It was just last year that Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, and a few others were boycotting the Oscars due to few nominations to African Americans.  Social Media enthusiast even coined a hashtag #OscarsSoWhite.  Hollywood A-listers including George Clooney, Reese Witherspoon, and Don Cheadle also proclaimed a need for greater representation in the film industry.  Movies such as “Creed”, “Concussion”, and “Straight Out of Compton” were slighted from the Oscars with literally one nomination apiece.

According to USA Today, “In the Academy Awards’ 88-year history, only 14 black actors have won acting Oscars — the first was Hattie McDaniel for Gone With the Wind in 1940, and the last was Lupita Nyong’o (who was born in Mexico) for 12 Years a Slave in 2014. The winners’ pool is even shallower for other minorities. ” 

There is no doubt that African American’s are vibrant, talented people of many different facets.  For years, many have debated that the roles we tend to play in movies downplay who we are as a people: slaves, cooks or other typecast roles.  After all, those tend to be the one’s Hollywood glamorizes the most; the ones that win awards.  The 2016 Oscar boycott must’ve shed some light on the major issue of diversity and inclusion in the film industry because 2017’s Oscar nomination list looks quite colorful.

In celebration of 2017 being a great year for the African American film industry and it being Black History Month, I present to you: 28 Must See African American movies!  Whether you are in need of a laugh, a sappy love story or some reassurance of how magical black people are, you are sure to get your fix with one of these.  Grab some popcorn and enjoy a new movie each night of February!

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