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Black History Movies your family can enjoy!


What Black History Movies are suitable for children?

Where can I watch movies about the history of African Americans?

How can I teach my children about Black History?

What movies are good for Black History Month?


With the debate of critical race theory in education, Black history has been essentially banned from many school curriculums. So, you may be asking yourself, “How can I teach my child about the history of African Americans in a way that’s both entertaining and informative?”


The following list of movies offers a fun and interesting way for your entire family to learn Black history in honor of African American History Month. Sample topics include segregation, the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Power Movement, voting rights, equality, famous African American women and men, and more.


*The information in this article is as current as the publication date. Readers are encouraged to confirm before watching.  


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Black History Movies Rated G


Garrett’s Gift (2008)

Rated G
Garrett’s Gift tells the inspiring story of African American inventor Garrett Morgan and teaches us that we are all born with a gift. Most importantly, we must give that gift back to the world.
Movie can be seen on DVD which is available on Amazon.


The Color of Friendship (2000)

Rated G
A white South African girl finds herself in a tricky situation when she is sent to spend a term with Black people in America.
Movie can be seen on Disney+, YouTube, and Google Play.



Black History Movies Rated PG


Hidden Figures (2016)

Rated PG
The story of a team of African American female mathematicians who served a vital role in a segregated workplace at NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program
Movie can be seen on Disney+, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.


Ruby Bridges (1998)

Rated PG
When six-year-old Ruby is chosen to be the first African American to integrate her local elementary school, she is subjected to the true ugliness of racism for the first time.
Movie can be seen on Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube.


Woodlawn (2015)

Rated PG
A gifted high school football player of African descent must learn to embrace his talent and his faith as he battles racial tensions on and off the field.
Movie can be seen on YouTube, Vudu, and Amazon Prime Video.


John Lewis: Good Trouble (2020)

Rated PG
Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), an activist for the Black community, fights for the advancement of civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health care reform, and immigration.
Movie can be seen on HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube.


Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History (2019)

Rated PG
Kevin Hart highlights the fascinating contributions of Black history’s unsung heroes in this entertaining — and educational — comedy special.
Movie can be seen on Netflix.



Black History Movies Rated PG-13 and TV-14


Selma (2014)

Rated PG-13
A chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.
Movie can be seen on Apple TV, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video.


The Gabby Douglas Story (2014)

Rated PG-13
The story of an international gymnastics phenomenon who overcame overwhelming odds to become the first African American woman ever to be named Individual All-Around Champion in artistic gymnastics at the Olympic Games.
Movie can be seen on Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube.


A Ballerina’s Tale (2015)

Rated PG-13
An African American ballerina’s prodigious rise and potentially career-ending injury alongside themes of race and body image in ballet.
Movie can be seen on Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV, and YouTube.


42: The Jackie Robinson Story (2013)

Rated PG-13
In 1946, Branch Rickey, legendary manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, defies major league baseball’s notorious color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson. He demonstrates true courage and admirable restraint by not reacting and letting his undeniable talent silence the critics for him.
Movie can be seen on HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube.


Harriet (2019)

Rated PG-13
From her escape from slavery through the dangerous missions she led to liberate hundreds of enslaved Black Americans through the Underground Railroad, the story of heroic abolitionist Harriet Tubman is told.
Movie can be seen on Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube.


The Butler (2013)

Rated PG-13
This epic drama tells the story of White House butler Cecil Gaines, who serves during several presidential administrations. The film is inspired by Wil Haygood’s 2008 Washington Post article “A Butler Well Served by This Election”.
Movie can be seen on Google Play and Amazon Prime Video.



Related Article: See these movies with African American actors on Netflix



Just Mercy (2019)

Rated PG-13
After graduating from Harvard, Bryan Stevenson heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or those not afforded proper representation. Stevenson encounters racism and legal and political maneuvering as he tirelessly fights for the innocent lives of many, often Black men and Black women.
Movie can be seen on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and Google Play.


Loving (2016)

Rated PG-13
Loving tells the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, the plaintiffs in the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia, invalidating state laws prohibiting interracial marriage.
Movie can be seen on Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video.


Red Tails (2012)

Rated PG-13
The film is about the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) servicemen during World War II.
Movie can be seen on Disney+, YouTube, and Google Play.


4 Little Girls (1997)

Rated TV-14
This documentary is about September 15, 1963, the murder of four African American girls (Addie May Collins, Carol Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Rosamond Robertson) in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama.
Movie can be seen on HBO Max, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.


Malcolm X (1992)

Rated PG-13
A tribute to the controversial black activist and leader of the struggle for black liberation. He hit bottom during his imprisonment, became a Black Muslim, and then a leader in the Nation of Islam. His assassination in 1965 left a legacy of self-determination and racial pride.
Movie can be seen on Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, and Google Play.


Marshall (2017)

Rated PG-13
Marshall is based on the incredible true story of Thurgood Marshall and one of the landmark cases of his life. It follows the young lawyer to conservative Connecticut to defend a black chauffeur charged with sexual assault and attempted murder. Muzzled by a segregationist court, Marshall partners with a courageous young Jewish lawyer, and together they mount the defense.
Movie can be seen on Google Play and VUDU.



Black History Movies Rated R and TV-MA


12 Years a Slave (2013)

Rated R
This film is an adaptation of the 1853 slave memoir Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, where a New York State-born free African American man was kidnapped in Washington, D.C., by two conmen in 1841 and sold into slavery.
Movie can be seen on Hulu, YouTube, and Google Play.


Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)

Rated R
Fred Hampton becomes Chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party – putting him in the government’s crosshairs. The authorities will need a man inside to destroy the revolution.
Movie can be seen on HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, and Google Play.


13th (2016)

Rated TV-MA
In this thought-provoking documentary, scholars, activists, and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom.
Movie can be seen on Netflix.



Related Article: Check out these Black kids movies on Netflix



Still unsure if a movie is appropriate for your children? The Motion Pictures Association offers more information, including an interactive guide on understanding TV and movie ratings.


If there are any other Black history movies we have missed, please leave a comment and we will add them to our list.



The Voice of Black Cincinnati is a media company designed to educate, recognize, and create opportunities for African Americans. Want to find local news, events, job posting, scholarships, and a database of local Black-owned businesses? Visit our homepage, explore other articles, subscribe to our newsletter, like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, and text VOBC to 513-270-3880.


Black History Movies photo provided by Adobe Stock

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