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The Best Movies About Black History

Updated October 4, 2020 560 votes 57 voters 5.9k views39 items

List RulesMovies 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.
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  • 1
    12 Years a Slave
    28
    7

    12 Years a Slave

    Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender

    Released2013

    Directed bySteve McQueen

    12 Years a Slave is a 2013 period drama film directed by Steve McQueen, based on the 1853... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    Glory
    27
    6

    Glory

    Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington

    Released1989

    Directed byEdward Zwick

    Glory is a 1989 American drama film directed by Edward Zwick and starring Matthew Broderick,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    The Color Purple
    26
    6

    The Color Purple

    Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg

    Released1985

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    The Color Purple is a 1985 American period drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    The Butler
    28
    9

    The Butler

    Mariah Carey, Robin Williams

    Released2013

    Directed byLee Daniels

    The Butler is a 2013 American historical drama film directed and produced by Lee Daniels and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    A Raisin in the Sun
    19
    0

    A Raisin in the Sun

    Sidney Poitier, Louis Gossett

    Released1961

    Directed byDaniel Petrie

    A Raisin in the Sun is a 1961 drama film, starring Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Claudia McNeil,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    Malcolm X
    19
    2

    Malcolm X

    Denzel Washington, Al Sharpton

    Released1992

    Directed bySpike Lee

    Malcolm X is a 1992 American biographical drama film about the African-American activist... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    24
    11

    To Kill a Mockingbird

    Robert Duvall, Gregory Peck

    Released1962

    Directed byRobert Mulligan

    To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American drama film directed by Robert Mulligan. The... more on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    Amistad
    18
    6

    Amistad

    Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConaughey

    Released1997

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Amistad is a 1997 historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the true story... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    Remember the Titans
    19
    9

    Remember the Titans

    Hayden Panettiere, Ryan Gosling

    Released2000

    Directed byBoaz Yakin

    Remember the Titans is a 2000 American sports drama film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    Ali
    16
    6

    Ali

    Will Smith, Jamie Foxx

    Released2001

    Directed byMichael Mann

    Ali is a 2001 American biographical film directed by Michael Mann. The film tells the story of... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    4 Little Girls
    4 Little Girls is a 1997 American historical documentary film about the 15 September 1963... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Sounder
    Sounder is a young adult novel by William H. Armstrong. It is the story of an African-American... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    In the Heat of the Night
    17
    6

    In the Heat of the Night

    Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger

    Released1967

    Directed byNorman Jewison

    In the Heat of the Night is a 1967 American mystery drama film directed by Norman Jewison. It... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman
    10
    2

    The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman

    Cicely Tyson, Katherine Helmond

    Released1973

    Directed byJohn Korty

    The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman is a 1974 television movie directed by John Korty,... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Cooley High
    11
    4

    Cooley High

    Garrett Morris, Glynn Turman

    Released1975

    Directed byMichael Schultz

    Cooley High is a 1975 American film based upon the real high school located on the near north... more on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    The Great White Hope
    9
    2

    The Great White Hope

    James Earl Jones, Hal Holbrook

    Released1970

    Directed byMartin Ritt

    The Great White Hope is a 1970 biographical romantic drama film written and adapted from the... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Roots
    10
    4

    Roots

    Louis Gossett, Jr.

    Released1977

    This award-winning six-part historical epic was one of the first examples of the miniseries... more on Wikipedia

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  • 18
    Django Unchained
    9
    5

    Django Unchained

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington

    Released2012

    Directed byQuentin Tarantino

    Django Unchained is a 2012 American revisionist Western film directed by Quentin Tarantino.... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Rosewood
    5
    0

    Rosewood

    Jon Voight, Don Cheadle

    Released1997

    Directed byJohn Singleton

    Rosewood is a 1997 film directed by John Singleton. While based on historic events of the 1923... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Straight Outta Compton
    9
    5

    Straight Outta Compton

    O'Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins

    Released2015

    Directed byF. Gary Gray

    Straight Outta Compton is a 2015 American biographical film directed by F. Gary Gray. The... more on Wikipedia

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  • 21
    Shaka Zulu
    5
    0

    Shaka Zulu

    Christopher Lee
    Shaka Zulu is a television series directed by William C. Faure and written by Joshua Sinclair... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Eyes on the Prize
    Eyes on the Prize is an American television series and 14-hour documentary about the Civil... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Their Eyes Were Watching God
    4
    0

    Their Eyes Were Watching God

    Halle Berry, Terrence Howard

    Released2005

    Directed byDarnell Martin

    Their Eyes Were Watching God is an American Broadcasting Company television movie aired on... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Heat Wave
    4
    0

    Heat Wave

    James Earl Jones, Charlie Korsmo

    Released1990

    Directed byKevin Hooks

    Heat Wave is a film directed by Kevin Hooks released on August 13, 1990.
  • 25
    Selma
    5
    0

    Selma

    Oprah Winfrey, Common

    Released2014

    Directed byAva DuVernay

    Selma is a 2014 historical drama film directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Paul Webb. It is... more on Wikipedia