As the world keeps evolving into a kaleidoscope cultures, traditions, and people, now seems like the perfect time to start a new feature that highlights various heritage months throughout the year.
From in-depth documentaries to riveting biopics, Netflix has a range of titles that offer compelling takes on our first entry — Black History Month.
Dive into notable historical moments, shed a spotlight on familiar names, or just learn more about those who overcame great oppression as they helped shape and create a rich culture and movements that changed the world.
To get you started on this journey, here are a few titles to add to your library:
From being raised in the rural segregated town of Stamps, Arkansas to growing to be one of the most lauded and prolific writers in American history, this documentary gives a sense of the momentous sweep of Maya Angelou’s life.
If you’re a sucker for period dramas then this is a movie to add to your list. Set in the rural American South during World War II, the story follows two families — one black and one white — as they fail to make ends meet while farming as neighbors in the Mississippi Delta. Despite their similar circumstances, members of the white family hold on to racist beliefs of superiority.
However, when a member of each family returns from the war, the two veterans start a friendship from their shared experience igniting the town as the deeply held racism of the area comes to a head in the Jim Crow South.
This eye-opening documentary takes a look at how the modern American prison system, which incarcerates African American males at an alarmingly disproportionate rate, has been built on a long legacy of discrimination as well as racial injustice.
Once you’ve had a chance to watch the documentary in its entirety, you’ll understand the correlation between the 13th Amendment, the abolishment of slavery, and the state of incarcerated African-Americans today.
A renowned documentary, this 1990’s piece focuses on the gay and transgender communities, comprised of African Americans and Latinos, which made up the mid-to-late 80’s ball culture. While looking at the L.G.B.T. (subculture) existing in the face of intense discrimination, Paris Is Burning offers a glimpse at influential figures as they navigate this time in history.
You not only get a birds-eye view but also a chance to witness their unwavering strength and support of each other.
This documentary takes a look at how school segregation didn’t truly end with Brown vs. Board of Education examining the ways in which education continues to fail students of color.
Featuring interviews with students and education professionals, the film is a testament to the importance of — and the ongoing struggle for — equal access to quality education for all.
Though the story of the Central Park Five has certainly been covered extensively by the media, this documentary follows a more in-depth and holistic view of what happened. Starting from the initial accusation to where they’re at now, When They See Us gives a look at their lives as they fought for exoneration.
Okay so this isn’t a movie but I still think this should be on the list! Recently released on Netflix, the series tells the story of a woman, Kate Ashby, rescued from the Rwandan genocide as a child by human rights lawyer Eve Ashby who adopts and raises her in London.
Kate, seeking to learn more about her past, finds herself in a great deal of turmoil when her relationship with her adopted mother is strained after she (her mother) takes the case of a controversial militia leader.