There are several Academy Award-winning movies on this impressive list of the greatest Black drama films. Heavy-hitting tales like Selma and 12 Years a Slave not only told important true stories from our nation’s past, but they also helped to enlighten present-day audiences. What other Black drama films made the list?
In 1989, Spike Lee released Do the Right Thing, a movie that takes place on the streets of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn over the course of one of the hottest days of the year. The movie explores deep-seated racism, from every angle, and offers no easy answers, just more questions about how society ever even got to this point of hatred. John Singleton’s directorial debut Boyz n the Hood, an equally important look at racism in inner cities, came out two years later and features some of the most talented Black actors of their generation.
There are also stories with diverse casts that show characters teaming up to overcome the narrow minded masses such as BlacKkKlansman which won the Academy Award for best adapted screenplay. If you don't see your favorite new Black drama movie feel free to add it to the list.
Those are just a few of the top Black drama movies. It is going to be really tough, but you'll decide the film that makes it to the top by voting up good African American drama movies on this list.
Directed by: John SingletonBoyz n the Hood is a 1991 American hood drama film directed by John Singleton. Three young men weave in and out of violence, relationships, and racial issues in the Crenshaw ghetto of Los Angeles.... more
Directed by: Gina Prince-BythewoodLove & Basketball is a 2000 American romantic drama film starring Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan. The film tells the story of Quincy McCall and Monica Wright, two next-door neighbors in Los Angeles,... more
Directed by: F. Gary GraySet It Off is a 1996 American action film directed by F. Gary Gray, and written by Kate Lanier and Takashi Bufford. The film stars Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox and Kimberly Elise.... more
Directed by: Forest WhitakerWaiting to Exhale is a 1995 American romantic drama film directed by Forest Whitaker, based on Terry McMillan's novel of the same name. The film centers around four unique women and how they deal... more
Directed by: John SingletonPoetic Justice is a 1993 drama/romance film starring Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur with Regina King and Joe Torry. It was written and directed by John Singleton. The main character, Justice, writes... more
Directed by: Steven SpielbergThe Color Purple is a 1985 American period drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Alice Walker. It was Spielberg's eighth film as a... more
Directed by: Taylor HackfordRay is a biographical film focusing on 30 years in the life of rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles. The independently produced film was written, produced and directed by Taylor Hackford, and stars... more
Directed by: John G. AvildsenLean on Me is a 1989 dramatized biographical film written by Michael Schiffer, directed by John G. Avildsen and starring Morgan Freeman. Lean on Me is loosely based on the story of Joe Louis Clark, a... more
Directed by: Theodore MelfiHidden Figures is a 2016 American biographical drama film directed by Theodore Melfi, based on the non-fiction book by Margot Lee Shetterly. The story of a team of female African-American... more
Directed by: Denzel WashingtonAntwone Fisher is a 2002 American biographical drama film directed by and starring Denzel Washington in his feature film directorial debut. He also stars in the film as the psychiatrist Jerome... more
Directed by: Gabriele MuccinoThe Pursuit of Happyness is a 2006 American biographical drama film based on Chris Gardner's nearly one-year struggle with homelessness. Directed by Gabriele Muccino, the film features Will Smith as... more
Directed by: Bill CondonDreamgirls is a 2006 American musical drama film, directed by Bill Condon and jointly produced and released by DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures. The film debuted in three special road show... more
Directed by: Tate TaylorThe Help is a 2011 American period drama film directed and written by Tate Taylor, and adapted from Kathryn Stockett's 2009 novel of the same name. Featuring an ensemble cast, the film is about a... more
Directed by: Brian GibsonWhat's Love Got to Do with It is a 1993 American biographical film directed by Brian Gibson, loosely based on the life of Tina Turner. It stars Angela Bassett as Tina Turner and Laurence Fishburne as... more
Directed by: Rick FamuyiwaThe Wood is a 1999 romantic comedy, written by Rick Famuyiwa and Todd Boyd. Famuyiwa also directed the film, which stars Omar Epps, Richard T. Jones, and Taye Diggs.... more
Directed by: Spike LeeMalcolm X is a 1992 American biographical drama film about the African-American activist Malcolm X. Directed and co-written by Spike Lee. The film dramatizes key events in Malcolm X's life: his... more
Directed by: Steve McQueen12 Years a Slave is a 2013 period drama film directed by Steve McQueen, based on the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black... more
Directed by: Spike LeeDo the Right Thing is a 1989 American comedy-drama hood film produced, written, and directed by Spike Lee, who also played the part of Mookie in the film. Other members of the cast include Danny... more
Directed by: Boaz YakinRemember the Titans is a 2000 American sports drama film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Boaz Yakin. The screenplay, written by Gregory Allen Howard, is based on the true story of... more
Directed by: George Tillman, Jr.Soul Food is a 1997 American comedy-drama film, produced by Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Tracey Edmonds, and Robert Teitel, and released by Fox 2000 Pictures. Featuring an ensemble cast, the film... more
Directed by: Ryan CooglerFruitvale Station is a 2013 American biographical drama film directed by Ryan Coogler, based on true events. The story of Oscar Grant III (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, who... more
Directed by: Michael MannAli is a 2001 American biographical film directed by Michael Mann. The film tells the story of the boxer Muhammad Ali, played by Will Smith, from 1964-74 featuring his capture of the heavyweight... more
Directed by: Craig BrewerHustle & Flow is a 2005 American independent drama film written and directed by Craig Brewer and produced by John Singleton and Stephanie Allain. It was released on July 22, 2005. Terrence Howard... more
Directed by: Kevin Rodney SullivanHow Stella Got Her Groove Back is a 1998 romantic comedy film directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan, adapted from Terry McMillan's bestselling novel of the same title. The film stars Angela Bassett, Taye... more
Directed by: Denzel WashingtonFences is 2016 American drama film written by August Wilson and directed by Denzel Washington in his directorial debut, based on his play of the same name. Set in 1950s Pittsburgh, a former Negro... more