The “Black Lives Matter” themed collection on Netflix features more than 50 titles about racial unfairness and how it affects Black Americans. These are great movies to watch during Black History Month, Juneteenth, or just to learn more about how to fight racism.
If you’ve already read the best books on race and want to know which movies to watch next, we suggest starting with these Netflix videos, movies, and TV shows.
Black History Movies on Netflix
1 .Oprah + Viola: A Netflix Special Event (2022)
Veteran actress Viola Davis sat down with the iconic Oprah for an intimate discussion about her memoir, her childhood, and her incredible career journey. Get ready to get to know the Oscar winner more in depth.
2. Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America (2022)
Who We Are: A History of Racism in the United States
In this poignant film, civil rights attorney Jeffrey Robinson gives a master class on the history of racism in America.
3 .The Harder They Fall (2021)
Nate Love, a well-known criminal, learns that Rufus Buck, the man he hates most, is out of jail. Immediately, he and his gang come up with a plan to get back at Rufus Buck. (As you may know, the main characters were based on actual black cowboys and outlaws from the 1800s.)
4. High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America (2021)
High on the Hog: How African American Food Changed America is a good book to read.
This video series takes a look at the past of African-American food, from its beginnings in Africa to the current Juneteenth celebration, and how it has changed the way we eat.
5.Amend: The Fight For America (2021)
What exactly does the 14th amendment mean? What is “justice and equality for all”? This documentary attempts to answer those questions honestly, featuring historical footage and thought-provoking commentary that will make you think about the country’s progress. (Yes, we know it’s not technically a movie, but we’ll let it go.)
6 .Two Distant Strangers (2021)
If you want to understand the struggle of living life as a black man in America, you need to watch Two Distant Strangers. Inspired by the murder of George Floyd, the Academy Award winner tells the story of a black graphic designer who finds himself caught in a cycle of time that always ends with his death, his repeated encounters with a white NYPD officer because of.
This Oscar-winning short film feels more important than ever. It’s about a black man caught in a terrifying Groundhog Day situation where he has the same dangerous encounter with a cop on his way home.
7 .Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali (2021)
It is widely known that Ali (formerly Cassius Clay) had a close friendship with civil rights leader Malcolm X, but why did their relationship turn sour? This documentary explores their brotherhood with rare footage and interviews with their friends.
8. Becoming (2020)
In this touching documentary, former First Lady Michelle Obama hits the road to promote her book. When she does this we learn about her life.
Becoming tells the story of Michelle Obama’s 34-city book tour, which was based on her novel of the same name. It shows videos of her visits and details about her time as First Lady. Becoming is full of emotional and poignant moments, but it doesn’t contain any big surprises or personal details about her life.
9. Da 5 Bloods (2020)
Spike Lee’s film shows a side of the Vietnam War that is rarely shown. The play explores the views of black soldiers who fought for their country at a time when African Americans were being mistreated at home. It does so by deftly mixing strong emotions with social criticism.
Spike Lee strikes gold with this war drama that centers on four black Vietnam War veterans who embark on a mission to find the remains of their slain squad leader and recover the gold they hid while serving the country .
10. 13th (2020)
In this eye-opening documentary, Ava DuVernay doesn’t hold back. His starkly honest portrayal of the disproportionate number of African Americans in prison says a lot about the structural racism that pervades the United States.
11. Self Made (2020)
Based on a true story, this Netflix show follows Madame C.J., an African American washerwoman. Walker, who rose from poverty to build a beauty business and became the first woman to earn a million dollars on her own.
12 .Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020)
Davis and Boseman deliver unforgettable performances in this historical drama. Davis plays legendary blues singer Ma Rainey, and Boseman plays one of her most intense recording sessions. It all takes place in Chicago in the 1920s, when race relations were at their worst.
13. When They See Us (2019)
Based on a true story, this story takes place in New York’s Central Park in 1989, when a runner is attacked and raped. Five Harlem teens have been wrongly accused of a crime. Even though he maintained he was innocent, he fought his conviction for a quarter of a century, from when he was first questioned about the crime in the spring of 1989, until he was finally acquitted in 2002 And the settlement with the City of New York was not done. 2014.
