This 1977 mini series is a MUST WATCH. The story is based on the book (which is a must-read) by author Alex Haley which was a dramatization of his family line from ancestor Kunta Kinte’s enslavement in Africa to his descendants’ liberation in America.
This heartbreaking tale is a dramatization of a 1923 horrific racist lynch mob attack on an African-American community.
3. “American History X”
In this 1998 film, a former neo-nazi skinhead tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same wrong path that he did.
4. “Higher Learning”
The acclaimed John Singleton directed this 1995 movie that featured an ensemble cast including Omar Epps, Laurence Fishburne Tyra Banks and Ice Cube. The story takes place on a University campus where students encounter racial tension, rape, responsibility, and the meaning of an education.
In this 1989 historical drama that earned Denzel Washington his first Oscar (Best Supporting Actor) a white colonel, Robert Gould Shaw, leads the US Civil War’s first all-Black volunteer company, fighting prejudices of both his own Union army and the Confederates. But it was really a long overdue ode to the Black men who fought on the Union side.
6. “The Butler”
See life through the perspective of the hired Black help in this legendary Lee Daniel’s film that showcases the life of a former sharecropper turned White House staff men. The film highlights the importance of dedicated servicemen back in the day and how they influenced the perception of African Americans in the civil rights era.
7. “A Bronx Tale”
Interracial dating may be accepted now, but in the 60s it was extremely frowned upon. The ’93 film “A Bronx Tale” follows a young Italian-American teenager as his path in life is guided by two father figures who don’t approve of his Black girlfriend.
8. “Tuskegee Airmen”
Before “Red Tails,” the Tuskegee Airmen’s story was told in the 95 film “Tuskegee Airmen.” Through their dedication and sacrifice, Blacks were able to establish themselves as combat pilots in the United States Army Air Corps, that fought in World War II.
9. “Django Unchained”
Not your conventional slave movie, “Django Unchained” brings a comedic approach to slavery, but doesn’t spare the horrific lynchings and brutal realities that slaves faced.
10. “Mississippi Burning”
“Missippi Burning” may be a film about two FBI agents with wildly different styles arrive in Mississippi to investigate the disappearance of some civil rights activists, but the journey through which they find justice is a vivid depiction of racism in the 60s.
In the film “Crash,” Los Angeles citizens with vastly separate lives collide in interweaving stories of race, loss and redemption (IMDB).
12. “Driving Miss Daisy”
“Driving Miss Daisy” went against the misconception that Blacks and Whites could not get along. The 1989 film explores the relationship between an old Jewish woman and her African-American chauffeur in the American South.
13. “A Time To Kill”
This classic film is a true depiction of the injustices African Americans faced when a young lawyer defended a black man accused of murdering two men who raped his 10-year-old daughter, sparking a rebirth of the KKK.
14. “The Great Debaters”
With the help of a professor at Wiley College Texas in 1935, a group of African American students went on to challenge Harvard in the national debating championship. “The Great Debaters” is a tale that proves Blacks can accomplish they same as Whites even through adversity.
15. “The Help”
Like “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “The Help” showcases the lives of the in-house workers who struggled through racial divide, like having to use separate stalls and use designated silverware. It also shows the disadvantage Blacks faced in that era.