30 Black Movies to Stream: A Guide to Support Black Lives Matter

The Black Lives Matter Movement is on the rise. After the murder of George Floyd, people all over the country have peacefully protested in an attempt to end systemic injustices in the USA.

In support of Black Lives and the movement to end injustice and racial inequality in America, we wanted to show you 30 MUST watch films about the black experience. These films range from depicting the racial violence and injustice, to pride about being black. We encourage everyone watch these films to learn about the injustices and racism in this country:

1. Selma (2014)
Dir. Ava DuVernay
Synopsis: Based on the Selma marches and follows Martin Luther King Jr.’s campaign to secure equal voting rights in a march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. 

Available On: Amazon Prime for Rent

2. Blackkklansman (2018)
Dir. Spike Lee
Synopsis: African American police officer Ron Stallworth manages to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan through the phone and various tactics. Based on real events. 

Available On: HBO Max and Hulu

BlacKkKlansman Trailer: Spike Lee's True Buddy Cop Movie

3. Malcolm X (1992)
Dir. Spike Lee 
Synopsis: A biographical film on the life of Malcolm X, from his early life all the way to becoming part of the nation of Islam. 

Available On: Netflix

Denzel Washington in Malcolm X

4. Do The Right Thing (1989)
Dir. Spike Lee
Synopsis: On the hottest day in Brooklyn, hate and bigotry boil over into an explosive movie filled with racial violence and injustice. 

Available On: Amazon Prime for Rent

5. I Am Not Your Negro (2016)
Dir. Raoul Peck
Synopsis: This movie narrated by Samuel L Jackson covers race in modern America, based on James Baldwin’s unfinished novel Remember This House. 

Available On: Amazon Prime Streaming

6. Bamboozled (2000)
Dir. Spike Lee
Synopsis: A frustrated black tv writer creates a black minstrel show to protest his failures, but it ends up becoming a hit. 

Available On: Criterion Collection for Purchase

7. Get Out (2017)
Dir. Jordan Peele
Synopsis: An african-american man visits his white girlfriend’s parents over the weekend, only to become horrified with his lingering suspicions of them. 

Available On: Amazon Prime for rent

8. Mudbound (2017)
Dir. Dee Rees
Synopsis: Two men return home after war and struggle to adjust to life on a rural farm where racism is more apparent. 

Available On: Netflix

Rob Morgan, left, plays Hap Jackson and Jason Mitchell plays Ronsel Jackson in Mudbound

9. Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970)
Dir. Ossie Davis
Synopsis: Harlem’s African-American population is being ripped off by the Rev. Deke O’Malley (Calvin Lockhart), who dishonestly claims that small donations will secure parcels of land in Africa.

Available On: Amazon Prime for rent

10. Stir Crazy (1980)  
Dir. Sidney Poitier
Synopsis: Starring Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor, two best friends are sent to prison for a crime they didn’t commit. 

Available On: Sling, Fubo, or Amazon Prime for Rent

11. She’s Gotta Have It (1986)
Dir. Spike Lee
Synopsis: Set in the 1980s, Nola Darling, a young, independent woman, is in a relationship with three men and refuses to be loyal to any one of them.

Available On: Netflix

12. Boyz n The Hood (1991)
Dir. John Singleton  
Synopsis: Three childhood friends, Darrin, Tre and Ricky, struggle to cope with the distractions and dangers of growing up in a Los Angeles ghetto.

Available On: Hulu w/Showtime or Amazon Prime for Rent

13. Detroit (2017)
Dir. Kathryn Bigelow
Synopsis: Based on real events, this movie takes place in 1967 Detroit where a group of rouge police officers respond to complaints with retribution instead of justice. 

Available On: Hulu

14. 12 Years a Slave (2013)
Dir. Steve McQueen
Synopsis: Solomon Northup, a free African-American, is promised a fortnightly job by Brown and Hamilton. However, after arriving in Washington DC, he realises that he has been sold into slavery.

