8 must-watch movies to honor Black history year-round

No matter what your political views are, all of us can agree that we’re living in a very divided age. Another thing we can agree on is that coming together starts with education and understanding.

And just because Black History Month is over, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be continuing the conversation. So, put away any prejudices, pop some popcorn and open your mind with these great movies that tell stories of black history from different points of views:

Malcolm X

This movie has to be on every Black history movie list and for a good reason. This film was selected for preservation by Library of Congress by being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” “Malcolm X” is an important biographical film about a black activist named Malcolm Little. It follows his journey as a gangster which lead him to become a vocal member of the Nation of Islam.

The Butler

Inspired by a true story, “The Butler” follows the story of Cecil Gaines. From working on a plantation in Georgia to working at the White House, we as the viewer go through his life journey. Cecil would butler numerous U.S. presidents over the decades as a passive witness of history with the rise of the American Civil Rights Movement all while dealing with his family troubles.

The Help

The Help tells the story of a white writer gaining the trust of maids in Mississippi to reveal inequality in the workplace. Laced with humor and lightheartedness, this movie picks up on everyday discrimination and shows the humanity of minorities that was too often overlooked in the mid to late 1900s. It also shows why everyone should have a voice.

Straight Outta Compton

Why this wasn’t considered for the Oscar’s “Best Picture” shows how out of touch the Academy is. “Straight Outta Compton” is the best movie portrayal of the rise and fame of the rap group, N.W.A. Based on a true story, “Straight Outta Compton” depicts the struggles of making it as a black artist. And when you’ve finished watching that, make a marathon of it with “Boyz n the Hood”.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Black history does not solely exist in America. Learn about South Africa’s struggle against apartheid and the life of Nelson Mandela as he grows, is imprisoned for 27 years and eventually becomes president with hopes of ending segregation.

Hidden Figures

This is a movie that is great for anytime of year. The inspirational story of the three main characters is the motivation anyone who is faltering in achieving their dreams needs. It’s also eye-opening to what daily life was like for not just African Americans, but African American women, just a little over half a century ago. Read our review here.

12 Years a Slave

This movie should be a requirement in every high school American History class. This is the best film, so far, made about the true brutality of American slavery. The movie, based on a true story, follows Solomon Northup, a free African American working as a violinist. After being unrightfully sold into slavery, Solomon must find a way to keep his dignity and survive to one day be free again and back with his family.


Every American should see this movie. Take a step back into the sixties, when the Civil Rights Movement came to be with Martin Luther King Jr. at the helm. Learn from history as you follow his campaign to get an idea of how truly dangerous those times were.

Featured image by Andrew Fraieli