3 Movies To Watch For Black History Month


via University of Hartford

Athena Destiny Bonner, Staff Writer

Happy Black History Month, everyone! Black History Month is a twenty-eight-day celebration of African-American Culture and African-American Excellence. These are my top three movies for Black History Month: “Dreamgirls,” The Photograph,” and “Selma.” The messages behind these movies are important and still relevant in 2021, so they are essential for viewing. 

1.”Dreamgirls”- (Bill Condon). 

This movie, originally released in 2006, is based on the Broadway musical of the same name and can be found on Amazon Prime and YouTube to rent or buy. Starring triple-threat musicians Jennifer Hudson, Anika Noni Rose. Beyonce, Eddie Murphy, Jamie Foxx, the film was directed by Bill Condon, who also directed the movie adaptation of the Broadway musical “Chicago.” The movie follows the characters Deena Jones, Effie White, and Lorrell Robinson, who try to find success in the Detroit music industry during the 1960s as The Dreams, all while dealing with the Civil Rights Movement and maintaining the “perfect” image. This Movie is still relevant in 2021 because we are still finding peace and fighting for the same rights we had been fighting for as a country. 

2. “The Photograph”- (Stella Meghie)

The second film which you should watch during Black History Month is “The Photograph.” Released on Valentine’s Day of 2020, the film was directed by Stella Meghie, known for movies such as 2017’s “Everything, Everything.” The romantic-comedy is available on HBO and HBO Max and stars actress and director Issa Rae of “Insecure” fame, and LaKeith Stanfield, who had starred in the movies “Get Out” and “Someone Great.” The movie follows Michael and Mae, who meet at an art museum after-party and begin falling in love. “The Photograph” is one of my favorite films on HBO, and it is relevant today because we all want to fall in love at some point in our lives. It teaches that we need to give love to make the world a better place, making it the perfect film to watch this Valentine’s Day! 

3.” Selma”- (Ava DuVernay) 

The third film you should watch for Black History Month is “Selma,” released in 2015. You can stream this movie on Hulu or watch it on BET Network. “Selma” was directed by UCLA Film School alum and NAACP Award Winner Ava DuVernay, and stars Tessa Thompson, David Oyelowo, Common, and Oprah Winfrey. This movie is about Martin Luther King, Jr. and many others who had marched from Selma, Alabama, on a day that would become known as Bloody Sunday due to violence caused by Alabama police and confederate supporters. This movie is significant to watch for Black History Month because it teaches us about the types of struggles King, Jr. and many other Black Americans had to go through before and during the first Civil Rights Movement in America. The film is also relevant in 2021 because we are still trying to find a resolution for Police Brutality and the senseless killings of black and brown people by the police. We are finding peace with this topic by the proper understanding of Black culture and peaceful protesting. All we ask for is to be seen heard with love, and the film especially made fourteen-year-old me appreciate the obstacles that Martin Luther King, Jr. and the ancestors such as the Late John Lewis had taken for the freedoms that we have today.

“Dreamgirls,” “The Photograph,” and “Selma” are three of my favorite films for Black History Month because they all share a collective message of unity and the idea that we can do anything when we come together as beings on this earth. These films show the joy that is not displayed in media when it comes to the Black Community. There is a lot to learn from these movies, so I hope you watch some of them for yourself!