Available On: Amazon Prime for Rent

15. Moonlight (2016)
Dir. Barry Jenkins
Synopsis: Chiron, a young African-American boy, finds guidance in Juan, a drug dealer, who teaches him to carve his own path. As he grows up in Miami, Juan’s advice leaves a lasting impression on him.

Available On: Netflix

16. If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)
Dir. Barry Jenkins
Synopsis: In early 1970s Harlem, daughter and wife-to-be Tish vividly recalls the passion, respect and trust that have connected her and her artist fiancé Alonzo Hunt, who goes by the nickname Fonny. Friends since childhood, the devoted couple dream of a future together, but their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit.

Available On: Hulu

17. Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)
Dir. Carl Franklin
Synopsis: When Easy loses his job, Albright offers him $100 to find Daphane, the girlfriend of a former mayoral candidate. Soon, Easy finds himself embroiled in a murder case involving cops and politicians.

Available On: Hulu w/Starz or Amazon Prime for Rent 

18. The Watermelon Woman (1996)
Dir. Cheryl Dune
Synopsis: An aspiring black lesbian filmmaker (Cheryl Dunye) researches an obscure 1940s black actress billed as the Watermelon Woman.

Available On: Sling TV or Amazon Prime Streaming

19. 13th (2016)
Dir. Ava DuVernay 
Synopsis: Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation’s prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.

Available On: Netflix

 20. Just Mercy (2019)
Dir. Daniel Destin Cretton
Synopsis: After graduating from Harvard, Bryan Stevenson heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or those not afforded proper representation.

Available On: Free on Amazon

21. Freedom Riders (2010)
Dir. Stanley Nelson Jr.
Synopsis: Renowned director Stanley Nelson chronicles the inspirational story of American civil rights activists’ peaceful fight against racial segregation on buses and trains in the 1960s.

Available On: Amazon Prime for Rent

22. The Black Power Mixtape 1967 – 1975
Dir. Goran Olsson
Synopsis: The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975 is a 2011 documentary film, directed by Göran Olsson, that examines the evolution of the Black Power movement in American society from 1967 to 1975 as viewed through Swedish journalists and filmmakers.

Available On: Sling TV

23. Do Not Resist (2016)
Dir. Craig Atkinson
Synopsis: Filmed over two years in 11 states, this film examines the increasingly disturbing realities of the rapid militarization of police forces in the United States.

Available On: Amazon Prime for Rent

24. Dark Girls (2011)
Dir. D. Chanssin Berry and Bill Duke
Synopsis: Filmmakers Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry explore a deep-seated bias within black culture against women with darker skin.

Available On: Sling TV or Amazon Prime for Rent

25. Menace II Society (1993)
Dir. Allen and Albert Hughes
Synopsis: Caine a drug dealer and car thief is kicked out of his grandparents house due to his life of crime. His troubles don’t end there as he is wanted by the police for the killing of a Korean grocer.

Available On: Amazon Prime

26. Straight Outta Compton (2015)
Dir. F. Gary Gray
Synopsis: A hip-hop group from Compton, California, spirals into several controversies because of their brash lyrics and revolutionising music, igniting a culture war.

Available On: Amazon Prime for Rent

27. Poetic Justice (1993)
Dir. John Singleton
Synopsis: Still grieving after the murder of her boyfriend, hairdresser Justice (Janet Jackson) writes poetry to deal with the pain of her loss.

Available On: Amazon Prime for Rent

28. Fruitvale Station (2013)
Dir. Ryan Coogler
Synopsis: The story of Oscar Grant III, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008. 

Available On: Tubi

29. The Hate U Give (2018)
Dir. George Tillman Jr.
Synopsis: Starr Carter, an African-American teenager, faces pressure from various communities and tries to stand up for what is right after she witnesses the shooting of her best friend by the police. 

Available On: Hulu w/Cinemax

30. Fences (2016)
Dir. Denzel Washington
Synopsis: Troy, an African-American man who once longed to be a baseball player, misses the opportunity due to racism. A dejected man, he takes out his frustration on his loved ones and ruins his son’s future. 

Available On: Amazon Prime for Rent

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