Black History Month may be coming to an end, but it’s never the wrong time for Black history, Black stories, or Black joy.
This list was graciously compiled by Black Women United Yeg. They asked for suggestions from their community and chose films that do not employ stereotypical characters and tropes, or focus on Black misery and subjugation.
Consider adding the films below to your watch list to experience year round.
1) Daughters of the Dust (1991)
The first feature film by an African-American woman (Julie Dash) distributed nationally in the States. Looks at the Gullah culture in South Carolina and the struggle to preserve African cultural practices that withstood the assaults of enslavement into the modern era.
2) Free Angela and All Political Prisoners (2012)
College professor Angela Davis’ social activism implicates her in a botched kidnapping that ends with four people dead and her name on the FBI’s most-wanted list.
3) Black Mother, Black Daughter (1989)
Filmmakers Sylvia Hanilton and Claire Prieto explore the lives and experiences of African Canadian women in Nova Scotia, their contributions to home, church and community, and the strength they pass on to their daughters.
4) Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed (2004)
Pioneering politician Shirley Chisholm is the subject of this lauded documentary. The nation’s first African-American congresswoman, the passionate Chisholm launches a campaign for the United States presidency in the 1972 election, and wins an impressive amount of support, given the era and the still-prevailing prejudices of many voters. The film takes a close look at her presidential run, providing interviews with Chisholm and the dedicated individuals who worked on her groundbreaking campaign.
5) Pariah (2011)
In a desperate search for sexual expression, a Brooklyn-based teenager assumes paradoxical identities and stands to lose her family and friends while setting herself up for heartbreak.
6) Moonlight (2016)
Chiron, a young African-American boy, finds guidance in Juan, a drug dealer, who teaches him to carve his own path. As he grows up in Miami, Juan’s advice leaves a lasting impression on him.
7) Malcolm X (1992)
A tribute to the controversial black activist and leader of the struggle for black liberation. He hit bottom during his imprisonment in the ’50s, he became a Black Muslim and then a leader in the Nation of Islam. His assassination in 1965 left a legacy of self-determination and racial pride.
8) 24 Days in Brooks (2007)
Over the course of a decade Brooks, Alberta, transformed from a socially conservative, primarily white town to one of the most diverse places in Canada as immigrants and refugees flocked to find jobs at the Lakeside Packers slaughterhouse. This film is a portrait of those people working together and adapting to change through the first-ever strike at Lakeside.