Movies Synonymous with Black History Month
Hats off to Black History Month celebrated every February in the United States, Canada, and most recently in the United Kingdom and Ireland! Black History Month is a time to remember African-Americans' achievements and pay tribute to their struggles with adversity. In 1926, Carter G. Woodson, "the father of black history," established Negro History Week to focus on Black contributions to society. Woodson would most likely be satisfied to learn that Black History Month has become so prominent in the nation and other parts of the world over the years.
In what ways do you think we should observe Black History Month? You may be a history buff who loves to read and theologize the nature of topics, or your way to pay tribute is through social media. Another sure way to get insight into the importance of Black History Month is to engage in movies that honor or provide a history and sociology lesson, so to speak, on the real issues African-Americans have faced for decades. If the latter sounds doable, check out this list of movies during Black History Month and any time of the year.
Selma - This epic film paints a picture of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during peaceful voting rights marches in 1965 from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. The movie shows the hardships faced by civil rights protestors and showcases King's most iconic speeches in history. (more below)
The Butler - This touching film tells the tail of Cecil Gaines who, for decades, served the White House as one of its most distinguished butlers. The story adds volume to the bond he had with staff members and presidents, but also examines the obstacles he and his family faced.
Hidden Figures - The movie follows three African-American female analysts of the 1960's NASA space program, who face discrimination in the workplace because of their sex and race. Despite authoritative attempts to discredit them, the three women go on to earn respect in the industry for their immense contribution to NASA's mission.
12 Years a Slave - This somber film tells the story of Solomon Northup, a professional violinist and family man who was kidnapped and then sold into slavery regardless of his free status. Based on real-life memoirs, the movie illustrates the devastation and corruption that prevailed during the slave trade of the 1800s.
42 - Baseball fans will be amazed by the retelling of the legend himself, Jackie Robinson, the first black player to join the Major League. Robinson endured many hardships as a player over the years, but his talent and relentless spirit prevailed. Hence, leading the way for other African-American men and women to embrace the professional world of sports.
Below are more great movies to check out in honor of Black History Month. Even if you've already seen some of them, a repeat viewing can re-instill awareness.
A Raisin in the Sun, The Color Purple, Race, Malcolm X, Freedom Riders, The Help, Judas and the Black Messiah, Black Panther, Summer of Soul, Do the Right Thing, Da 5 Bloods, One Night in Miami, Tangerine, Fences, Moonlight, The Hate U Give, The Princess & The Frog (animated), Claudine, Harriet, 13th, Uppity, I'm Not Your Negro, Django Unchained, All In: the Fight for Democracy, Loving, Mr. Soul, Sylvie's Love, The Most Beautiful Thing, If Beale Street Could Talk, Marshall, Just Mercy, Get Out, Soul Food, Love & Basketball, Ballerina's Tale, Crooklyn, Boyz in the Hood, Soul, Bessie, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Just Mercy, Akeelah & the Bee, Drumline, I Will Follow, The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse.