The best movies to watch during Black History Month (2021 Edition)


Micah Sanders, Managing Editor for Editorial Operations

Every February is Black History Month, which allows for the acknowledgement and celebration of the many historic Black people who have made great strides toward the betterment of the Black diaspora and their significant impact on American history. To join in on the celebration, here is a very powerful and message-inducing list of Black movies that tell remarkable stories.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

In this 2020 movie, the late Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis play their roles exceptionally well. Based on the real-life musician Ma Rainey and adapted from the August Wilson play, the movie dramatizes a turbulent recording session in 1920s Chicago.  Available on Netflix, this movie is sure to win an academy award.

Hidden Figures

The 2016 American biographical film depicts three African American female mathematicians who worked at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) during the Space Race. Available on Disney+, this film stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae as Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson. Not only does this movie celebrate Black History Month to a tee, it also highlights the need for more gender equality in the workplace.

One Night In Miami

This 2020 film chronicles a fictional story about Malcolm X, Muhammed Ali, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown meeting in a Hampton Hotel House in 1964. Though being fictional, this movie showcases the struggles and racial discriminations against African-Americans and how these four famous men discuss the responsibility of being successful black men during the civil rights movement. Nominated for three Golden Globe awards, this Regina King directed movie is another great film to digest! It is available to stream on Amazon Prime.

Just Mercy

Depicting the true story of Walter McMillian, this heart-wrenching and emotional film sets the standard of how Black biographies should be directed. Starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx, this dynamic duo tell the story of McMillian being wrongfully accused of murder and how they go to court to appeal his conviction. Released in 2019, this movie is now available to stream on Amazon Prime.


If you liked “Inside Out,” then this movie is definitely for you. Released exclusively on Disney+, “Soul,” tells the story of Joe Gardner, an aspiring jazz pianist who works as a middle-school band teacher by day. With this 2020 release being the first ever Black lead on a Pixar film, it is the epitome of what Black History is all about; accomplishments. Jamie Fox voices Joe Gardner as he tries to find the meaning of his life.

With all of these critically acclaimed titles mentioned, hopefully one of them peaks your interest. For those fans who love the barrier-breaking “Cinderella” story featuring Brandy and Whitney Houston, clear your calendar for Feb. 12 as the Black version of such a classic is set to be released on Disney+ for streaming!