Black History Binge: 12 Films To Watch On Netflix During Black History Month

From comedy specials to indie dramas, these films explore various aspects of the black experience and teach us things about black history that we never knew. 

Sydney Scott Feb, 02, 2017

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The documentary focuses on a former Black Panther striving to unite his community and rival gang members through outreach and education. 

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Noah brought his sharp, witty commentary and his experience of growing up mixed race under Apartheid to Netflix with a comedy special that explored race through his lense. 

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Late icon Nina Simone was a force to be reckoned with who reflected the times in everything she touched. Vocal about society's obsession with a certain kind of beauty and where she fit in, civil rights, and events of the time, the singer's documentary is perfect to revisit this month.

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Tangerine was one of 2015's most important movies. The film follows a transgender sex worker who finds out that her boyfriend and pimp is cheating on her. The film starred Mya Taylor, who became the first transgender actress to win a Gotham Award with the film also being the first ever to have an Academy Awards campaign that featured transgender actresses. 

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Oscar Grant's tragic death inspired the 2013 biographical film, which stars Michael B. Jordan as Grant and includes director Ryan Coogler at the helm. The film follows the events leading up to Grant's death, a poignant look at a life tragically cut short. 

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DuVernay's Oscar-nominated documentary examines the prison system in the United States, race, and how mass incarceration and racial inequality allow slavery to continue.

7 of 12 Katherine Fairfax Wright

The film made its world premiere in 2014 at Sundance, now Netflix has announced that Imperial Dreams will be available to stream this month. John Boyega stars in the film, which follows a reformed gang member who returns home to take care of his family and figure out his future. 

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Based on true events, the film tells the story of a 14-year-old girl who kills her would-be husband after being abducted into marriage. A lawyer travels to the girl's Ethiopian village to defend her and argue that she acted in self-defense. 

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Collected footage is brought together to create a powerful documentary about the Black Power movement, the events of the time, and the movements impact.

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The Oscar-nominated film starring Idris Elba is a look at Nelson Mandela's life, from his childhood in a rural village to becoming the first deomcratically elected president of South Africa. 

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The documentary includes interviews with hip-hop pioneers and legendary MCs, tracing the genre's roots and rise through the 90s.

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A look at former president Barack Obama's life during his time at Columbia University.