Skip to Content

10 Black High School Movies

For many of us, high school is a defining period in our lives. It’s a time of learning and growing, making mistakes, and finding our place in the world. 

But while every high school experience is unique, there are certain experiences that are especially relevant to black teenage movies.

High School Movies

High school movies are like a rollercoaster of teenage life. They dive into figuring out who you are and where you fit in, tackling friendships, love, and all the drama that comes with it.

There’s the classic struggle against bullies and peer pressure, plus the ongoing battle to keep up with academics and deal with the expectations from parents. Rebellion is in the air as we try to break free from authority figures and societal norms.

And, of course, it’s a time of crazy parties, wild adventures, and navigating through those stereotypical high school cliques. Through all the ups and downs, these films capture the essence of coming of age, the messy journey from adolescence to adulthood.

Black High School Movies

Black high school movies often explore themes such as identity, resilience, friendship, racial dynamics, and the pursuit of dreams. They may address issues like social justice, cultural pride, and the challenges faced by black students.

Additionally, these films may highlight the importance of education, family support, and overcoming stereotypes.

Some movies also delve into the complexities of relationships and the navigation of cultural identity within the context of the high school experience.

Here are the black high school movies that depict the joys and struggles of this special group of young people as they navigate their way through adolescence.

Lean on Me
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Morgan Freeman, Beverly Todd, Robert Guillaume (Actors)

Lean on Me

In this fact-based film, a New Jersey superintendent, Dr. Frank Napier (Robert Guillaume), watches helplessly as East Side High becomes the lowest-ranked school in the state. With nowhere else to turn, Dr. Napier enlists maverick ex-teacher Joe Clark (Morgan Freeman) to take over as principal of the declining school.

RELATED:  All the Best Black Teen Love Movies

Unfortunately for Clark, before he can focus on improving the student body’s state exam scores, he has to somehow rid the school of its gang and narcotics problems.

George McKenna Story
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Denzel Washington, Lynn Whitfield, Debra ArtisEdna Auguillard (Actors)

Hard Lessons

George McKenna (Denzel Washington) confronts a career-defining moment when he accepts a job as principal of a tough, inner-city Los Angeles high school.

Facing an apathetic student body and indifferent teachers and parents, McKenna, with help from dedicated educator Bobbie Maxwell (Lynn Whitfield), transforms the school from a gang-ridden war zone into a stepping-stone for higher education, and in the process gains the hard-won respect of the community and school administrators. | Stream on Netflix

Love Don't Cost a Thing
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Nick Cannon, Christina Milian, Kenan Thompson (Actors)

Love Don’t Cost a Thing

Science nerd Alvin Johnson (Nick Cannon) is proficient at engineering but incompetent when it comes to dating. One day, popular girl Paris Morgan (Christina Milian) appears at the auto shop where he works after school.

She has damaged her mother’s car and urgently requests repairs. Alvin offers a bribe: He will fix the car immediately in exchange for two weeks of dating. Paris agrees, and Alvin is able to enter the sacred realm of the popular kids. But at what cost to himself?

Dope
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons (Actors)

Dope

High-school senior Malcolm (Shameik Moore) and his friends Jib (Tony Revolori) and Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) bond over ’90s hip-hop culture, their studies, and playing music in their own punk band.

RELATED:  7 Black Teenage Love Movies on Netflix

A chance encounter with a drug dealer named Dom lands Malcolm and company at the dealer’s nightclub birthday party; when the scene turns violent, they flee — with the Ecstasy that Dom secretly hid in Malcolm’s backpack. A wild adventure ensues as the youths try to evade armed thugs who want the stash.

Cooley High
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Glynn Turman, Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs, Garrett Morris (Actors)

Cooley High

Richard “Cochise” Morris (Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs), a local basketball hero, and Leroy “Preach” Jackson (Glynn Turman), who dreams of a career in writing, are likable Chicago high school students in 1960s Chicago.

They’re into hanging out with friends, and pretty girls and Motown sounds so popular during the era. Each wants to make it big in his own way, but not everybody they meet is looking out for them, as they learn when a seemingly harmless outing goes awry.

#REALITYHIGH

Dani does well in school, volunteers at the animal clinic, and is focused on getting into U.C. Davis. When she is befriended by Alexa Medina, the meanest girl at the school, she begins to enjoy the attention. However, Alexa is not to be trusted. | Stream on Netflix

Coach Carter
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Samuel L. Jackson, Ashanti, Rick Gonzalez (Actors)

Coach Carter

In 1999, Ken Carter (Samuel L. Jackson) returns to his old high school in Richmond, California, to get the basketball team into shape. With tough rules and academic discipline, he succeeds in setting the players on a winning streak.

RELATED:  10 Memorable Teachers in Movies

But when their grades start to suffer, Carter locks them out of the gym and shuts down their championship season. When he is criticized by the players and their parents, he sticks to his guns, determined that they excel in class as well as on the court.

Dear White People
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Tyler James Williams, Dennis Haysbert, Kyle Gallner (Actors)

Dear White People

A campus culture war between blacks and whites at a predominantly white school comes to a head when the staff of a humor magazine stages an offensive Halloween party.

House Party
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Christopher Reid, Robin Harris, Martin Lawrence (Actors)

House Party

Play’s parents are out of town, and he’s planning the house party to end all house parties. His best friend, the Kid, wants to go more than anything, knowing Sydney (Tisha Campbell-Martin), the hottest girl in school, is sure to be there.

But when Kid gets into a fight at school, his father grounds him. Still determined to go, Kid sneaks out of the house and faces one calamity after another as he makes his way to Play’s house and the party of the school year.

Our Song
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Anna Simpson, Kerry Washington, Melissa Martinez (Actors)

Our Song

Follows three friends, Lanisha (Kerry Washington), Maria (Melissa Martinez), and Joycelyn (Anna Simpson), best friends and members of their school’s marching band, through the hot streets of Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

During the closing weeks of summer, the small moments and dramas that mean nothing and everything to a young girl navigating her way into adulthood start to accumulate. And the girls and their friendships change forever.

Click here to download this printable.

Related Posts:

Latest posts by Maxanne (see all)

Sharing is caring!