Film The Best Movies About Black History  

Ranker Film
209 votes 35 voters 2.9k views 38 items

List Rules Movies about black history.

Black history is extremely important in the United States. There are a number of award winning movies about black history that will remind us of where we came from, the dangers of prejudice, and how our nation was once divided over racial issues.. If you’ve ever asked the question, “What are the best movies about black history?” before then you’ve absolutely come to the right page!

The movies featured on this list are very historically important. They take an honest approach to a lot of issues that went on behind the scenes in history and shed light on the role racism played in America. Many also feature the true events of heroes who forever impacted the world and took a stand to fight against slavery, no matter the cost.

This list has the best movies about black history, including: Roots, Glory, Twelve Years a Slave, The Butler, A Raisin in the Sun, The Rosa Parks Story, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Color Purple.

Vote up your favorite black history film or add one you love that isn't already on the list.

1
9 2
Glory is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies About Black History
Glory Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick Glory is a 1989 American drama war film directed by Edward Zwick and starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes and Morgan Freeman. The screenplay was written by Kevin Jarre, ...more

2
7 1
Ranker Video
Roots Louis Gossett, Jr., LeVar Burton This award-winning six-part historical epic was one of the first examples of the miniseries format and one of the highest-rated television programs in broadcasting history. Based on the ...more

3
8 2
Ranker Video
The Color Purple Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Laurence Fishburne The 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 ...more

4
5 0
Ranker Video
A Raisin in the Sun Sidney Poitier, Louis Gossett, Jr. A Raisin in the Sun is a 1961 drama film, starring Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Claudia McNeil, Diana Sands, Roy Glenn, and Louis Gossett, and adapted from the play of the same name by Lorraine ...more

5
6 1
Ranker Video
Malcolm X Denzel Washington, Al Sharpton, Nelson Mandela Malcolm X is a 1992 American biographical drama film about the African-American activist Malcolm X. Directed and co-written by Spike Lee, the film stars Denzel Washington in the title role, as ...more

6
8 3
Ranker Video
12 Years a Slave Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch 12 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 ...more

7
8 3
Ranker Video
Remember the Titans Hayden Panettiere, Ryan Gosling, Denzel Washington Remember 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

8
8 3
Ranker Video
The Butler Mariah Carey, Robin Williams, Oprah Winfrey The Butler is a 2013 American historical drama film directed and produced by Lee Daniels and written by Danny Strong. Loosely based on the real life of Eugene Allen, the film stars Forest ...more

9
9 5
Ranker Video
To Kill a Mockingbird Robert Duvall, Gregory Peck, William Windom To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American drama film directed by Robert Mulligan. The screenplay by Horton Foote was based on the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Harper Lee. ...more

10
7 3
Ranker Video
Ali Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith Ali 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

11
6 2
Ranker Video
Amistad Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConaughey, Anna Paquin Amistad is a 1997 historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the true story of the 1839 mutiny aboard the slave ship La Amistad, during which Mende tribesmen abducted for the ...more

12
4 0
Ranker Video
Sounder Sounder is a young adult novel by William H. Armstrong. It is the story of an African-American boy living with his sharecropper family. Although the family's difficulties increase when the ...more

13
4 0
Ranker Video
4 Little Girls 4 Little Girls is a 1997 American historical documentary film about the 15 September 1963 murder of four African-American girls in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, ...more

14
4 0
Ranker Video
OCD Man added Selma Oprah Winfrey, Common, Cuba Gooding Jr. Selma is a 2014 historical drama film directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Paul Webb. It is based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches led by James Bevel, Hosea Williams, and ...more

15
6 3
Ranker Video
Do the Right Thing Samuel L. Jackson, Martin Lawrence, Spike Lee Do 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

16
4 1
Ranker Video
The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman Cicely Tyson, Katherine Helmond, Odetta The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman is a 1974 television movie directed by John Korty, based on the novel by Ernest J. Gaines. Story of a black woman in the South who was born into slavery in ...more

17
3 0
Straight Outta Compton is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies About Black History
Tom Islava added Straight Outta Compton O'Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell Straight Outta Compton is a 2015 American biographical film directed by F. Gary Gray. The group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and ...more

18
5 3
Ranker Video
In the Heat of the Night Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Lee Grant In the Heat of the Night is a 1967 American mystery drama film directed by Norman Jewison. It is based on John Ball's 1965 novel of the same name which tells the story of Virgil Tibbs, a black ...more

19
4 2
Ranker Video
A Soldier's Story Denzel Washington, Patti LaBelle, David Alan Grier A Soldier's Story is a 1984 American drama film directed by Norman Jewison, based upon Charles Fuller's Pulitzer Prize-winning Off Broadway production A Soldier's Play. A black officer is sent ...more

