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Editorial: 9 Films about black history

For the final full week of black his- tory month The Point has compiled a list of 9 films that portrays black history.

This is a list of 9 films that portray black history while also entertaining, in- forming, and challenging views of what life was, and is, like as an African American.

  1. 12 Years a Slave

This film puts you in the time of slavery like no other film has yet. From opening credits until the ending, you are taken into the life of a slave trying to return to freedom.

  1. Glory

An all-star cast exemplifies what it meant to be African American and fighting in the Civil War. In 1989, Denzel Washington won an Oscar for Best Sup- porting Actor. It was probably for the in- credible scene when a single tear rolled down his cheek—just powerful.

  1. The Color Purple

Not only was the book a Pulitzer Prize winner, but the film was also critically acclaimed. Starring an award- winning cast, this coming of age story follows African American women in 1930s Georgia as they build friendship, runaway from relationships, and seek freedom to be themselves.

  1. Malcolm X

In another Denzel Washington breakthrough performance, this film is based on the life of Malcolm X, human rights activist, and his impact in the African American community.

  1. Selma

This historical drama showcases the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Era. King was fighting for African Americans to get the chance to vote by using non-violent protests, like the multiple marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

  1. The Butler

A remarkable story, based on true events, of an African American butler during his 34-year tenor serving in the White House. From facing discrimination at the beginning of his career to being invited to the first black president’s Correspondence Dinner, this film shows black history through the White House, but in a unique perspective.

  1. Do the Right Thing

Spike Lee’s joint shines light on racial tension in America circa 1980s Brooklyn, New York that are still tension today. Viewer discretion is advised.

  1. Fruitvale Station

Before there was Ferguson, there was Oscar Grant III who was shot by a police officer in Oakland, Calif. This historical drama shined light on Grant’s day-to-day life leading up to the New Years night he lost his life.

  1. Dear White People

A recent satire that reflects on blacks, college life, and the stereotypes that goes along with the experience. This is a response to multiple college campuses holding “black events,” like UCSD’s Compton Cook-off in 2010.



photo by: Flicker


About the author

Jordan Ligons

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