Over in some other corner of the internets, my friend Hello Kitty and I were compiling a list of Black Movies, and she encouraged me to present it here. This is by no means a definitive list, just some movies we both like and that we feel everyone, no matter what their racial background, should see. And not just because they are “Black,” but because they are freaking good.
Here’s the list.
Imitation of Life. The story of a light-skinned eight-year-old daughter who rejects her mother by trying to pass for White.
Mahogany. A Black model/fashion designer struggles to make it in an all-White industry.
Do the Right Thing. When worlds collide. And it was a travesty this film was “overlooked” during awards season. It scared everybody sh*tless because of its power and truths. And also, bullshit rumors of riots and shootings in theaters. Thanks “liberal” media!
Malcolm X. Beautiful film. And you realize Denzel’s Oscar was supposed to be for this film, not Training Day, right?
Hollywood Shuffle. A scathing yet funny commentary on being Black in Hollywood. See also: Bamboozled.
Bamboozled. I really can’t classify this flick. I know a lot of people didn’t like it, but I thought it touched upon some very important and sensitive issues about depictions of Blacks in mainstream media. For a more digestible version of a similar message, try Dancing in September.
The Color Purple. A masterful adaption of Alice Walker’s powerful novel.
Posse. Finally! A Western that prominently features Blacks, Native Americans, and Asians in the Wild West. No giant spiders, I promise!
Harlem Nights. Eddie Murphy. Richard Pryor. Della Reese. Red Foxx. This movie is a Who’s Who of comedy all-stars. Funny from beginning to end.
Daughters of the Dust. A film about the Gullah culture of the sea islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia.
She’s Gotta Have It. In my opinion, the most honest look at female sexuality in film history.
Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai. This movie is in a class by itself. The imdb.com description reads, “An African American mafia hit man who models himself after the samurai of old finds himself targeted for death by the mob.” Oh, but it’s so much more than that. Forest Whittaker with a sword. Soundtrack by RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan. Need I say more?
Black Dynamite. A send-up of every Blaxsploitation movie ever made.
Jackie Brown. Pam Grier being a BAMF. Watch this movie!
Whew! It’s a long list, but definitely not complete. What Black movies would you like to see included on this list? Add yours in the comments.