Black Movies You Might Want To Check Out

April 12, 2011
Since lately we can only get a trickling of black movies in between Tyler Perry’s Madea Domination (what happened to the Jumping the Broom advertisements after the Madea’s Big Happy Family ones started to show, what there can’t be two black movies advertised on TV at once?), I thought it only appropriate to highlight under the radar black movies that do not involve a man dressed as a large unattractive smart mouthed black woman and that didn’t get much play or any play in the theaters or BET/TV ONE (sorry Three Can Play That Game won’t be listed). Here are some of my favorites:

1) Love Sex and Eating the Bones: It has Hill Harper in it. Nuff said. Okay, a little more. It’s a romantic comedy which usually isn’t my thing but I gave it a shot this time around and liked it and its original plot line.
2) I’m Through With White Girls  – now the title kind of put me off but I took a chance and I found the movie so adorable. It diffinetly went against the stereotypical roles of blacks in film. The main character is a black comic book nerdish guy who only dated white women because they were what he encountered in his world. Then he meets a black woman (biracial really) from the valley and well, you’ll have to check it out. But I’ve seen it twice and would watch it again. And that’s saying a lot for a girl that hates rom-coms.
3) Cadillac Records – not sure how many folks got to see this movie about the company but I can say I didn’t mind Beyonce’s performance in this as Etta James.
4) Daughters of the Dust–  I remember seeing this movie ions ago as a child. It was on PBS I believe and I thought it was so beautiful and I was fascinated with the Gullah http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gullah people since then. I actually can’t recall what it was about but the images of the island are still with me so if you are into arts cinema, I would recommend.

5) Miracle at St. Anna- A spike Lee joint. He can be hit or miss but if you are into war movies and looking at cute guys (hehe) I’d recommend this one. It actually made me cry.
6) Sparkle – before Dreamgirls there was this 1970s classic and if you are an Envoge fan you will know two of the songs that were originally performed by Aretha Franklin for the soundtrack of this album. “Given him something he can feeel, to let him knoooow this love is reaaal”!
7) Claudine–  this is one of the first non blaxpotation movies of the seventies and stars James Earl Jones and Diahann Carol. Worth a look!
8) Cornbread, Earl and Me  – just to see Lawrence Fishburne as a kid was enough for me, haha. But I really liked when they made good black books into movies. That’s a rarity now (other than Push) and quite sad because there are plenty of quality authors out there who could have great movies made of their books instead of all these recycled stage plays.
9) Colley High – I swear I was not a child of the 70s but they had some entertaining films then. This was even ranked in Entertainment Weekly’s 50 best High school movies (better have beat High School Musical!)
10) Sarafina!-actually saw this in school and it resonated with me. It’s a musical as well and tells the story of a student protest and apartied South Africa.
Then there are some mainstream ones I implore you to see again: Lean on Me, The Wiz, Higher Learning, Mahogany, Lady Sings the Blues, The Best Man, Posse. Got any to recommend to me?
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4 comments

  1. Cooley High is sitting on my DVR right now. It's ridiculous how there are so few movies about Black high school kids even now. And I think the older ones are better anyway.

    Ooo Hill Harper, LOVE him. *adds to Netflix* I'm Through With White Girls sounds cute *also adds to Netflix*

    I kept meaning to see Cadillac Records but I don't want to see it as badly as I want to see other movies you listed.

    I wasn't a big fan of Sparkle actually, I thought it was just ok. And I detested Miracle at St. Anna. Mainly because I didn't get the miracle and it was so depressing. And it was unclear as if it was fiction or based on fact (I discovered it was the former but still).

    I recently watched Stormy Weather which is great fun and I'm halfway through Cabin in the Sky. Some classics 😀 Shaft made me laugh but probably wasn't supposed to…

    I recommend Coming to America with Eddie Murphy! Hilarious. Oh and oldie but goodie: Love & Basketball. I don't like rom-coms but I adore that movie.

    I must admit, I really want to see Jumping the Broom!

    Like

  2. Miss A- I need to see Cabin in the Sky, I'm so sad you didn't like Miracle (maybe I was just blinded by fineness that is Laz Alonzo?). Oh, yeah I want to see Jumping the Broom too (see above for why, haha)!

    Like

  3. This is a very nice list. I enjoyed Cadillac Records, but the chronological/factual errors bothered me a bit. I've heard goo things about #2 on your list. I need to seek that one out. “Claudine” and “Cooley High” are two of my faves! Did you know “Cooley High” inspired the sitcom “What's Happening!”?

    Here are some that I think are worth seeing:

    1. A Raisin in the Sun (the 1961 original)

    2. A Soldier's Story- one of the fun parts of watching this movie is seeing many actors before they became famous (Denzel, David Alan Grier, and Robert Townsend to name a few)

    3. Get on the Bus (as you may know, it's got your boy Hill Harper in it)

    4. Bingo Long, Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings

    5. Take a Giant Step which stars Beah Richards, Ruby Dee and Johnny Nash

    6. The Cosby/Poitier trilogy (Uptown Saturday Night, Let's Do It Again, A Piece of the Action)

    7. Down in the Delta

    8. Hollywood Shuffle

    9. The Sophisticated Gents (a 1981 miniseries with an all-star cast:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sophisticated_Gents

    10. A Day in Black and White

    Like

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