10 movies to stream for Black History Month

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Each February, Black History Month focuses on celebrating and honoring the legacy of black pioneers who paved the way for the next generation and help everyone learn more about black culture. While movies like Selma, 13 years oldand and 12 years of slavery are the ones at the top of everyone’s list, there are several other gems that not only shine a light on civil rights pioneers and confront systemic racism and bias, but also celebrate black joy and black artists.

Black Panther

Black Panther broke multiple records as the first big-budget film to have a black director and a predominantly black cast. The late Chadwick Boseman stars as T’Challa, who returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king after the death of his father. The stellar cast also includes Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira and Letitia Wright.

Where to watch: Disney+

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

It was Chadwick Boseman’s final performance that earned him all the nominations and accolades in George C. Wolfe’s adaptation of August Wilson’s award-winning play. Viola Davis stars as blues singer, Ma Rainey, while Boseman plays trumpeter, Levee Green.

Where to watch: netflix

soul summer

This OSACR-nominated documentary follows the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, which celebrates black history, culture and music for six weeks. The concert series features performances from Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Mavis Staples and Mahalia Jackson, and more.

Where to watch: Disney+

The hate you give

This is a powerful and moving film about police brutality and systemic racism through the eyes of a 16 year old. Based on the book by Angie Thomas, it follows Starr Carter, who witnesses the shooting death of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer. The film stars Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Anthony Mackie, Issa Rae, Russell Hornsby and Common.

Where to watch: Disney+

One night in Miami

Regina King’s directorial debut dominated awards season last year. The film gives a fictional account of a night in 1964 where Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay), Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown are reunited in Miami as they discuss the responsibility of being successful black men during the civil rights movement. The film stars Kingsley Ben-Adir, Leslie Odom Jr., Eli Goree and Aldis Hodge.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

The more they fall

This Black Western is based on real historical figures, like Stagecoach Mary, Nat Love and Cathay Williams. The film’s opening place card reads, “Although the events of this story are fictional, These. People. Exist. Led by musician Jeymes Samuel, the ensemble cast includes Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Regina King, Delroy Lindo, LaKeith Stanfield, Zazie Beetz, Damon Wayans Jr. and Deon Cole.

Where to watch: netflix

just mercy

Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson star in the powerful true story of Harvard-trained lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Jordan), who travels to Alabama to defend the disenfranchised and wrongfully convicted. His client is Walter McMillian (Foxx), a man sentenced to death despite evidence proving his innocence. This film also aired on TIFF and received rave reviews.

Where to watch: netflix

The princess and the Frog

She was one of the first black princesses introduced by Disney in 2009. The animated film gave us Tiana (Anika Noni Rose) who dreams of her restaurant in New Orleans but after kissing a prince-turned-frog (Bruno Campos), she also turns into a frog.

Where to watch: Disney+

Love & Basketball

A classic romantic comedy, this sports drama was written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood. Our main characters Monica and Quincy fall in love with each other and basketball while battling life’s challenges together, from childhood to adulthood. The film stars Sanaa Lathan, Omar Epps, Regina Hall and Gabrielle Union.

Where to watch: Disney+

USA vs. Billie Holiday

This award-nominated film follows jazz singer Billie Holiday through her career as she is targeted by the Federal Narcotics Department with an undercover operation led by black federal agent Jimmy Fletcher, with whom she had a tumultuous affair. Directed by Lee Daniels, it stars Andra Day, Trevante Rhodes and Tyler James Williams.

Where to watch: have a strong desire to

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