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Great Movies About Racism Against Black People 

Ranker Film
Updated June 28, 2020 4.2k votes 728 voters 64.6k views 44 items

Movies about racism are some of the most emotional and dramatic films to ever hit the silver screen. The top Black racism movies feature characters fighting for their basic rights from the time of slavery to more modern forms of discrimination. This is a list of African American racism movies featuring everything from 12 Years a Slave to The Help to Selma.

What movies will you find on this list of movies about racism against Black people? Fruitvale Station concerns a modern tragedy. Based on the real-life death of Oscar Grant, this award-winning film proves that racism still exists in modern times – and it can be deadly. The Color Purple is another great film that examines the ugly truths about racism in the United States.

While most movies about racism are dramas, Mel Brooks took on this serious issue with the hilarious comedy Blazing Saddles. Other good films featured on roundup of top movies about racism list include Crash, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and Django Unchained.

Which movie about racism do you think deserves the top spot on this list? Vote the best films up to number one, and get in on the conversation in the comments section.

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1
12 Years a Slave is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Great Movies About Racism Against Black People
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch

Released: 2013

Directed by: Steve McQueen

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

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#161 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #163 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
The Help is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Great Movies About Racism Against Black People
Emma Stone, Jessica Chastain, Bryce Dallas Howard

Released: 2011

Directed by: Tate Taylor

The 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 ...more

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#59 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #300 of 802 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #41 of 368 The Best Movies Based On Books

3
The Hate U Give is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Great Movies About Racism Against Black People
Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Anthony Mackie

Released: 2018

Directed by: George Tillman Jr.

The Hate U Give is a 2018 American drama thriller film directed by George Tillman Jr., based on the novel by Angie Thomas. Constantly switching between the poor, mostly black, neighborhood where ...more
4
The Color Purple is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Great Movies About Racism Against Black People
Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Laurence Fishburne

Released: 1985

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

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

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#4 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #165 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #171 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

5
Django Unchained is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Great Movies About Racism Against Black People
Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson

Released: 2012

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

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

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#72 of 395 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #52 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #441 of 1,027 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

6
Malcolm X is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Great Movies About Racism Against Black People
Denzel Washington, Al Sharpton, Nelson Mandela

Released: 1992

Directed by: Spike Lee

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 dramatizes key events in Malcolm X's life: his ...more

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#7 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #125 of 235 The Best Movies Based On True Stories #236 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

7
A Time to Kill is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Great Movies About Racism Against Black People
Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, Kevin Spacey

Released: 1996

Directed by: Joel Schumacher

This film is a 1996 drama film adaptation of John Grisham's 1989 novel of the same name, directed by Joel Schumacher. Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kevin Spacey ...more

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#33 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #193 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies #1,405 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

8
The Green Mile is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Great Movies About Racism Against Black People
Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Sam Rockwell

Released: 1999

Directed by: Frank Darabont

The Green Mile is a 1999 American fantasy drama film directed by Frank Darabont and adapted from the 1996 Stephen King novel of the same name. The film is told in a flashback format and stars ...more

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#28 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #622 of 853 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #97 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies

9
Remember the Titans is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Great Movies About Racism Against Black People
Hayden Panettiere, Ryan Gosling, Denzel Washington

Released: 2000

Directed by: Boaz Yakin

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

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#13 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #81 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #956 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

10
Selma is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Great Movies About Racism Against Black People
Oprah Winfrey, Common, Cuba Gooding Jr.

Released: 2014

Directed by: Ava DuVernay

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

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#600 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #10 of 43 Great Historical Black Movies Based On True Storieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

11
Fruitvale Station is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Great Movies About Racism Against Black People
Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, Octavia Spencer

Released: 2013

Directed by: Ryan Coogler

Fruitvale 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, ...more
12
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Great Movies About Racism Against Black People
Robert Duvall, Gregory Peck, William Windom

Released: 1962

Directed by: Robert Mulligan

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

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'To Kill a Mockingbird' Quotes That'll Change How You Think #113 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

13
Mississippi Burning is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Great Movies About Racism Against Black People
Willem Dafoe, Gene Hackman, Frances McDormand

Released: 1988

Directed by: Alan Parker

Mississippi Burning is a 1988 American thriller film directed by Alan Parker and written by Chris Gerolmo. It was loosely based on the FBI investigation into the incidents involving of three ...more

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#276 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #191 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

14
Glory is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Great Movies About Racism Against Black People
Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick

Released: 1989

Directed by: Edward Zwick

Glory is a 1989 American drama film directed by Edward Zwick and starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes and Morgan Freeman. The screenplay was written by Kevin Jarre, based on ...more

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#15 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #38 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Civil War Movies List

15
Rosewood is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Great Movies About Racism Against Black People
Heather D. Stoner added Jon Voight, Don Cheadle, Ving Rhames

Released: 1997

Directed by: John Singleton

Rosewood is a 1997 film directed by John Singleton. While based on historic events of the 1923 in Florida, when a white mob takes out blacks and destroyed their town, the film introduces ...more

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#61 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #17 of 43 Great Historical Black Movies Based On True Stories #10 of 23 23 Disturbing, Brutal Movies Based on Real-Life Atrocities

16
Higher Learning is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Great Movies About Racism Against Black People
Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Connelly, Tyra Banks

Released: 1995

Directed by: John Singleton

Higher Learning is a 1995 American romantic drama film, directed by John Singleton, and starring an ensemble cast. The film follows the changing lives of three incoming freshmen at the fictional ...more

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#62 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #263 of 301 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #12 of 17 Great Movies About Neo-Nazis & Skinheads

17
American History X is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Great Movies About Racism Against Black People
Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly DAngelo

Released: 1998

Directed by: Tony Kaye

American History X is a 1998 American drama film directed by Tony Kaye and written by David McKenna. It stars Edward Norton and Edward Furlong, and co-stars Fairuza Balk, Stacy Keach, Elliott ...more

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#184 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #4 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again #111 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

18
The Butler is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Great Movies About Racism Against Black People
Mariah Carey, Robin Williams, Oprah Winfrey

Released: 2013

Directed by: Lee Daniels

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

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#211 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #436 of 802 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #7 of 43 Great Historical Black Movies Based On True Stories

19
Birth of a Nation is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Great Movies About Racism Against Black People
Tre Cooley added Birth of a Nation Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Penelope Ann Miller

Released: 2016

Directed by: Nate Parker

20
In the Heat of the Night... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Great Movies About Racism Against Black People
Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Lee Grant

Released: 1967

Directed by: Norman Jewison

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

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#169 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #1,202 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

21
Freedom Writers is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Great Movies About Racism Against Black People
Hilary Swank, Patrick Dempsey, Imelda Staunton

Released: 2007

Directed by: Richard LaGravenese

Freedom Writers is a 2007 drama film starring Hilary Swank, Scott Glenn, Imelda Staunton and Patrick Dempsey. It is based on the book The Freedom Writers Diary by teacher Erin Gruwell who wrote ...more

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#43 of 82 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books #19 of 36 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens #45 of 93 The Best Hood Movies

22
Amistad is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Great Movies About Racism Against Black People
Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConaughey, Anna Paquin

Released: 1997

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

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 taken and managed ...more

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#79 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #261 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #43 of 235 The Best Movies Based On True Stories

23
Guess Who's Coming to Di... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great Movies About Racism Against Black People
Katharine Hepburn, Sidney Poitier, Spencer Tracy

Released: 1967

Directed by: Stanley Kramer

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

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#209 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #1,414 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

24
Driving Miss Daisy is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Great Movies About Racism Against Black People
Morgan Freeman, Dan Aykroyd, Jessica Tandy

Released: 1989

Directed by: Bruce Beresford

Driving Miss Daisy is a 1989 American comedy-drama film directed by Bruce Beresford and written by Alfred Uhry, based on Uhry's play of the same name. The film stars Jessica Tandy, Morgan ...more

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#169 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #197 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

25
The Hurricane is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Great Movies About Racism Against Black People
Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber, Rod Steiger

Released: 1999

Directed by: Norman Jewison

The Hurricane is a 1999 biographical film directed by Norman Jewison, and starring Denzel Washington. The script was adapted by Armyan Bernstein and Dan Gordon from the books Lazarus and the ...more

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#134 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #123 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Againlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever