It goes without saying, Black History can be celebrated every single day. However, having set time on a calendar to perpetuate and preserve culture through traditional and non-traditional holidays, celebrations, and rituals like Black History Month allows us to Month appreciate our past and celebrate our future.
BHM is time for us to say it loud - showcase our Black Boy and Black Girl Magic through the art of storytelling, serving a full plate of our unique experience in schools, in the streets, and specifically on screen.
If life got in the way and you didn't finish that book your started or missed a community event, you can still enjoy movies about Black athletes, artists, armed forces, and activists before Black History Month ends (or whenever you feel like being extra Blackity-Black).
1. The Hurricane Available on Prime Video
Wrongly accused Rubin "Hurricane" Carter had his dream of becoming a middleweight boxing champion derailed when he was arrested for murder.
2. Lady Sings the Blues Available on Philo
Diana Ross does an impeccable job playing jazz singer Billie Holiday in this 1972 biopic.
3. Red Tails Available on Prime Video and Disney+
A fictional re-telling of the Tuskegee Airmen starring Nte Parker, Terrence Howard, and Cuba Gooding Jr.
4. Just Mercy Available on HBO Max
Recent Harvard graduate Bryan Stevenson, now founder/executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or those not afforded proper representation. One of his first cases is that of Walter McMillian, who is sentenced to die in 1987 for the murder of an 18-year-old girl.
5. The Immortal Life of Henriette Lacks Available on HBO Max
Centering on the true story of Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman whose cells were used to create the first immortal human cell line and the unauthorized harvesting of Lacks’ cancerous cells in 1951, responsible for present-day medical breakthroughs.
6. Birth of a Nation Available on Tubi
Nat Turner is an enslaved Baptist preacher who lives on a Virginia plantation owned by Samuel Turner. Tired of being used to misinterpret scripture in an effort to subdue slaves on neighboring plantations, Nat orchestrates an uprising in the hopes of leading his people to freedom.
7. A Soldier's Story Available on Tubi
A classic 1984 mystery drama details the investigation into the mysterious murder of a black sergeant by a black Army investigator in the Louisiana backwoods near the end of World War II.
8. Seizing Justice: The Greensboro 4 Available on the Smithsonian Channel
Four men risked their lives and liberties to take a stand by taking a seat at a Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina that started a revolution.
9. Sankofa Avaialbe on Netflix
A self-absorbed fashion model is whisked away from her photoshoot at a Ghanaian slave castle into the past after an encounter with a native mystic (Kofi Ghanaba) who transports her into the past, where she becomes a slave.
10. Ghosts of Mississippi Available on Prime Video
Ghosts of Mississippi focuses on Myrlie Evers, who sought the help of a decorated lawyer with political aspirations to bring to trial for the third time in 1989 the man who killed Civil Rights Leader Medgar Evers, her husband in 1963, 30 years after two previous attempts resulting in hung juries.
This Spike Lee documentary carefully chronicles the heartbreaking 1963 murder of four African-American girls at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.
12. Within Our Gates Available on Hulu and Prime Video
This 1920 silent film chronicles the journey of a woman named Sylvia who travels to Boston in an effort to raise money for a school for Black children back home in the rural South while examining love, the racial climate in the early 1900s as Sylvia's faces adversity and questions about her identity.
Based on the true story of Hollywood star Dorothy Dandridge, Halle Berry famously stars in this story of passion, tragedy, and tremendous success to become the first African American woman ever nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her iconic role in 1954’s Carmen Jones.
14. Eyes on the Prize Available on HBO MAX
Premiering in 1987, Eyes on the Prize documents the history of the civil rights movement in America from the point of view of the ordinary men and women whose extraordinary actions launched a movement that changed the fabric of Black American life.
15. Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground Available on HBO MAX
Not a sequel or a continuation - Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground is, "an emotional and an artistic response to Eyes on the Prize, a provocative call to action for what the next foundational text should do," as described by the Hollywood Reporter.
Looking for more great feature films to enjoy before and beyond February, check out 25 Movies, Biopics, and Documentaries to stream this Black History Month.
What are a few of your favorite movies to watch during Black History Month? Leave me a comment below.