l.i.b.e.r.a.t.i.o.n. theory

love, life, and the pursuit of liberation


Today marks the official start of Black History Month. Now, I know that people feel all sorts of way about it (Why don’t we have white history month? I celebrate black history every day? Etc etc etc), but as I interact with more youth and see how clueless they are about the real struggles our ancestors endured or think that Black history stops at the Civil Rights movement, the more I welcome this official time to stop, acknowledge, and celebrate. I won’t even get into the ratchedness on TV that poses as depictions of our culture..

To that end, a friend of mine has a family tradition where they watch a black film every Friday during Black History Month. I love that idea, and I also see this as a way to make Black history feel relevant to people who think that Black history is so 30 years ago or that we are in a post-racial society because Obama is president.

Here are my favorite contemporary Black History/Culture movies.

  1. Bamboozled
  2. Get on the Bus
  3. Crooklyn
  4. When the Levees Broke
  5. Sometimes in April (about the Rwanda conflict in ’94)
  6. Do the Right Thing
  7. Pariah
  8. Panthers
  9. Inkwell
  10. Love Jones
  11. Sankofa* (historical)
  12. Malcolm X* (historical)

What would you add to the list—historical or contemporary?


6 comments on “Celebrating

  1. Thorn
    February 1, 2012

    Hmm, we do a lot of documentaries. Really liked The Boys of Baraka, Off and Running (about the transracially adopted daughter of white lesbian parents), definitely the one about Shirley Chisholm’s candidacy. We just watched The Black Power Mixtape, but I’d have liked that more without the commentary from modern musicians, mostly. I do like the idea of a Black History Month movie tradition and may have to institute one here!


    • liberationtheory
      February 1, 2012

      Thanks Thorn for your additions. I had forgotten about Off and Running and really wanted to see that. I’ll have to add that to my netflix queue if they have it. I’m also going to check out the other ones because I haven’t heard of any of them except beyond Off and Running, and Boys of Baraka (which I also haven’t seen).



  2. VinyRenee (Davina)
    February 1, 2012

    Sankofa is one of my favorites! I would add The Color Purple.


    • liberationtheory
      February 1, 2012

      I can’t believe I didn’t include The Color Purple!!! It’s my all time favorite book and movie, and I can almost recite the movie in verbatim..


  3. Thorn
    February 1, 2012

    Off and Running is not the best thing ever, but it’s very honest and has some extremely moving scenes. It’s clear there’s a lot of complexity and a lot of love behind the scenes.


  4. Funky Femme Feminist
    February 2, 2012

    I just recently watched the Black Power Mixtapes and loved it! I actually liked the dialogue and thought that might make this relevant to a generation that’s really lost when it comes to our history, even modern history. I love the Color Purple as well. I also like the 1970s version of For Colored Girls… I’m drawing a blank right now for films, but I’m going to think about it. I love this idea. I’d like to do this with my daughter.


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