The recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery at the hands of the police are the final straw for many who recognize the injustice towards Black bodies in America. Thousands are hitting the streets demanding change from government institutions, the police, and corporations, but reflection on a personal level is needed as well. To truly bring change, one must identify and acknowledge individual wrongs, and then take it upon oneself to learn about the history and experience of living while Black in America.
Movies and TV shows that display the adversity faced by African-Americans are no novelty in the film industry, but many of those stories have not been supported or popularized by mainstream media. These works tackle difficult subjects like racial inequality, wrongful convictions, and police brutality, and do not reduce the Black community to stereotypes often promoted by Hollywood and history. These stories exist as a recollection of the Black experience in America, and as honest and powerful portrayals of truth. Each one has a message, from the Netflix series Dear White People that illustrates race relations experienced at universities to Spike Lee's 1989 film Do The Right Thing.
Lee recently appeared on CNN to discuss the protests against injustice with Anderson Cooper. In a moving mash-up, he demonstrated how the plotline of his seminal film is nearly identical to the filmed killings of George Floyd and Eric Garner, proving that as a country we still have much work to do.
So in addition to the donations and activism displayed across the world, we invite you to learn more about the Black experience through these 13 works that share the history of the struggles and tribulations African-Americans still face today. Each of these excellent movies and TV shows delve into the Black experience in America - add them to your watch list today.