Black History Month is just beginning. While we celebrate Black art and history all year long, there’s no shame in showing Black creators some extra love during February.
Netflix has made it easy to find Black voices on the app with its “Black Lives Matter” and “Black History is American History” categories. Here are five moving Black stories you won’t want to miss.
1. Two Distant Strangers
The Academy Award-winning short film stars rapper and actor Joey Bada$$ as Carter James. James is a graphic designer caught in a time loop where he repeatedly encounters law enforcement resulting in his death.
2. Luke Cage
For those who prefer things through the comic book lens, Marvel’s Luke Cage tells the story of a bulletproof superhero living in Harlem. Luke Cage must protect his community from social threats and supervillains.
3. When They See Us
Director Ava DuVernay’s mini-series dramatizes the true story of the Central Park Five — a group of young Black and brown teens falsely accused of sexually assaulting a white woman.
This documentary chronicles the life of legendary music producer and winner of 28 Grammys, Quincy Jones. Jones’ career spans 70 years. He was the first Black person to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song and produced three of Michael Jackson’s most successful albums: Off The Wall, Thriller and Bad.
Ava DuVernay’s documentary discusses how America’s prison system evolved from the country’s history of racial inequality and chattel slavery.
Some of these works deal with grave subjects, like violence and trauma. If you’re looking for more lighthearted stories about Black life in America, you might also want to try Netflix’s Dear White People, a comedy about Black students navigating college; Rhythm & Flow, a rap reality competition that enlists Cardi B, T.I. and Chance the Rapper as judges; or Raising Dion, a children’s sci-fi about a young Black boy with superpowers raised by his single mother.
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