The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Top 10 black movies

By Alex Muhindura/entertainment editor

In honor of Black History Month, The Collegian will examine the best aspects of black culture in a four-part series. This second installment focuses on the best black movies and the impact they left on society.

These films may have shined a light on injustice, had a lot of commercial success or provided a big break for up-and-coming stars, but they are all great works of art that have stood the test of time. 

1. Malcolm X (1992)

Spike Lee and Denzel Washington came together for this masterpiece about the life of the civil rights leader. Washington gave a once-in-a lifetime performance, and Lee established himself as one of the best filmmakers.

2. Roots (1977)

The jarring mini-series authentically illustrates the horrors of slavery. The sheer scope of the project would have been enough to make it a classic, but the performance by LeVar Burton took it over the top.

3. The Color Purple (1985)

The epic story of a beaten-down black woman at the turn of the 20th century shows the trials and tribulations of black women who were victimized by both races. The star-studded cast shined under Steven Spielberg’s direction.

4. Do the Right Thing (1989)

Spike Lee’s tale of bigotry and racial tension in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn remains one of the top movies from a director with a handful of hits. It opened to controversy but was deemed culturally significant by the Library of Congress.

5. Harlem Nights (1989)

Eddie Murphy’s parody of Prohibition-era gangsters was entertaining and funny but earned cult status by uniting comedic legends Murphy, Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx on film. It also features an unforgettable scene involving the shooting of a pinky toe.

6. Hollywood Shuffle (1987)

Robert Townsend wrote, produced and directed this film about how blacks fought stereotypes and typecasting in their quest to break into Hollywood. It also served as a break for several unknown actors like Keenen Ivory Wayans and John Witherspoon.

7. 500 Years Later (2005)

Owen Shahada’s independent documentary explores the problems that plague the African diaspora like corruption, crime, poverty and AIDS. The movie patches together the experiences of black people across the globe to make a revealing report on the state of the community.

8. Menace II Society (1993)

This raw, unflinching tale of two young men growing up in South Central Los Angeles gained notoriety for its extreme violence, but it accurately depicted the lifestyle of gang-infested cities. Larenz Tate’s portrayal of O-Dog, a 16-year-old sociopathic killer with a death wish still brings goose bumps.

9. Stormy Weather (1943)

The star-studded all-black cast went against all conventions in the 1940s. The musical features Cab Calloway, Lena Horne and Fats Waller.

10. Richard Pryor: Here and Now (1983)

The godfather of black comedy was at the height of his genius in this stand-up special. The comic’s take on race, relationships and vice remains timeless.

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