Black Lives Matter
The killing of George Floyd last month in Minneapolis has sparked protests across the US and around the world over racial injustice. Complex and deeply embedded issues like police brutality and systemic racism are in the headlines more than ever, and movies and TV are a powerful and accessible way to better understand the issues at hand.
These are just some of the films and television series available now to own, rent and stream that help viewers learn about the many faces of oppression and reflect on how to be better allies to black Americans.
When They See Us
Ava DuVernay's gut-wrenching and essential Netflix miniseries is based on the true story of the falsely accused young teens known as the Central Park Five.
Written and directed by Ryan Coogler, who went on to work with star Michael B. Jordan again in Marvel's Black Panther, this biographical film tells the story of Oscar Grant III, who was killed by a white police officer in 2009.
The Hate U Give
Based on the young adult novel by Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give follows a teenager's struggle to balance the poor, mostly black neighborhood she lives in and the wealthy, mostly white school she attends. Things become more complicated after she witnesses a police officer killing her childhood best friend.
Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story
This searing six-episode documentary series follows the life and legacy of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager shot dead in 2012.
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores racial inequality in Netflix's powerful documentary, focusing on how mass incarceration is an extension of slavery.
Ron Stallworth, the first African-American detective to work in the Colorado Springs Police Department, sets out to infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan in Spike Lee's Oscar-winning thriller BlacKkKlansman.
Devastating 2016 film Moonlight won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture (and Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali), showing different aspects of the black experience in its portrayal of the life of a young gay man.
The Last Black Man in San Francisco
A young black man dreams of reclaiming his childhood home in a now-gentrified neighborhood in San Francisco. Jonathan Majors (left) and Jimmie Fails (right) appear in the acclaimed film, which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
Dear White People
Based on a film of the same name, this Netflix series shows the biases and injustices students of color face at Winchester University, a predominantly white Ivy League college.
Do the Right Thing
Salvatore "Sal" Fragione, an Italian owner of a pizzeria in Brooklyn, and neighborhood local Buggin' Out butt heads after Buggin' Out becomes upset that the restaurant's Wall of Fame only shows Italian actors. Tensions flare up as the wall becomes a symbol of racism and hate to others in the neighborhood.
If Beale Street Could Talk
Director Barry Jenkins followed his Moonlight Oscar success with a powerful adaptation of James Baldwin's novel about the love between an African American couple torn apart when the man is falsely accused of a crime.
Daveed Diggs plays a young man just trying to get by in the final days of his probation, but his relationship with his best friend is tested when he witnesses a cop shoot a man.