10 Films and Shows to Watch This Black Philanthropy Month
There are many ways to participate in Black Philanthropy Month that go beyond monetary giving. This year’s theme of Love and Action inspires us to “envision a field that moves beyond the rhetoric of philanthropy as love for humanity to make it real in Black communities.”
One way of embodying this love is by learning about the many facets of Black experiences around the world. The following documentaries, TV shows, and films shine light on different aspects of Black life and its relationship to the criminal justice system, labor, activism, joy, and much more.
I Am Not Your Negro (2016) - This Oscar-nominated documentary by Raoul Peck and narrated by Samuel L. Jackson explores the history of anti-Black racism in the United States based on a James Baldwin manuscript.
13th (2016) - Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on how the nation’s prisons are disproportionately filled with African Americans.
Radical Brownies (2017) - See what happens in this short documentary when young girls embrace activism. Not without controversy, the Radical Monarchs of California earn badges, not for sewing or selling cookies but for completing challenges on social justice.
Left Field: What Happened to All the Black Farmers? (2019) - Black farmers once made up 14 percent of America’s farmers. Today, they account for less than 2 percent. This NBC short documentary explores how racial discrimination and unjust practices affect farming families.
Unwavering: The Power of Black Innovation (2022) - This documentary celebrates the long legacy of Black innovation through portraits of nine Black leaders supported by Echoing Green's Black Male Achievement Fellowship. Guests include Dr. Cory Greene, Deanna Van Buren, Damon Packwood and Dr. Cheryl Dorsey.
TV & Films
Selma (2014) - This Oscar-nominated historical drama is based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches in Alabama, led by Southern civil rights movement leaders.
American Son (2019) - In this dramatic film, time passes and tension mounts in a Florida police station as parents await news of their missing teenage son.
Just Mercy (2019) - Just Mercy is a legal drama based on Bryan Stevenson’s memoir about America’s broken criminal justice system.
Lionheart (2018) - In this Nigerian comedic drama produced by Chinny Onwugbenu and directed by Genevieve Nnaji, a woman looking to prove her worth steps up to the challenge of working with her crude and eccentric brother when her father is forced to take a step back due to health issues.
Woke (2020) - Inspired by the life and work of artist Keith Knight, the comedy series WOKE takes an absurdly irreverent look at identity and culture as it follows Keef, an African American cartoonist finally on the verge of mainstream success when an unexpected incident changes everything. With a fresh outlook on the world around him, Keef must now navigate the new voices and ideas that confront and challenge him, all without setting aflame everything he’s already built.