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For many Millenials, 2002 feels more like five years ago than twenty. But believe it or not, several of the movies that captured and defined Black culture in the early aughts are turning 20 this year, reaching true classic film status.

From “hood classics” starring your favorite rappers to love stories that shaped how our young minds viewed relationships, these films stayed in heavy rotation in our DVD players (and often on our cable television providers) for years after their initial release…and may even remain there to this day.

Drumline (Courtesy of Fox 2000 Pictures)

Actresses like Regina Hall, Sanaa Lathan, Zoe Saldana, Nicole Ari Parker, Eve, and Kimberly Elise flaunted unapologetic Black beauty and womanhood on screen in various scenarios. From lush Southern college campuses to the gritty streets of NYC at the height of the drug epidemic, from journalists/authors who sip champagne at high-end restaurants to local barbers scraping to get by, these women showed the full breadth of Black women’s experiences with their portrayals.

And we can’t forget actors like Denzel Washington, Taye Diggs, Mekhi Pheiffer and Boris Kodjoe among others providing both eye-candy and either comedic or heart-wrenching performances.

And in a true sign of the times, even some of your favorite rappers from Beanie Siegel and Cam’ron, to Eminem and Jay-Z graced the screen.

Paid in Full (Courtesy of Miramax/Dimension Films)

Check out the films that are turning the big 2-0 this year. Did any of your faves make the list?

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