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Best Movies About Racism

Realizing that power and those policies, on the other hand, may be a time-consuming process, especially for people who have not personally suffered, or even gained, as a result of them. Watching amazing movies is a good place to start.

Best Movies About Racism

Mississippi Burning

The 1964 disappearances of three civil-rights activists in Mississippi are investigated by FBI agents Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe.
 
American History X
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D'Angelo (Actors)

American History X

Academy Award-nominee Edward Norton delivers a searing performance as a former neo-Nazi skinhead who now struggles to prevent his younger brother from following in his footsteps.
 
A Time to Kill
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, Matthew McConaughey (Actors)

A Time to Kill

A murder trial brings a small Mississippi town’s racial tensions to the flashpoint. Amidst the frenzy, an idealistic young attorney mounts a stirring courtroom battle for justice.
 
12 Years a Slave
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michael Fassbender (Actors)

12 Years a Slave

A free black man is abducted and sold into slavery.
 
Do the Right Thing
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee (Actors)

Do the Right Thing

Director Spike Lee’s seminal exploration of race and violence takes place in a Brooklyn neighborhood anchored by Sal’s Pizzeria – where the heat of summer is boiling over! Biting humor and riveting drama.

Selma
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • David Oyelowo, Tom Wilkinson, Carmen Ejogo (Actors)

Selma

From the Oscar-winning producers of 12 Years, a Slave and acclaimed director Ava DuVernay comes the true story of courage and hope that changed the world forever.
In the Heat of the Night
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Rod Steiger, Sidney Poitier (Actors)

In the Heat of the Night

A murder in Dixie makes unlikely partners of urban black detective Sidney Poitier and redneck sheriff Rod Steiger.
The Color Purple
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Danny Glover, Adolph Caesar, Margaret Avery (Actors)

The Color Purple

Celie, a Southern Black woman, gradually gains self-respect as she strives to educate herself and find love, despite an abusive spouse.

Malcolm X (1992)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, Angela Bassett (Actors)

Malcolm X

Filmmaker Spike Lee, star Denzel Washington and other talents vividly portray the life and times of the visionary leader.
Lee Daniels' The Butler
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey (Actors)

The Butler

This epic drama tells the story of a fictional White House butler, who serves during seven presidential administrations that span three decades of change from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond. Stars Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey.
The Birth Of a Nation
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Mark Boone Jr. (Actors)

Birth of a Nation

Set against the antebellum South, Birth of a Nation follows Nat Turner (Nate Parker), a literate slave and preacher, whose financially strained owner, Samuel Turner (Armie Hammer), accepts an offer to use Nat’s preaching to subdue slaves. As he witnesses countless atrocities, against himself and his fellow slaves, Nat orchestrates an uprising in the hopes of leading his people to freedom.
Guess Who's Coming To Dinner
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Sidney Poitier (Actors)

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

An upcoming biracial marriage sets the stage for a tumultuous meeting between the bride and groom’s disapproving parents.

Crash
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon (Actors)

Crash

Los Angeles natives find their attitudes toward race challenged by a series of fateful events in this Oscar-winning drama starring Matt Dillon, Thandie Newton, Don Cheadle, Terrence Howard, Sandra Bullock, and Ludacris.
Remember the Titans
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Will Patton, Nicole Ari Parker, Denzel Washington (Actors)

Remember the Titans

The true story of a newly integrated high school football team.

RELATED:  11 Movies About Racism on Netflix

To continue this unit study, check out the Remember the Titans Movie Study.

The Help
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer (Actors)

The Help

An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids’ point of view.

Django Unchained
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio (Actors)

Django Unchained

A freed slave (Jamie Foxx) sets out to rescue his wife from the hands of a brutal Mississippi plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio) with the help of a German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) in this Quentin Tarantino film.

Get Out
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford (Actors)

Get Out

A young African American man visits his Caucasian girlfriend’s cursed family estate. Includes Alternate Ending, Deleted Scenes, and more.
Driving Miss Daisy
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Morgan Freeman, Jessica Tandy, Dan Aykroyd (Actors)

Driving Miss Daisy

Over 25 years, as the American South changes profoundly, the friendship between a highly independent, eccentric Jewish matron and the stalwart and very patient black widower.
The Green Mile
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse (Actors)

The Green Mile

Oscar-nominated best picture adaptation of a Stephen King novel about a gentle giant of a prisoner with supernatural powers who brings a sense of spirit and humanity to his guards.
To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, Phillip Alford (Actors)

To Kill a Mockingbird

Told through the eyes of “Scout,” a feisty six-year-old tomboy To Kill A Mockingbird carries us on an odyssey through the fires of prejudice and injustice in 1932 Alabama.
Amistad
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Djimon Hounsou, Matthew McConaughey, Anthony Hopkins (Actors)

Amistad

In 1839 an African slave leads a mutiny against his brutal captors on the ship Amistad. But the slaves’ fates fall into the hands of an early American justice system until former president John Quincy Adams takes up their cause.
Higher Learning
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Omar Epps, Kristy Swanson, Michael Rapaport (Actors)

Higher Learning

Students confront issues of identity, diversity, sexism, and escalating racial tensions on a modern college campus. Directed by John Singleton
Ghosts of Mississippi
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Alec Baldwin, Whoopi Goldberg, James Woods (Actors)

Ghosts of Mississippi

Alec Baldwin stars as an assistant DA seeking justice for the 1963 murder of civil rights leader Medgar Evers. Co-starring Whoopi Goldberg and James Woods.
42
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie (Actors)

42

In 1946, Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) signed Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) to the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking MLB’s infamous color line and forever changing history.

RELATED:  11 Movies About Racism on Netflix

To continue this unit study, check out the 42: The Jackie Robinson Story Movie Study.

Glory
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes (Actors)

Glory

Matthew Broderick and Denzel Washington star in this inspiring story of the first Black regiment tofight for the North in the Civil War.
Schindler's List
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes (Actors)

Schindler’s List

WWII profiteer Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) opens a factory in Krakow and hires all Jewish workers to keep expenses low. But when the Nazis begin an extermination campaign in the city, Schindler is moved to use his influence for his employees’ protection.
Blazing Saddles
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Slim Pickens (Actors)

Blazing Saddles

A governor grants clemency to a Black convict on the condition that he serve as sheriff of a frontier Western town in writer/director Mel Brooks’ epic black comedy romp that takes on racism and the wild Wild West.

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