Here’s Where to Stream Essential Black Movies

Here’s Where to Stream Essential Black Movies

Whether it’s on streaming or DVD, here’s our rundown of where to find some of the most memorable Black films.

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Photo: Monkey Business Images (Shutterstock)

There are certain movies that are considered special to the Black community. Their stories are timeless, the jokes never get old and they have those scenes that you can watch over and over again. Whether it’s comedy, drama, or action, they are essential Black movies. Unfortunately, many of our most classic films haven’t made the transition to streaming, and frankly, you’re lucky if you can still find them on a DVD. However, some are so popular or new enough that they can be streamed and we’ve put together an easy list of where to find them. It’s important to note that many of the films that are available to rent or buy on Amazon are also on Google Play or AppleTV on Roku.

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The Last Dragon - HBO Max

The Last Dragon - HBO Max

The Last Dragon - The Final Fight

Listen, kids. All you need to know is when someone asks, “Who’s the master?” you respond with “Sho’nuff!”

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Friday - Amazon

Friday - Amazon

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Screenshot: Friday

The first film in the Friday trilogy is a fun, authentic, day in the life story of two friends. It’s also endlessly quotable and is always entertaining.

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Buck and the Preacher - Amazon

Buck and the Preacher - Amazon

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Photo: John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis (Getty Images)

I love Sidney Poiter’s work so much. Almost everything he did was an artistic triumph. However, my absolute favorite Sidney Poitier is cowboy Sidney Poitier. He brings a class and dignity to the western genre that no one else could even approach.

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The Princess and the Frog - Disney+

The Princess and the Frog - Disney+

Anika Noni Rose - Almost There (From “The Princess and the Frog”)

Anika Noni Rose isn’t a role model because she voiced the first Black Disney princess, she’s a role model because of how she keeps Tiana in the conversation. She makes sure that everyone puts some respect on our princess’ name.

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Foxy Brown - Amazon

Foxy Brown - Amazon

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Photo: John Lamparski (Getty Images)

Pam Grier gave generations of Black women an iconic hero to look up to. In a world where Black women are constantly undervalued, we can always ask ourselves WWFBD: “What would Foxy Brown do?”

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Malcolm X - Amazon

Malcolm X - Amazon

Malcolm X, Hospital Scene

I will go to my grave arguing that Denzel Washington was robbed at the Oscars. With all due respect to Al Pacino, we all know his performance in Scent of a Woman was not better than what Denzel did here. Every time I watch Malcolm X, I discover a new brilliant moment to admire.

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Imitation of Life - Amazon

Imitation of Life - Amazon

IMITATION OF LIFE funeral

If you don’t get teary—or at least a little emotional—at this 1959 drama where a young Black girl rejects her mother’s love and spends her life passing as white, then you’re clearly a robot.

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Do the Right Thing - Prime Video

Do the Right Thing - Prime Video

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Photo: Ming Yeung (Getty Images)

This Spike Lee classic literally changed the landscape of filmmaking. It inspired a generation of writers and directors, both Black and white, to tell fresh, authentic new stories. Everyone from John Singleton, to Quentin Tarantino has cited the film as essential to their careers.

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Sounder - Peacock

Sounder - Peacock

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Photo: Stanley Bielecki Movie Collection (Getty Images)

I know it’s easy to choose new releases on family movie night, but if your kids haven’t seen Sounder, the 1972 classic should definitely be in the rotation. It teaches them about resilience, self-belief and of course, the importance of family.

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The Greatest - Amazon

The Greatest - Amazon

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Photo: R. McPhedran/Daily Express/Hulton Archive (Getty Images)

Only Muhammad Ali could play himself in a biopic and everyone just accepts it, because of course, he did. The man invented swag before it was a thing.

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What’s Love Got to Do with It - Amazon

What’s Love Got to Do with It - Amazon

Whats Love Got To Do With It (1993) ANGELA BASSETT as TINA TURNER- PROUD MARY

Angela Bassett gives one of the greatest performances in film history as the legendary Tina Turner. There is not a single scene where we don’t feel how much pain the singer is in. The true beauty of it is that she doesn’t necessarily need to yell and scream to convey it. Most of the time she does it with a small movement or a quick glance.

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Waiting to Exhale - Amazon

Waiting to Exhale - Amazon

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Screenshot: Waiting to Exhale

Every Black woman who’s ever been wronged by a man has a special attachment to Waiting to Exhale. Guys, if you ever walk in a room and see a Black woman watching this movie or listening to the soundtrack, just turn around and walk away.

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