These Black documentaries on Netflix are a few of the black movies on Netflix that feature historical documentaries of the lives of Black and African-American people in recent history.
What are Black documentaries? They can open windows to our past. Through the lens of talented filmmakers, we can re-live iconic moments in history.
Documentaries offer rich insight into our society and culture, connect us to some of our proudest and most shameful moments in American history, and remind us of how far we’ve come. What follows is a list of powerful documentaries exploring Black history and culture in America.
These are great selections to add to your black movies on Netflix list.
What better way to celebrate the weekend than by binge-watching Netflix?
All the black documentaries on Netflix listed are current, but that is subject to change without notice.
20 BLACK DOCUMENTARIES ON NETFLIX
BLACK DOCUMENTARIES ON NETFLIX 2018
These Black documentaries on Netflix were added for 2018:
This documentary profiles music and culture icon Quincy Jones, offering unprecedented access to his private life and stories from his unparalleled career. | Watch on Netflix
In 1976, reggae icon Bob Marley survived an assassination attempt as rival political groups battled in Jamaica. But who exactly was responsible? | Watch on Netflix
Run-DMC DJ Jam Master Jay made a huge impact in music and his community. But friends and family still seek closure years after his unsolved murder. | Watch on Netflix
This Netflix original series follows college football teams that aren’t major programs and don’t get much national attention. After a couple seasons of profiling recruits at East Mississippi Community College, which has won several NJCAA national titles, the reality series shifts its focus to Independence Community College. The Kansas school doesn’t have the same type of gridiron pedigree as EMCC — it’s trying to rebound from more than a decade of losses — but the players are dealing with many of the same challenges that the EMCC squad faced — both on and off the field. | Watch on Netflix
Hip-hop music first developed in the United States in the 1970s and has steadily grown in popularity in the decades since then. This docuseries traces the genre’s dynamic evolution from the beginning through the 1990s. It starts with a look at artists — including Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash — who laid the foundation early on, and then moves on to other influential groups like Run-DMC and Public Enemy. The show also explores differences in hip-hop on the East Coast compared to the West Coast. | Watch on Netflix
Which of these is your favorite of the black documentaries on Netflix in 2018?
BLACK DOCUMENTARIES ON NETFLIX (Released prior to 2018)
Featuring interviews, insights and archival footage, this documentary aims to reveal how historical events shaped the music of John Coltrane. | Watch on Netflix
The story of singer Chris Brown features new concert footage, behind-the-scenes access and interviews with Usher, Jennifer Lopez, DJ Khaled, Mary J. Blige, Mike Tyson, Rita Ora, Jamie Foxx, Terrence Jenkins and others. | Watch on Netflix
They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and that may not be more true than with the Lone Star State’s love of football. High-school football is probably more popular in Texas than in any other state. To get kids prepared to play at a high level, they have to start at a young age. This docuseries offers an inside look at children as young as 8 who play in the Texas Youth Football Association, one of the largest independent youth football leagues in America, which teaches kids the fundamentals of the game. “Friday Night Tykes” follows several teams, on and off the field, as they compete for the state championship. Among the challenges the players face are extreme training drills, heckling from fans, and balancing on-the-field expectations with living a typical childhood away from the gridiron. | Watch on Netflix
The criminal justice system tragically failed 16-year-old Kalief Browder, who spent three years in Rikers Island jail awaiting trial — two of those years in solitary confinement — after being arrested for allegedly stealing a backpack. The case was never prosecuted, the charges were ultimately dropped, and Browder committed suicide after his release. His story and the challenges it poses to a basic understanding of American liberties are central to this six-part documentary. It’s a comprehensive review of the case, using first-person accounts, archival footage, and cinematic re-creations of key scenes from Browder’s life. Exclusive interviews with a wide range of people connected to the story, from politicians to close friends and family members to social reformers, are also featured. | Watch on Netflix (In my opinion, this is the most troubling of the listed black documentaries on Netflix.)
Female prisoners are a lot like honest politicians: they exist but you never really hear about them. This series brings women who kill to the forefront, detailing a specific case in each episode, and then trying to answer the question of why they did what they did. | Watch on Netflix
Taut thriller about a maverick cop who is framed for murder after a botched stakeout. Escaping from a maximum security jail, he heads for Miami in search of the man who set him up – but he is pursued by the sidekicks of a politically ambitious DA. | Watch on Netflix
Following the sprinting legend as he prepares to go for gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Competing in the 100m and 200m races, Bolt attempts to make history by winning these events for a record third time. | Watch on Netflix
A filmmaker travels to the Central African Republic to fulfill a childhood dream of meeting the enigmatic Pygmy people. | Watch on Netflix
After O.J. Simpson was arrested for murder, some believe his attorney and confidant Robert Kardashian destroyed a bag of damning evidence. | Watch on Netflix
Allen Iverson rises from an impoverished childhood to conquer the basketball world as an 11-time NBA All-Star. | Watch on Netflix
Poor residents of a suburban Florida ghetto compete in illegal backyard brawls to earn enough money to feed their families and get out of the ‘hood. | Watch on Netflix
Nick Broomfield examines the lives and murders of rappers Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur and the rivalry between East Coast and West Coast music that culminated in their deaths. The film looks at the former friendship of the two artists and also investigates possible cover-ups and police corruption. | Watch on Netflix
Rapper Snoop Dogg immerses himself in the Rastafarian culture and changes his name to Snoop Lion as he makes his first reggae album. | Watch on Netflix
The story of iconic writer, poet, actress and activist Maya Angelou whose life intersected some of the most significant moments in the recent history of the United States of America. | Watch on Netflix
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation’s prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans. | Watch on Netflix
You’ll want to see these Black documentaries from 2018, too.
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