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5 Essential Films to Watch After Black History Month

In celebration of Black History Month, we should all aim to watch more diverse films that put the limelight on Black and BIPOC narratives. And even though the month is almost over that doesn’t mean you should stop. Aside from uplifting Black voices and stories, Affinity Magazine notes that consuming films that center on the plight of Black people everywhere can help us imagine a more hopeful future ⁠— which is all the more important now in today's political and social climate. Gala Spins highlights how Hollywood has existed for over 110 years — often focusing on blockbusters and genres like horror, sci-fi, and action. But in more than a century of producing films, the industry has yet to fully catch up on churning out diverse content and championing non-white stories. Indeed, Black and BIPOC folks are still largely underrepresented in every area of the film industry, even if the United States population is 40% non-white.

One way to push for diversity and change in the film industry is by supporting media that feature Black stories, talents, and creators. With that said, we’ve rounded up five films that you should watch after Black History Month to keep the conversation going.

One Night in Miami

Regina King’s directorial debut is the semi-fictional film, One Night in Miami. Based on the stage play of the same name, this film features Black icons Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown and how these men have celebrated Ali’s win over Sonny Liston during the height of the Civil Rights Movement in the 60s. Before watching this film, be sure to prepare yourself by watching the iconic films, Malcolm X, What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali, and The Two Killings of Sam Cooke.

Freedom Riders

This documentary follows the journey of more than 500 Black and white Americans as they travel through the South in protest. In a time when Jim Crow laws have segregated the transportation system, this film showcases the horrific racism, imprisonment and beatings endured by the courageous nonviolent protesters

Sylvie’s Love

Starring Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha as young lovers in the late 1950s, this period drama highlights how professional aspirations, geography and progressive times can test a couple’s romance. This film is written and directed by Eugene Ashe, who is also known for the 2012 film Homecoming.

Da 5 Bloods

Directed by Spike Lee, this American war film showcases four African-American veterans and their journey back to Vietnam to retrieve the remains of their squad leader. The four vets face natural and human obstacles along the way to bring home their fallen squad leader ⁠— as well as the gold fortune that they’ve hidden.

Judas and the Black Messiah

Get Out breakout star Daniel Kaluuya stars in this film that dramatizes how FBI informant William O’Neal betrayed Black Panther Party founder Fred Hampton. Set in the 1960s, this thriller is brought to life by indie comedy director Shaka King.


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