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Iconic movies that commemorate Black History Month


Black History Month was created to represent and celebrate the contributions of African Americans to the United States and the rest of the world. In today’s society, we not only celebrate Black presidents, artists, inventors, scientists, activists and many more; we also celebrate the rise of Black business, literature, arts and film. 

In honor of Black History Month, here are my top five favorite movies with credible depictions of Black lives and historic events that are all based on true stories.

5. “Glory Road:” This film is about a Texas Western basketball team, but it is unlike your typical sports movie. It is not just an underdog team winning a big game, it’s about racism in American Sports back in the 1960s. Glory Road is the story of how Coach Don Haskins began with a weak, losing team and later set out on a journey to recruit gifted Black athletes from different schools.

Most of Texas Western’s administration and boosters were very upset about Haskins creating a team of Black men, until the team began winning. Crazy how that works, right? Overall, the acting and plot is great and the cinematography is excellent for a film made in 2006. I give this movie four Lopers out of five. 

4. “Hidden Figures:” This film is about three incredibly brilliant African American women who worked for NASA starting in the 1940s. These three women played a crucial role in the development of American space technology and aviation. It is a delightful history lesson about the Black female mathematicians who assisted NASA in bringing humans into space. 

I love this film because it shines a light on issues that the Black community faces which are still relevant in today’s society. There are a few unpleasant scenes reminding the audience of the ridiculousness of race segregation in the 1960s. However, the mood is pretty uplifting and optimistic. 

The acting is on point and they did a great job with the cinematography. A pleasure of a film and a story worth being told. I give this film 4.5 Lopers out of five. 

3. “Malcolm X:” This film is a tribute to the very controversial Black activist and his fight for Black liberation. This film emphasizes important events in Malcolm X’s life: his childhood, his life as a criminal and his incarceration. He became a Black Muslim following his incarceration and later became a leader in the nation of Islam. 

This film is not only educational and inspirational, but it is also very entertaining as well. The cinematography is excellent and the acting is superb. However, you better have a snack with you because this film is a whopping three hours and 20 minutes long. I rate this movie four Lopers out of five. 

2. “Twelve Years a Slave:” This film is based on the true story of Solomon Northup in 1841. Northup was a free man from upstate New York until he was kidnapped and forced into slavery in New Orleans for 12 years. He faces many hardships during his time as a slave with a few different slave owners. 

I definitely recommend taking a glimpse at this man’s courage, faith and willpower to survive and endure those twelve years as a slave. The Oscar-nominated film’s cinematography is as good as it gets with brilliant use of lighting and angles. Overall, I rate this film five Lopers out of five. 

1. “42:” This film takes place in the mid 1940s about the first Black major league baseball player, Jackie Robinson. Brooklyn Dodgers manager, Branch Rickey and Jackie faced a ton of backlash and controversy from the public, press and other MLB players after defying the notorious color barrier in American sports.

I am a huge baseball fan so this movie had to be at the top of my list. This film delivers a strong message that humans should stand up and support each other regardless of social class or race. The style of the film is lush and traditional, but nothing too special. However, his bravery and daily struggles for dignity are incredibly moving. Overall, I rate this film 4.5 Lopers out of five. 

While there are countless ways to honor Black History Month and celebrate Black culture, watching films is a perfect place to start.

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JADA HIGH, Reporter
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