luther King’s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965. This film presents a unique perspective of the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A movement that is fragile, ego driven and a leader who is all too human.
8. Coming to America (1988)
It is the 21st birthday of African Prince Akeem of Zamunda and he is to marry a woman he has never seen before. The prince breaks with tradition and travels to America to look for the love of his life. This film stars Eddie Murphy, but boasts an all star black cast of actors, including James Earl Jones. This comedy is the story is of a young man’s journey to find real love.
7. Get On Up (2014)
Born in South Carolina and survived abandonment, abuse and jail James Brown become one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. He joined a gospel group as a teenager, but the jazz and blues along the “chitlin’ circuit” became his springboard to fame. Brown’s ability to ability to mesmerize audiences with his music, signature moves and sexual energy is captured in this film. This film has an excellent performance by Chadwick Boseman and presents another side of the enigmatic James Brown.
6. 12 Years A Slave (2013)
In the years before the Civil War, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South. Subjected to the cruelty of one malevolent owner, he also finds unexpected kindness from another, as he struggles continually to survive and maintain some of his dignity. It takes a lot of courage to tell a story like this, it takes even more courage to watch it.
5. A Raisin in the Sun (1961)
This film is actually an adaptation of the Broadway play. Walter Lee Younger is a young man struggling with his station in life. Sharing a tiny apartment with his wife, son, sister and mother, he seems like an imprisoned man. Until, that is, the family gets an unexpected financial windfall. The film itself is a look into the life of an African American family in the Mid-1900s. This film shows how Blacks were at a crossroad between longing for as past and a future that may be unattainable.
4. Do the Right Thing (1989)
This movie sparked a national dialogue on race in America. The film scene is Brooklyn as this film pushes just about every racial hot button there is. This film is also noted for its style and look.
3. The Color Purple (1985)
This movie follows the life of Celie Johnson as she struggles through life in the early 1900s. This movie has some very classic performances. This movie raised the consciousness of the United States to domestic violence.
2. The Matrix (1999)
Neo has always questioned his reality, but the truth is far beyond his imagination. Neo is contacted by Morpheus, a legendary computer hacker branded a terrorist by the government. Morpheus awakens Neo to the real world. A world that is a ravaged wasteland where humanity has been enslaved by a race of machines which live off of their body and imprison their minds within an artificial reality known as the Matrix. If you think movie is not a black movie, then you need to Free Your Mind.
1. Roots (1977)
This was movie that was broken up into a mini-series, but nevertheless it shook the moral consciousness of our American nation. This movie detailed the struggles and horrors of slaves. There hasn’t been a movie made like it since.
Honorable Mentions: Lillies of the Field, The Great Debaters, Lady Sings the Blues, Hollywood Shuffle, When the Levees Broke, Hotel Rwanda, cornbread, earl and me
All of the movies on this list are movies of note. Movies should not be judged on things that can be manipulated such as box offices, internet popularity, etc. Movies are art as art it should be viewed on its content, merit, style, direction as well as impact. As you have probably guessed by now I have listed more than 30 films. In truth, I could have compiled a list of over 100 movies, but I feel that after viewing these movies anyone will have a greater understanding of African American culture as a whole. Pick a few movies from the list and see for yourself.