Top Movies with a Strong Black Cast

Raellyn Pollard, Writer

  1. The Photograph (Drama/Romance)-after viewing the photograph with my friend and my friend’s cousin, it shortly became one of my favorite black love stories. After the protagonist, Mae, searches for answers of the secret life her recently dead mother had, she meets the love interest, Michael. Their romance quickly blossoms, one of the leading issues in the relationship. However, by the end of the movie, Mae and Michael decide to work out their differences and maintain their relationship at a steady pace. There are many factors to why this movie quickly became one of my favorite black love stories. With a majority of black love films, at least the ones I’ve watched, they are riddled with struggles-whether that be political, within their environment, and the way they were brought up, all the way to crime and drugs. This story has none of these stereotypical aspects, but still managed to tell a beautiful and well deserved love story. As a young black teenager, it seems the society I live in views blackness as an aesthetic; however, this movie beautifully illustrates that blackness, and black love doesn’t have to fit into an aesthetic, but can  still be beautiful in its own way. 
  2. Just Mercy (Drama/Adventure) was a tear-jerker. Once again, after viewing this movie with my friend, Just Mercy earned a special place in my heart. Based on a true story, and set in the 1980’s, a young lawyer straight out of Harvard Law School moves to Alabama to defend victims on death row. The story follows his fight for his victims, centering on Walter McMillian, a black man who was convicted of raping and killing an eighteen year old white girl. I didn’t expect this movie to evoke so much emotion out of me. Looking around the theater, I noticed I wasn’t the only one who became angry, sad, and just discouraged at the events that took place.
  3.  Moonlight-Moonlight is definitely one of my favorite black films, soley on the topics discussed. Moonlight follows the isolated gay black teenager Chiron, and sections of the movie through Chiron’s upbringing-Little-Black-and Chiron. What I love about this movie is how they shine a light on homophobia in the the black community, and how damaging it is and can be to the black male psyche. 
  4. Get Out- Get Out was the horror movie that every black person wanted to see. It was embedded with situations that every black person would dread: from being questioned by a racist cop, to having your brain stolen. Throughout the movie, there were nuanced details that subtly found itself elevating the plot. The details were beautifully done: the protagonist, Chris, picking cotton out of a chair to protect himself from being hypnotized. 
  5. Blindspotting-Blindspotting was refreshing to watch. Blindspotting is centered on racial injustices between friends and foe. The protagonists, Collin, and his best friend Miles, are at odds with the police. What sets this movie apart from other political films are the decisions Collin makes. Instead of going by with his life, Collin chooses to express his anger and frustration, instead of using a gun to kill a murderer who rightfully deserves to be killed, he puts it down because he knows he is better than said murderer. 
  6. Friday-Friday needs no introduction. This movie is a classic. It centers on Craig Jones played by the iconic Ice Cube and the trouble his friend, Smokey, gets him into. 
  7. The Color Purple-The Color Purple is one of my old time favorite movies. Besides growing up with this movie, the tale of Celie is one that must be remembered. Set in the early 1900’s, The Color Purple follows the struggle of teenaged Celie, and her struggles growing up in a household that doesn’t love nor appreciates her.