The TV powers that be have finally seen the light that black on-screen makes green. However, it was the brilliance of the internet not only to know this first but also to bring it to you in various packages, for your viewing pleasure, at your own convenience. Online-streaming services like Netflix made it easy for all of us to
watch binge our favorite shows with stars who look like us, whenever we wanted. And now we’re all lovers of the Netflix and chill.
According to a survey from consulting firm Deloitte, video-streaming services like Netflix are now used by more than 42 percent of American households and have taken over live programming as the viewing method of choice.
However, let’s switch it up. Let’s start a new movement: Netflix and stay woke. There are so many movies that honor the black experience while telling our stories in truth, pain and glory. In honor of Black History Month, we’ve compiled a list of movies marinated in melanin from Netflix and Hulu. Enjoy!
- 13th: Slavery. Jim Crow. Criminalization. Links in a chain of racial inequality, forged by political and economic motives.
- Barry: Long before he sought the presidency in Washington, D.C., Barack Obama was a college kid in New York in search of himself.
- Hip-Hop Evolution: Originators. Innovators. Revolutionaries. Hip-hop legends share the stories and sounds that changed the game.
- What Happened, Miss Simone?: Using never-before-heard recordings, rare archival footage and Nine Simone’s best-known songs, this documentary tells the powerful story of the legendary singer and activist.
- The Black Power Mixtape: Rare footage offers a powerful glimpse inside the black power movement and a tumultuous moment in U.S. history.
- The Black Jacket: A former Black Panther in South Central Los Angeles teaches a course that brings rival gang members and community outreach workers together to prevent bloodshed in their communities.
- Difret: Based on the inspirational true story of a young Ethiopian girl and a tenacious lawyer embroiled in a life-or-death clash between cultural traditions and their country’s advancement of equal rights.
- Trevor Noah: African American: A mixed-race South African born under apartheid, quick-witted comedian Trevor Noah challenges cultural hang-ups with his unique perspective.
- Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom: This in-depth biopic portrays groundbreaking South African leader Nelson Mandela’s fight against political oppression and virulent racism.
- Beasts of No Nation: A brutal war took a boy’s family. A mercenary commander takes his youth. In this war, the demons come for everyone.
- Tangerine: Her pimp cheated on her while she was locked up. Now this working girl sets out to claim her pound of flesh.
- Fruitvale Station: The true story of Oscar Grant III, a young man who was shot by transit police in Oakland, Calif., in 2009.
- An African City: Five beautiful, successful Ghanaian and Nigerian women return to their home continent and confide in one another about love and life in “an African city.” It’s Africa’s answer to Sex in the City.
- George Washington: Over the course of one hot summer, a group of children in the rural South are forced to confront a tangle of difficult choices in a decaying world.
- The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins: Les Blank creates a vivid portrait of bluesman Lightnin’ Hopkins through a vital collection of musical performances and oral histories.
- Hoop Dreams: Filmed over a five-year period, Hoop Dreams, by Steve James, Frederick Marx and Peter Gilbert, follows young Arthur Agee and William Gates and their families as the boys navigate the complex, competitive world of scholastic athletics while dealing with the intense pressures of their home lives and neighborhoods.
- Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child: Director Tamra Davis pays homage to her friend in this definitive documentary, but also delves into Basquiat as an iconoclast. He was constantly confronted by racism and misconceptions.
- Punk in Africa: The story of the multiracial punk movement within the recent political and social upheavals experienced in three Southern African countries.
- Waste Land: Filmed over nearly three years, Waste Land follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in Brooklyn, N.Y., to his native Brazil and the world’s largest garbage dump.
Will you be watching?