Black History Month is officially underway and Netflix has curated a list of documentaries, movies and mini-series that are educational, thought provoking and entertaining, each of which will keep us informed all month long.
Check out a few notable movies to watch on Netflix during this Black History Month.
Ava DuVernay’s powerful documentary, 13th explores the U.S. prison system and its extensive history of incarcerating African-Americans. The documentary’s title, 13th, refers to the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which states “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Once you’ve had a chance to watch the documentary in its entirety, you’ll understand the correlation between the 13th Amendment, the abolishment of slavery and the state of incarcerated African-Americans today.
Although we have a new commander-in-chief, we’ll always keep the Obamas and their legacy close to our hearts. Barry is a biopic about young President Barack Obama and speaks to his first year as a student at Columbia University, his biracial struggle, his rise to politics and more.
What Happened, Miss Simone?
The documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone? follows the life of singer and civil rights activist, Nina Simone. The film also portrays her struggles of becoming an artist while dedicating herself to being a part of the growing social movement happening around her.
The Black Power Mixtape
The Black Power Mixtape is a documentary story about the Black Power Movement that was born in the 1960s. Although the film was shot by Swedish journalists, the documentary is a distinctly American story with real footage from the time period.
The Black Jacket
The Black Jacket is a powerful documentary about a former member of the Black Panther Party who teaches members how to de-escalate local violence in South Central Los Angeles. The film is a story of bringing rival gang members and community workers together for the greater good of the community.
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom chronicles Nelson Mandela’s life as he went from a village child to the president of South Africa and leader of the anti-apartheid movement. The biopic stars Idris Elba as Mandela and takes viewers on an emotional ride through history.
If you haven’t seen this film yet, Fruitvale Station is a must see this Black History Month. The biopic is the true story about Oscar Grant III, the young African American man who was gunned down by police on New Year’s Eve in 2008. Fruitvale Station stars Michael B. Jordan and is quite an emotional experience from start to finish.
Hip Hop Evolution
This documentary series is especially for the hip-hop heads of the world, as it captures the history of hip-hop culture. Hip Hop Evolution takes viewers behind the scenes about how this iconic music movement began, from its Bronx beginnings to the state of hip-hop today.
Trevor Noah: African American
This 2013 comedy special takes viewers into the world of comedian Trevor Noah. Originally from South Africa, Noah’s comedy show chronicles his move to the U.S. and his experiences of being black in America.