What better way to spend free time during Black History Month than binge-watching quality content?
These selections encompass work from Black talent and creatives in every genre, with informative stories and compelling narratives. Don’t let anything stop you from sitting down, kicking back and enjoying this watchlist created in honor of Black History Month.
Here’s a list of some popcorn-worthy films, documentaries, series and comedy specials.
"A Wrinkle in Time" - 2018; PG; 1 hour, 50 minutes; film. The twists and turns of this journey provide valuable life lessons. Starring: Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling
"Barry" - 2016; TV-MA; 1 hour, 44 minutes; Netflix original film. Barack Obama arrives in New York in the fall of 1981 for his junior year at Columbia University. He struggles to maintain relationships, form new ones and create his own identity while experiencing culture shocks and racial disparities. This film encapsulates many of the trials and experiences of his school year, including a relationship before Michelle, an attempt to rob him and an unsettling exchange with authorities. Starring: Devon Terrell
"Black Panther" - 2018; PG-13; 2 hours, 15 minutes; film. T'Challa, also known as the Blank Panther, is crowned king of Wakanda following his father's death, but his sovereignty is challenged by an adversary named Killmonger who makes a push for the country of Wakanda to abandon seclusion and begin a global revolution. This is an American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics, produced by Marvel Studios and directed by Ryan Coogler. Starring: Chadwick Boseman (T'Challa/Black Panther), Michael B. Jordan (Killmonger), Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker and Andy Serkis.
"Dave Chappelle: Equanimity & The Bird Revelation" - 2017; TV-MA. Dave Chappelle presents two stand-up specials packed with new material covering self-reflection, gender identity, tough love, politics, how and why people allow themselves to be abused and more.
"Dear White People" - 2017; Seasons 1 and 2; TV-MA. Students of color navigate the daily routine, organizations, social hierarchy and the politics of life at an Ivy League college that's not nearly as "post-racial" as some students would like to believe. The various student narratives represent a wide array of the everyday black college student perspective. Starring: Logan Browning, Brandon P. Bell, DeRon Horton, Antoinette Robertson and Ashley Blaine Featherson.
"Hip Hop Evolution" - 2016; docuseries. Interviews with influential DJs, MCs and moguls trace hip-hop’s dynamic evolution from the 1970s through the 1990s in this documentary series. MC and journalist Shad Kabango and others meet with some of hip-hop's biggest influencers and contributors to retrace how hip-hop became one of the world's most popular music genres. Starring: Shad Kabango, LL Cool J, Russell Simmons, Grand Masterflash, Rakim and Ice Cube.
"Kevin Hart's Guide to Black History" - 2019; TV-PG; 1 hour, 3 minutes. In this family-friendly showing, Kevin Hart highlights the history and contributions of black unsung heroes in this educational comedy special. Starring: Kevin Hart, Saniyya Sidney and Lil Rel Howery.
"Kings" - 2017; R; 1 hour, 26 minutes; Netflix original film. A foster mother (Halle Berry) and her houseful of black kids befriend their white neighbor (Daniel Craig) after the Rodney King verdict is handed down in 1992 Los Angeles. Starring: Halle Berry
"Luke Cage" - 2017; Seasons 1 and 2; TV-MA. This action-packed, Harlem-rooted drama follows the evolution of Luke Cage, a man who has acquired super strength and unbreakable skin from a prison experiment. After escaping prison, Cage works to build his quiet life in Harlem, New York, but with great power comes great responsibility; he is pulled out of his comfort zone and challenged to put his integrity and abilities to the test. Cage walks the line between hero and villain to protect the heart of Harlem. Starring: Mike Colter (Luke Cage), Simone Missick, Alfre Woodard, Rosario Dawson
"Mudbound" - 2017; R; 2 hours, 14 minutes; film. Set in the rural American South during World War II, "Mudbound" is a story of two families -- one black, the Jacksons, and the other white, the McAllans, pitted against one another by the existing social and racial hierarchy, but forced to share the same land and keep peace with each other. The families struggle to find a work-life balance, when two soldiers, Ronsel, the Jacksons' eldest son, and Jamie, Henry McAllans' younger brother, return home. This is a story of family and friendship against segregation and hatred. Starring: Mary J. Blige, Rob Morgan
"Nappily Ever After" - 2018; PG-13; 1 hours, 38 minutes; film. Violet Jones, tired of waiting for her longtime boyfriend to propose, breaks up with him. When her fairy tale begins to unravel, so does she. Through her story, the culture and stigma associated with black hair is addressed head-on. This film shows the innate potential of a black woman as she begins to look inward instead of outward. Starring: Sanaa Lathan (Violet Jones), Ricky Whittle.
"ReMastered: Who Shot the Sheriff" - 2018; TV-14; 57 minutes; documentary. A Bob Marley story: In 1976, reggae icon Bob Marley survived an assassination attempt amid political tension in Jamaica. Documented here is Marley's life prior to and after the attack. His overall life and influence is unraveled through interviews and visuals. This documentary showcases the suppression of the reggae movement Marley charged in Jamaica, including political involvement and impact.
"13th" - 2016; TV-MA; 1 hour, 40 minutes; documentary. Third in a trilogy of documentaries about race in America, directed by Ava DuVernay, this film builds off works such as Michelle Alexander’s "The New Jim Crow," and other scholarly works to explore the United States' history of racial inequality, including mass incarceration and the transformation of slavery. This is an in-depth look at the prison system, the civil rights movement, Ronald Reagan's declaration of the war on drugs, and more.
"42" - 2013; PG-13; 2 hour, 8 minutes; biographical film. This is a biographical film portraying Jackie Robinson's life. When signing to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, Robinson became the first African-American to play major league baseball. Through his life and career, he faced and overcame considerable racism. Robinson and his family faced challenges on and off the field, from players and fans, and surpassed them through courage, determination and the help of allies. Starring: Chadwick Boseman (Jackie Robinson), Nicole Beharie, Andre Holland
Enjoy! Be sure to comment and let us know your thoughts on these cinematic works.