20 Movies About Racism that Will Make You Think Differently

Racism is a topic that is often difficult to discuss. It can be uncomfortable to think about the ways in which racism still exists in our society today. However, it is important that we confront these issues head-on. In order to better understand the complex nature of racism, it is helpful to watch movies that explore this topic. In this blog post, we will discuss 10 movies about racism that will make you think differently about this issue. We hope that after watching these films, you will be inspired to take action and work towards creating a more inclusive world!

Selma [2014]

This film tells the story of the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches that took place in 1965. The film highlights the racism and violence that black Americans faced during this time period. It also showcases the strength and resilience of those who fought for their right to vote.

Malcom X [1992]

Born Malcolm Little, his father (a Baptist minister) was assassinated when he was six and his mother was later committed to a mental hospital. As a teenager, he moved to New York City and became involved in the city’s vibrant jazz scene. He also began working for local gangs, which eventually led to him serving time in prison. After being released, he joined the Nation of Islam and changed his name to Malcolm X. He quickly rose through the ranks of the organization and became one of its most vocal leaders. However, he eventually broke away from the Nation of Islam and developed his own beliefs.

Do the Right Thing [1989]

Set during a hot summer day in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, this film follows a group of people as they go about their daily lives. The characters include a pizzeria owner (Danny Aiello), his son (John Turturro), and a local resident (Spike Lee). As tensions begin to rise, the film explores how racism can impact everyday interactions.

12 Years a Slave [2013]

Based on the true story of Solomon Northup, a free Black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841. Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) was forced to work on plantations in Louisiana for 12 years before he was finally able to return to his family. The film depicts the horrific reality of slavery and the immense strength that Northup showed in surviving such a ordeal.

Crash [2004]

This film follows the lives of several characters in Los Angeles, all of whom are connected by their shared experience of racism. The film explores how racism manifests in both overt and subtle ways, and how it can impact the lives of those who are affected by it.

Ruby Bridges [1998]

In 1960, six-year-old Ruby Bridges (Chaz Monet) became the first African American child to integrate an all-white elementary school in the South. She was met with hostility from many of her classmates and their parents, but she persevered. This film tells her story and highlights the strength that she showed in the face of adversity.

LA 92 [2017]

This documentary looks at the Rodney King trial and the subsequent riots that took place in Los Angeles in 1992. The film examines the long-standing tensions between the police and the African American community, and how those tensions came to a boiling point in 1992.

Mississipi Burning [1988]

In 1964, three civil rights workers were killed in Mississippi while working to register African American voters. The film follows the FBI’s investigation into their deaths, and the trial of the men responsible. It also highlights the racism that was prevalent in the South at that time.

The Greenmile [1999]

Set on a death row in a Louisiana prison, this film follows the story of John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), an African American man who has been convicted of murder. The guards on the row come to see him as a gentle giant, and they begin to question the fairness of his trial.

Remember the Titans [2000]

This film is based on the true story of an African American high school football team in Virginia that was forced to integrate in 1971. The team’s coach (Denzel Washington) must overcome racial tensions within the team in order to lead them to success on the field.

I Am Not Your Negro [2016]

This documentary looks at the life and work of James Baldwin, a writer who was very outspoken about race relations in America. The film uses Baldwin’s words to examine the state of race relations in America, both in the past and in the present.

BlacKkKlansman [2018]

Based on the true story of Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), an African American police officer who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s. Stallworth is able to rise through the ranks of the organization, but he must constantly battle their racism and bigotry.

Just Mercy [2019]

Based on the book of the same name, this film tells the story of Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan), a lawyer who represents prisoners on death row. One of his clients is Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), an African American man who has been convicted of murder. Stevenson fights to prove his innocence, and he faces racism and injustice at every turn.

Harriet [2019]

This film tells the story of Harriet Tubman (Cynthia Erivo), a slave who escaped to freedom and then helped others do the same. Tubman is an inspirational figure, and her story highlights the strength and courage that she possessed in the face of adversity.

The Banker [2020]

Two entrepreneurs in the 1960s develop an ingenious business plan to fight for housing integration and equal opportunity to pursue the American Dream.

Passing [2021]

In the early 1920s, a black woman’s world is turned upside down when her life becomes linked to a former childhood companion who has disguised herself as white.

The Help [2011]

Set in Jackson, Mississippi during the early 1960s, this film tells the story of a group of Black maids who work for white families. Despite the racism they face on a daily basis, the maids form a close bond with each other.

When They See Us [2019]

Based on a true story, When They See Us tells the tale of five black and Latino teenagers who were wrongfully convicted of a rape they did not commit. The film follows these young men from their arrests in 1989 to their exoneration in 2002, showing the racism and injustice they faced at every turn.

Fruitvale Station [2013]

Fruitvale Station is the true story of Oscar Grant, a black man who was killed by a police officer in Oakland, California in 2009. The film follows Grant’s last day alive, giving viewers a glimpse into his life and the people who loved him.

American Son [2019]

American Son is a film that follows Kendra Ellis-Connor (played by Kerry Washington) as she searches for her missing son. Set against the backdrop of racial tension in America, the film explores what it’s like to be a black mother raising a black son in today’s society.

These movies about racism will make you think differently about the issue and its impact on society. They also highlight the strength and resilience of those who have been affected by it. Have you seen any of these movies? What did you think of them? Let us know in the comments!

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