Black History in Film

Black History in Film

Black History Month has officially been around since 1976. The concept of celebrating the inventions, contributions to society and achievements of African Americans throughout U.S. history. Even before its official designation, there were books written and documentaries aired about the lives and accomplishments of many of those individuals. In honor of this special month, I thought a look at a few of the movies that told some of these stories.

Malcolm X (1992)

In one of Denzel Washington’s most impactful films, Malcolm X told the story of a strong leader and activist in the movement for the liberation of Black people. The Spike Lee film shows glimpses of Malcolm X’s life: from his criminal past and incarceration through his conversion to Islam and his subsequent assassination.

Ali (2001)

Although he was one of the most revered athletes of all time, Muhammad Ali accolades transcended sports. Will Smith does a great job of portraying the charismatic sports figure both in the ring and outside of it. Ali’s vocal opposition to the Vietnam War and affiliation with the Nation of Islam are as much a part of his story as being the second-youngest heavyweight champion at the time (in 1964).

Ruby Bridges (1998)

Originally released as a made for television movie, Ruby Bridges tells the story of one of the first Black students to attend the newly integrated schools in New Orleans. At only six years old Bridges was subjected to terrible amounts of anger bigotry from whites opposed to the change. Her mother Lucille (played by Lela Rochon) and teacher, Barbara Henry, showed compassion for her predicament and helped encourage her during her difficult transition.

Leave a comment

Send a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *