It’s Black History month, which means it is time to bring out all the Black movies that highlight our culture. But, if it’s cool, let’s hold out on those Black movies that do not include the trauma. Let’s face it, after the year we just had, do we really need any more madness to watch? I get it, some may be rightfully inclined to queue up some films and documentaries that educate us about our history, such as 12 Years A Slave, Selma, or the masterpiece miniseries Roots.
While these films are greatly appreciated, they weigh heavy on the heart and soul. These films also depict a part of our history that is still understandably hard to swallow and forgive amongst the Black community.
However, Black History Month is a time to rejoice! It is a time to appreciate Black love. It’s a time to laugh with the great Black comedians such as Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy. It’s a time to celebrate our Blackness in ways where tears don’t have to be shed due to the remembrance of trauma. If you haven’t seen some of these titles, you may be at risk of having your Black card revoked. So, let’s grab some popcorn and dive into this list of Black movies that bring everything but the trauma!
Laugh Til’ You’re Purple
Harlem Nights (1989): Set in the 1930s Prohibition-era, this movie, starring Eddie Murphy, is a ‘pinky-toe’ classic! It stars all of the comedic greats, including the late Richard Pryor, Della Resse, and Redd Foxx.
Boomerang (1992): Another Eddie Murphy classic. It’s about a womanizing bachelor who gets the runaround by the women who he has wronged. This hilarious rom-com stars the beautiful Halle Berry, Robin Givens, and the late Eartha Kitt! It also features the iconic Grace Jones. One word: Strangé.
Friday (1995): BYE FELICIA! Arguably the Black movie of all Black movies! This is a great film to queue up after a long day! Ice Cube and Chris Tucker play two friends in the hood who do practically nothing and still seem to find themselves in tomfoolery and chaos. The success of “Friday” kicked off a saga for the culture, which includes “Next Friday” and “Friday After Next” with Mike Epps.
Bad Boys (1995): Want a little thrill with your laughs? Then this movie is perfect for you! Martin Lawerence and Will Smith will have you simultaneously wheezing and on the edge of your seat in this bad-ass cop movie!
B.A.P.S (1997): BOO-YAH! Myself being an Atlanta native, how can I not include this masterpiece? This is a movie fit for Black American Princesses! The stunning Halle Berry and the beautiful late Natalie Desselle star as best friends who dream of opening a hair salon that also serves soul food. However, their dream gets placed on a brief hold after they get hired as caretakers for a Beverly Hills millionaire!
Life (1999): A hilarious twist on a real-life dilemma in our community: Black men in prison. But if you’re crying, it’s going to be from tears of laughter! From the cornbread fight to Janga Lane, this movie will have everyone cackling their heart out! This film stars so many comedic greats including Bernie Mac, Martin Lawrence, Eddie Murphy, Anthony Anderson, and Miguel A. Nunez Jr.
Are We There Yet? (2005): A sweet, heartwarming film perfect for the whole family! Starring Nia Long and Ice Cube, this movie will leave you feeling festive and sore from all the side-splitting stunts!
Death At A Funeral (2010): This movie will have you on the floor rolling in tears! This is for those who like comedy on the darker side. The epitome of Black humor!
DOPE (2015): An insightful witty film, DOPE is also cunning with jokes. This movie tells the story of three high school friends who want nothing but to get good grades and go to college until they are involuntarily involved with a drug dealer. DOPE stars Shameik Moore, A$AP Rocky, and the lovely Zoë Kravitz.
Little(2019): With a movie that stars Issa Rae, Regina Hall, and Marsai Martin, how can it not be funny? In this comedy, a “Freaky Friday” situation plays out, leaving the characters to solve their problem in a hilarious manner.
You can check out more Black comedies here, and they’re Oprah approved!
Will Make Your Heart Smile
Space Jam (1996): Grab the whole family for this iconic jam! Name a better team than Michael Jordan and the Tune Squad…I’ll wait. Check Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Lola Bunny, Tweety Bird, and others in this iconic film!
Love & Basketball (2000): Talk about a movie title that hits it on the head. This movie is a perfect balance of love and basketball! Giving you all the ’90s vibe, this movie will have you feeling warm, fuzzy, and high off Black love!
Brown Sugar (2002): Taye Diggs and Sanaa Lathan star in this wholesome, beautiful, love story about two high school friends reconnecting and falling for each other. Definitely one for a date night!
Drumline (2002): A Black movie that shows why fans are more excited for the halftime show than the football game at HBCUs. This movie will not only make your heart smile, but it will also get your body moving! Nick Cannon and Zoe Saldana star in this nostalgic band movie about what it takes to be on the line!
The Princess and The Frog (2009): Of course we have to include our stunning Princess Tiana! This movie is great for our little RoyalTee Girls. Tiana is the perfect role model. She is strong, hard-working, and sassy. You can check this movie out on Disney+.
Think Like A Man (2012): This one is perfect for a date night! There’s a bit of a love story going on in this movie–or shall I say love stories–but this movie will definitely have you tickled pink!
Southside With You (2016): Let’s face it, we all love the power couple that is Barack and Michelle Obama. That being said, this movie is perfect for everyone! A powerful performance that depicts the couple’s beautiful love story.
Black Panther (2018): Praise the ancestors for this Black movie treasure. How can we not add the legendary Wakanda hero himself to this list? This movie showcases Black Power at its finest! This movie is available to watch on Disney+.
Spider-man: Into The Spider-verse (2018): This movie is hands-down the most visually striking title on the list. The animation is colorful and matches the bold personality of Spider-Man himself, Miles Morales! This Academy Award-winning movie is great for the whole family! It’s witty, charming, and moving. Miles Morales and his powerful journey will definitely make your heart smile.
Soul (2020): A gorgeous and heartwarming film, Soul tells the incredible story of a jazz teacher who goes through an unexpected out-of-body, life-changing journey. This film is available on Disney+
Of course, there are more black movies, but again this is a start. SAY IT LOUD!
Deanna Kenner is an Atlanta native. She is a recent college graduate from Georgia State University receiving a Bachelor of Arts in English. Her favorite is blue as you may tell by her funky hair color and she has a passion for writing and reading.