20
4 2
Ranker Video
Cooley High Garrett Morris, Glynn Turman, Steven Williams Cooley High is a 1975 American film based upon the real high school located on the near north side of Chicago, produced and released by American International Pictures and written by Eric Monte. ...more

21
3 1
Ranker Video
The Great White Hope James Earl Jones, Hal Holbrook, Jane Alexander The Great White Hope is a 1970 biographical romantic drama film written and adapted from the Howard Sackler play of the same name. The film was directed by Martin Ritt, starring James Earl ...more

22
3 1
Ranker Video
Red Tails Daniela Ruah, Bryan Cranston, Cuba Gooding Jr. Red Tails is a 2012 American war film directed by Anthony Hemingway in his feature film directorial debut, and starring Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr. The film is about the Tuskegee ...more

23
3 1
Ranker Video
A Great Day in Harlem Quincy Jones, Sonny Rollins, Hank Jones A Great Day in Harlem is a 1994 American documentary film directed by Jean Bach about the photograph of the same name. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. ...more

24
3 1
Django Unchained is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies About Black History
Tom Islava added Django Unchained Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson Django Unchained is a 2012 American revisionist Western film directed by Quentin Tarantino. With the help of a German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz), a freed slave (Jamie Foxx) sets out to ...more

25
2 0
Ranker Video
Eyes on the Prize Eyes on the Prize is an American television series and 14-hour documentary about the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. The documentary originally aired on the PBS network and also ...more

26
2 0
Ranker Video
With All Deliberate Speed Jeffrey Wright, Julian Bond

27
2 0
Ranker Video
Heat Wave James Earl Jones, Charlie Korsmo, David Strathairn Heat Wave is a film directed by Kevin Hooks released on August 13, 1990.

28
2 0
Ranker Video
Their Eyes Were Watching God Halle Berry, Terrence Howard, Michael Ealy Their Eyes Were Watching God is an American Broadcasting Company television movie aired on March 6, 2005 at 9 p.m. EDT based upon Zora Neale Hurston's 1937 novel of the same name. The film was ...more

29
1 0
Ranker Video
Ra'Jon' Goolsby added Shaka Zulu Christopher Lee Shaka Zulu is a television series directed by William C. Faure and written by Joshua Sinclair for the South African Broadcasting Corporation, based on Sinclair's novel of the same name. It is ...more

30
1 0
Ranker Video
Ra'Jon' Goolsby added Rosewood Jon Voight, Don Cheadle, Ving Rhames Rosewood is a 1997 film directed by John Singleton. While based on historic events of the 1923 Rosewood massacre in Florida, when a white mob killed blacks and destroyed their town, the film ...more

31
3 3
Ranker Video
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Katharine Hepburn, Sidney Poitier, Spencer Tracy Guess Who's Coming to Dinner is a 1967 American comedy-drama film produced and directed by Stanley Kramer and written by William Rose. It stars Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier and Katharine ...more

32
2 2
Ranker Video
Men of Honor Charlize Theron, Robert De Niro, Cuba Gooding Jr. Men of Honor is a 2000 drama film, starring Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding Jr. The film was directed by George Tillman, Jr. It is inspired by the true story of Master chief petty officer Carl ...more

33
2 2
Ranker Video
Conrack Jon Voight, Paul Winfield, Hume Cronyn Conrack is a 1974 film based on the 1972 autobiographical book The Water Is Wide by Pat Conroy, directed by Martin Ritt and starring Jon Voight in the title role, alongside Paul Winfield, Madge ...more

34
1 1
Ranker Video
The Rosa Parks Story Angela Bassett, Cicely Tyson, Afemo Omilami The Rosa Parks Story is a 2002 American television movie written by Paris Qualles and directed by Julie Dash. Angela Bassett portrays Rosa Parks, and Cicely Tyson a supporting role as her ...more

35
1 1
Ranker Video
Bamboozled Jada Pinkett Smith, Mos Def, Damon Wayans Bamboozled is a 2000 satirical film written and directed by Spike Lee about a modern televised minstrel show featuring black actors donning blackface makeup and the violent fall-out from the ...more

36
1 1
Ranker Video
Something the Lord Made Gabrielle Union, Alan Rickman, Mos Def Something the Lord Made is a 2004 film about the black cardiac pioneer Vivien Thomas and his complex and volatile partnership with white surgeon Alfred Blalock, the world famous "Blue Baby ...more

37
1 1
Ranker Video
Introducing Dorothy Dandridge Halle Berry, Tamara Taylor, Loretta Devine Introducing Dorothy Dandridge is a television film directed by Martha Coolidge. Filmed over a span of a few weeks in early 1998, the film was aired in the United States on August 21, 1999. The ...more

38
2 4
Ranker Video
Akeelah and the Bee Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, Keke Palmer Akeelah and the Bee is a 2006 American drama film written and directed by Doug Atchison. It tells the story of Akeelah Anderson, an 11-year-old girl who participates in the Scripps National ...more