Now, more than ever, there is distinct importance around properly educating yourself on the myriad of causes that affect minorities living in the US today. From organizations like the Black Lives Matter Foundation to books to films, there is an abundance of resources that we can all tap into that will provide us with the necessary tools we need to help us grow and achieve inclusion. Below we’ve gathered 14 films, which range from the critically acclaimed to documentary style, to help paint a stronger picture for the need to stand up and speak out.
The film is based on attorney Bryan Stevenson’s 2014 memoir Just Mercy: A Story Of Justice and Redemption. It follows the story of Bryan, played by Michael B. Jordan, as he takes on the case of Walter McMillian, played by Jamie Foxx. The movie tackles the topics of racial injustice and mass incarceration. WB recently announced that it would be streaming the movie for free on all digital platforms in the month of June in honor of George Floyd.
Ava DuVernay dives into the complex history of racial inequality within the US and focuses primarily on the prison system. She takes a deeper look into the fact that the prison systems are are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.
If Beale Street Could Talk
This Academy Award nominated film, which saw actress Regina King win her first Oscar for Actress in a Supporting Role, follows the story of a young woman and her family as they set out to prove her lover, childhood friend and the father of her child is innocent of a crime he did not commit.
The Hate U Give
Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall and Anthony Mackie lead the cast in a movie that tackles the topic of standing up for what you think is right. After witnessing the fatal shooting of her best friend at the hands of the police, Amandla’s character Starr must find her own path to revealing the truth and doing what is right.
The Color Purple
Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Margaret Avery and Oprah Winfrey lead the cast on a movie that follows the hardships and struggles that a Southern African American woman endured at the hand of her father and others for more than 40 years.
Selma chronicles Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s campaign in securing true equal voting rights for all and his march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965.
Get Out is an American horror film written and directed by Jordan Peele. It was praised for it’s horrifyingly eloquent depiction of “how white America has mastered its relationship with black America.”
12 Years a Slave
This biographical film is an adaptation of the 1853 slave memoir Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup. Solomon had been a New York State-born free African American man that was kidnapped and sold into slavery.
This biographical drama is loosely based on the non-fiction book Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly. It is about the African American female mathematicians who worked at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) during the Space Race.
Evolution of a Criminal
Filmmaker Darius Monroe returns to his hometown after ten years to find out the lasting effect that a bank robbery he committed had on his loved ones and the victims of his crime.
Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland
This documentary film dives into what truly happened to political activist Sandra Bland while she was in police custody.
King in the Wilderness
This documentary follows the last few years of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life, from his involvement in the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to his assassination in 1968.
This National Geographic documentary follows the tumultuous period of time after the 1992 Rodney King trial that saw the acquittal of four police officers for beating a black motorist.
Black Panthers: Vanguards of the Revolution
This documentary film details the rise, prominence and influence of the Black Panther Party in the 1960s and its affect on the civil rights movement and US culture.
When They See Us
It may not be a movie per se, but this 2019 Netflix miniseries deserves to be binged. Created, co-written and directed by Ava Duvernay, this show tells the story of the Central Park Five, who were wrongfully convicted of raping a jogger. The lead played by Dominican actor Jharrel Jerome won him his first Emmy.