14 .American Son (2019)
When their teenage son goes missing, a mixed-race couple living apart are forced to return to a Florida police station to find him and bring him home safely. Unfortunately, the inherent racism and injustice in the system keep getting in the way.
15 .Homecoming (2019)
It’s never a bad time to remember Bechella, one of the most important events in pop culture history. The live film, which Beyoncé herself wrote, produced and directed, takes a more personal look at the first black woman to headline the Coachella music festival. In addition to showing clips of her acts, the film goes into great detail about how she comes up with her ideas.
16 .Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History (2019)
Comedian Kevin Hart educates us about some of black history’s unsung heroes in this wholesome variety special, which includes archival footage and some fun re-enactments. Expect appearances from Tiffany Haddish, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Jay Johnston and more.
17 .See You Yesterday (2019)
Brooklyn’s CJ Walker and Sebastian Thomas build a time machine to try to change the past and stop an NYPD policeman from shooting and killing Walker’s brother, Calvin. The story’s focus on a family makes it perfect for younger viewers who want to learn more about police brutality in the black community.
18 .Monster (2018)
Inspired by the equally compelling book by Walter Dean Myers, Monster details the story of Steve Harmon, a 17-year-old honors student who is falsely accused of murder. It sheds light on the country’s flawed justice system, while also tackling themes such as peer pressure, masculinity, and black identity.
19. The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (2017)
This Netflix original documentary tells the story of the life and mysterious death of famed LGBTQ rights activist Marsha P. Johnson, who was a leader in the 1969 Stonewall riots and helped launch the gay freedom movement.
20 .Mudbound (2017)
Set in the aftermath of World War II, the Oscar-nominated film focuses on two veterans who return to their home in Mississippi. In addition to struggling to adjust to the Jim Crow South, he must also deal with his severe war trauma. We’ll admit, it’s a tough watch, as it deals with the very painful effects of racism in the American South.
Even though this historical tale takes place in a small town in Mississippi just after World War II, it deals with issues of race and class that are still very real today. It is about two World War II soldiers, one white and one black, who return to their farm homes in the Mississippi Delta. Racism in America and white racists test their different ways of life.
21 .13th (2016)
The title of the program is a reference to the 13th Amendment, which outlawed slavery in 1865. In the film, director Ava DuVernay takes a look at race, justice, and mass incarceration. She calls on experts, activists, and politicians to look at how our prison system affects people of color more than people of other races. Did we also mention that the 13th was for the Academy Awards?
22 .Loving (2016)
The year is 1958. A young couple of different races decided to get married, leading to a famous case that rocked the Supreme Court. It is not only based on a true story but also shows how people fought for years for the right to marry people of different races.
23 .Barry (2016)
The film depicts Barack Obama (also known as Barry), America’s first black president, as a 20-year-old student at Columbia University. She has difficulty balancing school with her home life and making friends with her peers.
24. Dear White People (2014)
Even though the film is touted as a comedy-drama, it deals with some very important issues, particularly the growing racial problems at an Ivy League college where the majority of students are white, as seen through the eyes of many black students. . This film led to a great Netflix show by the same name.
25 .Get On Up (2014)
Boseman steals the show as The Godfather of Soul, aka James Brown, in this biographical drama that chronicles the singer’s incredible journey from poverty to fame. The film touches on his involvement in politics and the civil rights movement, as well as his turbulent romantic relationships.
26 .The Butler (2013)
This is the story of a White House butler who worked for eight US Presidents from John F Kennedy to Ronald Reagan. The film is about his long work in the nation’s most important building during times of great change such as the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War. (Bonus points: Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, and Cuba Gooding Jr. are all in it.)
27 .She’s Gotta Have It (1986)
In this edgy Spike Lee film, an eager Brooklyn artist named Nola Darling pursues relationships with three different men while working towards her goals. The classic was original and controversial because of how honestly it looked at black women’s sexuality.
28 .Hard Lessons (1986)
This gripping biographical film revolves around George McKenna, who takes on a new job as the principal of a notorious Los Angeles high school. Despite his staff’s lack of dedication and effort, George finds an ally in Bobby Maxwell – the only teacher who cares about improving the school. But can they successfully turn things around?