Seven films to watch during Black History Month

Black History Month is a time to reflect on significant events in African American history and to celebrate the accomplishments made by the Black community. Here are seven movies you should check out.

“The Wiz” (1978)
This adaptation of the children’s novel, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” is an urban retelling of the classic story. The film featured an all-Black cast and included iconic stars such as Nipsey Russell, Diana Ross, and Michael Jackson.

“The Wiz” is available on Hulu with a premium subscription.

“Coming to America” (1988)
A papered prince renounces his arranged marriage and travels halfway across the world to find his true love. This hit romantic comedy was created by lead actor, Eddie Murphy. The film received positive reviews during its release and became the highest-grossing film of 1988 for Paramount Pictures.

The sequel, “Coming 2 America,” is scheduled to release on Amazon Prime Video next month.

“The Women of Brewster Place” (1989)
The miniseries, based on the 1982 novel, premiered on ABC and was produced by Oprah Winfrey’s production company, Harpo Productions. It tells the story of several women living in a run-down apartment building while struggling with prejudice, poverty, and living in a man’s world. The series was highly acclaimed and won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Drama Series, Mini-Series, or Television Movie.

Watch “The Women of Brewster Place” on Sling TV with a premium subscription or on BET and TV One.

“Lean on Me” (1989)
“Lean on Me” is based on the true story of an inner-city high school in New Jersey. The film follows Joe Clark, the tyrannical principal of Eastside High School, and his journey to improve the school’s deteriorating standards by any means necessary.

This inspirational story is available to stream on HBO Max.

“Cinderella” (1997)
This version of “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella” is widely praised for its intense diversity and use of a strong lead. According to IMDb, “Brandy became the first African American actress to play Cinderella” on-screen, opening the door for movies like “The Princess and the Frog” (2009). This film became an outlet for young people of color to see themselves represented in the media.

“Cinderella” was released on Disney+ on February 12.

“Get Out” (2017)
Jordan Peele’s directing debut starts with this horror film. A young Black man plans to meet his white girlfriend’s family for the weekend. What starts as an awkward encounter turns into a terrifying experience. The film shows that the white savior complex is an intense threat to the Black community. Peele’s work earned him the honor of becoming the first African-American to win Best Original Screenplay.

“Get Out” is available on Hulu with a premium subscription.

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (2018)
This animated feature won Best Animated Feature Film at the Golden Globes, the Academy Awards and the Critics’ Choice Awards. The film tells the story of Miles Morales, an Afro-Latino teen who has to balance transferring to a new school and learning to deal with his new superpowers. The unique animation style and strong Black lead combine to create another outlet of representation.

Although the film recently left Netflix, audiences can anticipate the release of “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2” in October 2022.