A great way to celebrate Black History Month is by watching movies or TV shows that glorifies African American’s talents. Gather friends and family for a TV/movie night! If you are unsure what to watch or where to start, this list will surely help you get started. There are several must see movies that have a strong black lead. Choose a movie from your favorite genre or app and get started on your binge watching!
For Black History Month binge ideas on Netflix check out this list of movies and TV shows under the category Black History is American History | Black History in Motion:
Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History
Kevin Hart highlights the fascinating contributions of Black history’s unsung heroes in this entertaining and educational comedy special.
Genre: Family movies, Movies based on real life.
Cast: Kevin Hart, Saniyya Sidney, Lil Rel Howery, & more
I Am Not Your Negro
Based on James Baldwin’s unfinished book, this visual essay explores racism through the stories of Medgar Evers, Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr.
Genre: Documentary Films, Movies Based on Books, Social & Cultural Docs.
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Joey Starr
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
In 1927, tensions and temperatures rise at a Chicago music studio when fiery, fearless blues singer Ma Rainey joins her band for a recording session.
Genre: Music & Musicals, Dramas, Music
Cast: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman, Glynn Turman, & more
Join former first lady Michelle Obama in an intimate documentary looking at her life, hopes and connection with others as she tours with “Becoming”
Genre: Social & Cultural Docs, Documentary Films, Biographical Documentaries
Cast: Michelle Obama
SELF MADE Inspired By The Life Of Madam C.J. Walker
An African American washerwoman rises from poverty to build a beauty empire and become the first female self-made millionaire. Based on a true story.
Genre: TV Dramas
Cast: Octavia Spencer, Tiffany Haddish, Carmen Ejogo, & more
Colin in Black and White
Colin Kaepernick narrates this drama series recounting his formative years navigating race, class and culture while aspiring for greatness.
Genre: Teen TV Shows, TV Dramas, Sports & Fitness
Cast: Collin Kaepernick, Jaden Michael, Nick Offerman, & more
When They See Us
Five teens from Harlem become trapped in a nightmare when they are falsely accused of a brutal attack in Central Park. Based on a true story.
Genre: Crime TV Shows, Social Issue TV, TV Dramas
Cast: Asante Blackk, Caleel Harris, Ethan Herisse, & more
HIGH on the HOG How African American Cuisine Transformed America
Black food is American food. Chef and writer Stephen Satterfield traces the delicious, moving through lines from Africa to Texas in this docuseries.
Genre: Social & Cultural Docs, Docuseries, Historical Documentaries
For Black History Month binge ideas on Hulu check out this list of movies and TV shows that are under the category Black Stories:
The Hate U Give
A teen witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood friend by a trigger-happy cop and must decide whether to testify or not.
Genre: Black Stories, Drama
Starring: Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby
A successful author is plunged into a horrifying reality that forces her to confront her past, present, and future in this tense thriller from visionary filmmakers Bush + Renz, and the producer of Get Out and Us.
Genre: Black Sroties, Thriller
Starring: Janelle Monáe, Jena Malone, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, Gabourey Sidibe
An aging NSA agent is targeted for death when he discovers his assassin is a younger, cloned version of himself.
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Starring: Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen
An unflinching story of plantation slaves that band together for the fight of their lives–for their families, their future and their freedom.
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Cast: Adina Porter, Alano Miller, Aldis Hodge
WU-TANG: An American Saga
EMMY® NOMINATED Wu-Tang: An American Saga is inspired by “The Wu-Tang Manual” and “Tao of Wu”, and based on the true story of the Wu-Tang Clan. Set in early ’90s New York at the height of the crack cocaine epidemic, the show tracks the Clan’s formation, a vision of Bobby Diggs aka The RZA, who strives to unite a dozen young, black men that are torn between music and crime but eventually rise to become the unlikeliest of American success stories.
Genre: Drama, Black Stories
Starring: Ashton Sanders, Shameik Moore, Dave East
Women of the Movement
Mamie Till Mobley, who devoted her life to seeking justice for her son Emmett Till following his brutal murder in the Jim Crow South. Inspired by the book “Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement”.
Genre: Black Stories, Drama
Starring: Adrienne Warren, Tonya Pinkins, Cedric Joe, Ray Fisher, Glynn Turman
A group of friends find the humor in career moves, dating drama and more as they live their best lives as young, Black professionals in L.A. where they always make time to hangout at their favorite bar for good laughs and great wine.
Genre: Comedy, Sitcom, TV Series
Starring: Echo Kellum, Justin Cunningham, Carl Tart, Aaron Jennings, Nicole Byer
A group of dedicated, passionate teachers and a slightly tone-deaf principal find themselves thrown together in a Philadelphia public school where, despite the odds stacked against them, they are determined to help their students succeed in life. Though these incredible public servants may be outnumbered and underfunded, they love what they do, even if they don’t love the school district’s less-than-stellar attitude toward educating children.
Genre: Comedy, Sitcom
Starring: Quinta Brunson, Tyler James Williams, Janelle James, Chris Perfetti, Lisa Ann Walter
For Black History Month binge ideas on HBO Max check out this list of movies and TV shows that are under the category Black Voices:
The Color Purple
An epic drama of an African-American woman’s struggle to overcome poverty, adversity, and a marriage to a brutal husband. She eventually found her dignity in a period that spans over forty years from the turn-of-the-century.
Cast & Crew: Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Margaret Avery, Oprah Winfrey, Rae Dawn Chong
This film follows, young lawyer Bryan Stevenson and his battle for justice as he defends a man sentenced to death despite evidence proving his innocence.
Cast & Crew: Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Brie Larson
In 1946, Branch Rickey, general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, signs Jackie Robinson to the team in defiance of major league baseball’s notorious color barrier.
Cast & Crew: Chadwick A. Boseman, Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie, Christopher Meloni
Created by and starring Issa Rae, this comedy series looks at the friendship of two modern-day black women and all of their tribulations.
Cast & Crew: Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, Jay Ellis, Natasha Rothwell, Amanda Seales, & More
Love Craft Country
A man’s journey in search of his missing father becomes a struggle to survive racist terrors and terrifying monsters.
Cast & Crew: Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett, Micheal Kenneth Williams, & More
HBO’s epic series based on the groundbreaking graphic novel set in an alternate history where masked vigilantes are treated as outlaws.
Cast & Crew: Regina King, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jean Smart, Jeremy Irons
For Black History Month binge ideas on Disney+ check out this list of movies and TV shows that are under the category Celebrate Black Stories:
Pixar’s “Soul” Introduces Joe, who lands the gig of his life at the best jazz club in town. One mishap lands Joe in a fantastical place: The Great Before. There, he teams up with soul 22, and together they find the answers to some of life’s biggest questions.
Genre: Family, Comedy, Fantasy, Animation, Music
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Angela Bassett, & more
The Princess and the Frog
A modern twist on a classic tale from Walt Disney features a beautiful girl named Tiana who dreams of owning her own restaurant. In the movie, she meets a frog prince who desperately wants to be human again, a fateful kiss leads them both on a hilarious adventure through the mystical bayous of Louisiana, with the villainous voodoo magician Dr. Facilier in hot pursuit.
Genre: Family, Animation, Comedy, Musical, Fantasy
Starring: Anika Noni Rose, Keith David and more
Black Is King
Based on the music of “The Lion King: The Gift,” and starring the album’s featured artist and some special appearances, “Black Is King” is a celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience. the film is a story for the ages that informs and rebuilds the resent. A reunion of cultures and shared generational beliefs. A story of how the people left the most broken have an extraordinary gift and purposeful future.
Genre: Dance, Music, Musical
Starring: Beyonce, Blue Ivy Carter, Nyaniso Dzedze, Jay-Z, Lupita Nyong’o, & more
The Proud Family
Follow the adventures and misadventures of Penny, a typical African american girl who’s doing her best to navigate through the early years of teen-dom.
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Coming of Age
Starring: Jo Marie Payton, Kyla Pratt, Tommy Davidson, and more
Welcome to EARTH
It might seem humans have mapped every inch of out planet’s surface, but look closer and you’ll discover that there is still so much more to uncover-the age of exploration is far from over! Welcome to Earth follows Will Smith on an extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime adventure around the world to explore Earth’s greatest wonders and reveal its most hidden secrets.
Genre: Docuseries, Animals & Nature Starring: Will Smith
Starring: Will Smith
Movies by Genre With a Black Lead
Just to name a few other movies that would be great for a Black History Month movie binge, see the below list.
I hope this was a great list to get your binge night started. Please leave a comment below with your favorite black lead movie(s) or TV show(s). For more event ideas check out the below links: