It’s impossible to try to pack Black History Month into 28 days to celebrate critical Black figures and moments that helped push Black creatives forward.
However, February is the perfect time to reference historical moments and celebrate the moments. Netflix has always been the mainstream leader in showcasing Black films and television shows.
The streaming service offers many great options such as documentaries, movies, and animations that show black people in a good light. Below we share some Netflix movies as well as documentaries and miniseries that you should be watching during Black History Month.
Netflix movies to watch for Black History Month
The Harder They Fall
When a notorious outlaw named Nat Love, played by Jonathan Majors, learns his greatest enemy, Rufus Buck (Idris Elba), is out of prison, he plans to seek revenge with the help of his gang of friends. The main characters in this film were inspired by real-life Black cowboys and outlaws from the 19th century. If you are a person who loves Western movies, then this one is for you.
Time: The Kalief Browder Story
The American Justice system absolutely failed 16-year-old Kalief Browder, who was a Black male who spent three years in Rikers Island, awaiting a trial that never came to be. He was arrested for allegedly stealing a backpack, an accusation that was never proven and one that Kalief swore he didn’t commit until his death.
Kalief Browder would spend two of those three years in solitary confinement, which is as inhumane that imprisonment can get. The case was never prosecuted, which would result in the charges being dropped and Kalief killing himself after being released.
The story and questions surrounding Kalief Browder are all put on the table for this six-part documentary series that leaves you wanting to shed tears and asking how many more Black men are currently going through what Kalief Browder went through and is there a way that we can stop this from happening again.
Get On Up
Chadwick Boseman was on his way to becoming one of the greatest actors of this generation, and on his rise to the top, he showed us that he could do it all. In the film Get On Up, Chadwick Boseman steals the show as James Brown, a.k.a. the Godfather of Soul, in a movie that tells the story of the singer’s incredible journey from poverty to fame. The film touches on everything from his childhood to his involvement in politics and the civil rights movement to his romantic relationships.
The Last Dance
The 10-part docu-series The Last Dance might be the most remarkable sports documentary ever created, and that is saying a lot because ESPN has made some great ones. But this one was different because it involved what many consider to be the greatest NBA basketball team along with the greatest NBA player of all-time, Michael Jordan.
The Last Dance provides viewers an inside look at what was going on with the 1990s Chicago Bulls during their legendary reign at the top of the NBA. The 10-part docuseries captures the personalities, egos, and multiple championships won by the 1990s Bulls teams, with great insight from players, coaching staff, and management that you don’t want to miss.
Colin in Black & White
The miniseries follows Colin Kaepernick from middle school through his senior year of high school, when only one college would offer him a football scholarship. The show mainly focuses on Colin’s complicated relationship with his adoptive parents, Teresa (Mary-Louise Parker) and Rick (Nick Offerman). Throughout the series, viewers can see that Colin’s adopted parents are incredibly loving and supportive, but they sometimes don’t understand what it feels like to be in that situation when it comes to an understanding a biracial son.
In one episode, Colin’s parents give him a pep talk after he’s passed over for junior varsity quarterback in favor of a white classmate, whom the coach describes as a “prototype.” Colin tearfully asks, “Why am I always the one who has to prove them wrong?” Teresa replies, “Because you’re the one whose strong enough to do it,” which to her was empowering words, but in reality didn’t make Colin feel better because deep down inside, he knew why he wasn’t picked.
Colin in Black & White is a series that parents can watch with their kids so that the children who are currently in a young Colin situation can see that things will get better if they continue to work hard.
What Netflix movies and shows will you be watching for Black History Month?