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Movies/Documentaries to see in Black History Month

'The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song'

One of the pinnacles of Black culture is the Black church, so it's telling that houses of worship havebeen the target of hate crimes for years.

PBS' "The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song" (Feb. 16 and 17, 9 EST/PST; check local listings)hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr., tells the 400-year-old history of the Black Church in America and its significant role in Black people's lives. The four-hour documentary also explores how Black folks created new traditions of worship in a form of Christianity that was solely their own.

The project includes appearances from Jennifer Hudson, Oprah Winfrey and the Rev. Al Sharpton among others.

'Dear White People' (2017-21)

This Netflix series, based on Justin Simien's movie, follows a group of Black students at a predominantly white university. One of them, Samantha White (Logan Browning), starts a podcast directed atwhite students andcalls them out for their microaggressions and racist behaviors.

Although the series is satirical, it provides insight into how, even when Black people "make it," they are still met with harmful reminders that they don't belong or "fit in." It also addresses issues within the Black community like colorism, class and activism.

This Netflix series, based on Justin Simien's movie, follows a group of Black students at a predominantly white university.

'When They See Us' (2019)

To understand why Black people are so frustrated and why Black Lives Matter protests continue to spring up, it's important to understand the institutional racism within the judicial and policing systems.

Ava DuVernay's"When They See Us," streaming on Netflix, perfectly captures the anger, sadness, trauma and angst of what happens when Black people (even young kids) are immediately seen and treated as criminals.

The four-part miniseries tells the story of the wrongful conviction of five Black and Latino teenagers (dubbed the Central Park Five) for the 1989 assault on a female jogger in New York's Central Park.

All five were exonerated in 2002 when serial rapist Matias Reyes confessed he wasthe sole attacker.

'Watchmen' (2019)

Hunt recommends HBO's "comicbook-inspired science fiction/drama series" that opens with the Tulsa Race Massacre and examines race and policing in an alternate reality with superheroes and giant squids..

"'Watchmen' uses the infamous Tulsa race riot of 1921 as a springboard to comment on the infiltration of white supremacy into contemporary policing and other key institutions," Hunt says.

TheTulsa race riot was sparked when a white mob attacked Tulsa's Black Wall Street, killing an estimated 300 people and wounding 800 more while robbing and burning businesses, homes and churches.

"Watchmen" also examines an alternate reality: one where governments recognize racial atrocities and give Black people reparations. In contrast to the one we live in now where Black history is nationally acknowledged one month out of the year and the Tulsa race riot is brand-new information to many.

'Lovecraft Country'(2020)

This HBO supernatural drama series will leave you shocked and confused, but after a couple of episodes, you'll get the hang of the story.

"Lovecraft" stars Jonathan Majors ("Da 5 Bloods") as Atticus "Tic" Freeman, a Korean war vet and bibliophile who heads home to the South Side of Chicago to investigate the disappearance of his estranged father Montrose (Michael Kenneth Williams). Amid all the supernatural ghosts and fictional monsters, the series also shows the horrors of1950s Jim Crow America.

The show makes references to sundown towns and Victor Hugo Green's "Green Book," a guidebook for Black travelers letting them know which cities, restaurants and gas stations welcomed them.

Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) and his friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) travel across the Jim Crow South to find his missing father in "Lovecraft Country."

'Unsung presents: Music &the Movement'

Music is a significant part of Black culture and history, from songs that helped navigate the Underground Railroad to those that provided commentary on racial injustice.

TV One's "Unsung presents: Music & the Movement (Wednesday, 8EST/PST)celebrates the trailblazing artists who made music for the fight for justice and will feature interviews,archival footage of significant performances and speeches and commentary fromRaheem DeVaughn and the Rev. Al Sharpton among others.

The series continues every Wednesday focusing on different artists like James Brown, David Ruffin andRoxanne Shant.

More:So you want to learn about racism in America? Stream these 20 compelling movies and TV shows

Tuesday, 23 February, 2021
 Starts at 06:00 PM


Films and Docs to see in Black History Month
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