25 Movies to watch in support of anti-black racism and self-determination of black people.

As the “Black Lives Matter” protest is turning into a global movement, every corner of the world is coming together in solidarity for George Floyd. Thousands around the globe are marching on the streets calling an end to police brutality and racial discrimination, which the African Americans have to face on a daily basis. To educate ourselves about the history of systematic racism, rampant in America, and its violent consequences we have compiled a list of 25 movies you can watch, to support this ongoing movement.

25. Get Out (2017)

Get Out

Get Out is an American horror film directed by Jordan Peele. Chris Washington, an African American photographer is in a relationship with Rose Armitage, a Caucasian girl. Chris prepares to meet his girlfriend’s parents for the first time. He is a bit awkward and uneasy about the situation. He fears the outcome of this meeting, as they are completely unaware that her daughter is in an interracial relationship. But soon this awkward but polite ambient situation turns into horrifying struggle for survival, as Chris discovers the sinister motives of the Armitages’.

24. The Murder of Fred Hampton (1971)

The Murder of Fred Hampton

The Murder of Fred Hampton is a documentary film based on the life and death of Fred Hampton, the leader of the Illinois Black Panther Party. The movie depicts how he was fatally shot by the Chicago police on 4 December 1969. Along with the investigation of his murder, the movie also covers the activities of Fred Hampton, his speeches and various programs he initiated for children.

23. 13th (2016)


13th is a 2016 documentary which summarizes American history, directed by Ava DuVernay. The movie is titled after the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution which abolished slavery but also included a loophole, thriving systematic racism. The movie covers the incarceration in the United States and its racial inequality.

22. Tongues Untied (1989)

Tongues Untied

Tongues untied is a documentary about gay African-American men directed by Marlon Riggs starring Riggs, Essex Hemphill and Brian Freeman. The documentary is about the racial discrimination, black homosexual men have to face, in the United States of America. It brings an awareness about how black gay people are kicked out from the white centered gay communities.

21. The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (2011)

The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975

The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975 is a fascinating documentary directed by Göran Olsson documenting the Black Power Movement in America from 1967 to 1975. It showcases some footages shot by a bunch of Swedish journalists for the Swedish television.

20. 12 Years A Slave (2013)

12 Years A Slave

12 Years a Slave is a biographical drama based on the writings on Solomon Northrup, a black man from New York who was abducted and sold into slavery from 1841 to 1853. It is an extraordinary tale of survival as Solomon, an African American violinist, faces cruelty by his owner.

19. Free Angela and All Political Prisoners (2012)

Free Angela and All Political Prisoners movie

Free Angela and All Political Prisoners is a documentary based on the life of Angela Davis a civil right activist. Directed by Shola Lynch, the documentary revolves around the political events of Angela and the conspiracies she was dragged into.

18. Fruitvale Station (2013)

Fruitvale Station

Fruitvale Station is a biographical film about Oscar grant III. It portrays the story of how Oscar was fatally shot by the BART police in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2009, in Oakland, California.

17. The Glass Shield (1994)

The Glass Shield

Directed by Charles Burnett, starring Michael Boatman and Lori Petty, the movie focuses two rookie police officers who fought corruption and racial discrimination in the all white working environment.

16. If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

If Beale Street Could Talk

Both directed and written by Barry Jenkins, the movie follows a young African American couple Fonny and Tish. Their dream of a future together is completely devastated when Fonny is wrongly accused of a crime which he did not commit.

15. Within Our Gates (1920)

Within Our Gates movie

Within Our Gates, one of the oldest film by an African American director Oscar Micheaux depicts the racial discrimination in the United States in the early twentieth century. Sylvia Landry, a black woman who is abandoned by her fiancé, Conrad Drebert, sets on a journey, raising funds to revive a bankrupt school for black youths.

14. BlackKklansman (2018)

BlackKklansman movie

Directed by Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman is based on the actual events in the life Ron Stallworth, first African American Police officer in the Colorado Police department. As he was facing racial discrimination in the work, Ron Stallworth requests the authority for his transfer and permit him to work undercover. He is then assigned on a dangerous mission to infiltrate the ranks of the Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist group.

13. Selma (2014)

Selma movie

Selma is a historical film about the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches. The film shows how the campaign led by Martin Luther King Jr., Hosea Williams and John Lewis resulted in the signing of the Voting Rights Act 1965 by the President Johnson, which forbids any racial discrimination faced during voting.

