It’s true.. there’s nothing better than black Hollywood especially in the form of film. From iconic movies like “A Raisin in the Sun” to more modern day classics like “Friday,” black films have been making us laugh and cry for years. In case you haven’t seen any of the movies we like to call classics, check out a list of our favorite black films that everyone should see.
Black love has never looked so good on film and we have “Love Jones” to thank for bringing its beauty to the big screen. Not only was this film romantic and incredibly sexy, it launched black poetry readings nationwide in attempts to snag a bae as fine as Nia Long or Larenz Tate.
“A Raisin in The Sun”
Whether you watched the 2008 version or the 1961 version, “A Raisin In The Sun” is a must see! The movie is an adaptation of an award-winning, 1959 play written by Lorraine Hansberry and focuses on a black family living in Chicago’s South Side. The film takes audiences on highs and lows of a financial crisis and family ties and shows just how strong the black family really is.
“The Wiz” was legendary because it was the first black fantasy film in the 1970s era. With classic songs and performances from icons such as Diana Ross and Michael Jackson, it’s a film that you should be proud exists in our culture.
There’s not much left to say about “Friday” other than if you don’t know where the phrases “Bye Felicia,” “and you know this… man,” or “you just got knocked the f*ck out” came from, then you definitely need to make watching this film next on your to-do list. “Friday” was clever and has been the blueprint for every black comedy since its release. It’s incredibly honest, natural, life-like and one of the funniest movies ever.
“The Color Purple”
This 1980s classic is an epic tale that spans forty years in the life of Celie, played by Whoppi Goldberg. Ceile is a black woman who lives in the South and survives abuse, poverty and bigotry. After Celie is married off, her life gets even worse as she tries to find companionship anywhere she can. This film is based on the novel by Alice Walker and has since been turned into a Broadway play. No matter if you read the book, watch the film or catch the live stage play, “The Color Purple” is a must see for any age!
This coming of age film stars Tyrese and Taraji P. Henson and is the hood love story of a young couple who’s just trying to get it right. Not only is this film a must see because of its crazy storyline, but what other film will we get to see Tyrese play a role like this?
This late 90s film helped rapper Ice Cube make his directorial debut and is also a film in which he’s featured as a cast member. The film stars #LisaRaye in her first starring role along with #JamieFoxx, #BernieMac, #MonicaCalhoun and #TerrenceHoward. If there’s one film that shows the dangers of the exotic business then this is the one.
“Boyz N Da Hood”
While other movies during this era captured life in a black neighborhood from the perspective of the outside looking in, “Boyz N Da Hood” was one of the first to actually capture this perspective from the hood itself. This film featured Ice Cube from the rap group, N.W.A. and was the directorial debut of then-23-year-old director, John Singleton. The rawness of the film exposed what life was like in South Central L.A. during its most dangerous time and shook the country with its adaptation of violence and poverty in the black community.
“What’s Love Got To Do With It”
Not only is this film a classic, it’s probably the best acting that Angela Bassett or Laurence Fishburne have ever done in their lives. Although this film obviously needs no introduction, it chronicles the abusive relationship and successful careers of Tina and Ike Turner. This film brings out the rawness of their tumultuous relationship and makes the audience really feel the story through a whirlwind of emotions.
“Do The Right Thing”
If you only see one Spike Lee joint in your life, make sure it’s this one. “Do The Right Thing” was Spike’s third feature film and is probably his greatest. The film tells the story of tensions between residents and an Italian-American family in an all black neighborhood of Bed-Stuy Brooklyn during the hottest day of the year. The iconic film exploits the racial politics of NYC at the time, from fights to police violence and even riots. It’s safe to say that this film is a masterpiece.