"Hidden Figures"
20th Century Studios

25 Movies That Honor Black History & the Legacy of Black Film

From compelling biopics to wildly inventive genre fare.

Each year when February rolls around, we're given the opportunity to celebrate Black History Month. We can learn about the hardships members of the Black community have faced while also celebrating the beautiful contributions they've shared with the world. Below, we spotlight 25 classic and contemporary Black history movies shaping the cinematic landscape as we speak.

The history and effects of racism in America have rippled through generations of Black Americans. Their stories have graced the silver screen, using true accounts of enslavement, the civil rights movement and the struggles of Black artists and athletes throughout history to inform and inspire audiences. But we shouldn't only remember the struggles of Black America. Black filmmakers—writers, actors, cinematographers—have used their talents to spark change, overcome oppression and find joy in everyday life. 

We've rounded up 25 impactful Black history movies to watch during Black History Month and beyond, from David Oyelowo's unforgettable portrayal of Martin Luther King, Jr. in "Selma" and Questlove's groundbreaking "Summer of Soul" documentary to wildly inventive, genre-busting work from contemporary favorites like Jordan Peele and Juel Taylor.

Some of our picks are based on true events that shaped Black history, and some present original stories with all-Black casts. Below, 25 essential Black history movies and where to stream them:

Based on True Stories/Documentaries

Thrillers, Rom-Coms + More

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