12. Ragtime (1981)

Ragtime movie

Directed by Miloš Forman, the film shows a black piano player Coalhouse Walker Jr. who is mistreated by some white men who envy his success. The movie, set in early 1900, somewhere around New York, focusses on how Walker had to struggle to fight against the injustice he went through.

11. The Spook Who Sat By The Door (1973)

The Spook Who Sat By The Door movie

In an effort to get the support of black voters, a White Senator tells the CIA to recruit African American agents. Dan Freeman, a black nationalist completes the training and gets a desk job, basically he is in charge of the photo copy machine. Eventually he realizes that he is a token black employee of the CIA and after five years of facing racial discrimination he resigns and returns to Chicago to work in a social service agency. To start a new uprising, Freeman secretly starts recruiting young black people and trains them the strategies which he had learned in the CIA training period.

10. Bamboozled (2000)

Bamboozled movie

Bamboozled, directed by Spike Lee, is a story about a television writer Pierre Delacroix, played by Damon Wayans, who is frustrated as all his works are rejected straight away by the television network. To get himself fired from the network, Delacroix comes up with a weird idea of a minstrel show. The show would have black actors with black painted face, including all the offensive racist jokes and absurd stereotype content. To his surprise the idea is accepted by the network and the show becomes an instant hit. But things starts getting out of control when a group of gangsters gets offended and decides to take an action in their own way.

9. Whose Streets? (2017)

Whose Streets

Whose Streets?, a documentary directed by Sabaah Folayan, documents the Ferguson uprising. Mike Brown an 18-year-old young black boy was fatally shot six times by a police officer. This brutality of the police force had an impact on the local black people who came out for the protest which ultimately led to a global movement.

8. Malcolm X (1992)

Malcolm X

Malcolm X directed by Spike Lee is based on the life of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, better know as Malcolm X, a black Nationalist leader. The film explores his early life events starting as a small criminal, experiencing racism, his conversion to Islam, becoming a member of the Nation of Islam, to his assassination on 21 February 1965.

7. I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

I Am Not Your Negro

I Am Not Your Negro is a documentary directed by Raoul Peck, which narrates the dark history of the United States of America when discrimination was openly permitted. The film is based on James Baldwin’s unfinished book “Remember This House”, covering the assassinations of three brave souls, civil rights leaders:  Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr.

6. Blacks Britannica (1978)

Blacks Britannica

Blacks Britannica directed by David Koff explores the systematic racial discrimination against the black people in the British Society. It also brings forward the growing militancy of the black people to revolt against racism.

5. The Hate U Give (2018)

The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give is an American drama film directed by  George Tillman Jr. Starr Carter, a 16-year-old black girl lives in a poor black neighbourhood but attends a rich and predominantly white school. As she is constantly switching between these two worlds, her life changes drastically when she witnesses a police officer shooting her best friend Khalil.

4. Handsworth Songs (1986)

Handsworth Songs

Handsworth Songs is 1986 documentary film directed by John Akomfrah. It deals with the 1985 Handsworth riots which took place in the Handsworth district of Birmingham. Racial discrimination and oppressive policies against the black and minority community were some major factors in the riots.

3. The Battle of Algiers (1966)

The Battle of Algiers

The Battle of Algiers is a semi documentary format historical war film directed by Gillo Pontecorvo. It depicts the revolt of the National Liberation Front of Algiers against the French colonial rule. With the clear motive of gaining independence the NLF starts targeting the French Policemen. In return the French government directs the military action against the NLF under the command of Colonel Mathieu, who uses torture as a strategy to subjugate the revolt.

2. Do the Right Thing (1989)

Do the right thing

Do the Right Thing written and directed by Spike Lee, brings us the actions in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, where racial tensions are rising. Eventually as the tensions build, it culminates in violence, killing and brings out the worst in everyone.

1. The Help (2011)

The Help movie

The help is a 2011 drama film directed by Tate Taylor and is based on the novel “The Help” written by  Kathryn Stockett. The film is set in the Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement of 1960s. Skeeter Phelan after completing her college aspires to become a writer. She decides to write a book about the relationship of African American maids and the white families, exposing the racial imbalance and the hardship which the maids have to go through on a daily basis.

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Shashank Palav

Written by Shashank Palav

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