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7 Civil Rights Documentaries on Netflix

These civil rights documentaries on Netflix feature historical documentaries surrounding the trials of Black and African-American people during the 1960s. Brush up on history, stimulate conversations with your children, or use in homeschooling with Netflix.  

What is the Civil Rights Movement?

The civil rights movement was a struggle for social justice that took place mainly during the 1950s and 1960s for blacks to gain equal rights under the law in the United States.

What are Documentaries?

A documentary film is a nonfictional motion picture intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction, education, or maintaining a historical record.

Civil Rights Documentaries on Netflix

Maya Angelou And Still I Rise

The story of the 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)

    

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American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs

Grace Lee Boggs, 98, is a Chinese American philosopher, writer, and activist in Detroit with a thick FBI file and a surprising vision of what an American revolution can be.

Rooted for 75 years in the labor, civil rights, and Black Power movements, she challenges a new generation to throw off old assumptions, think creatively and redefine revolution for our times. (Watch on Netflix)

Even though the civil rights movements were heavily influenced by activities of the 1950s and 1960s, there are still many unjust stories today.

13th

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)

Time: The Kalief Browder Story

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.

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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 civil rights documentaries on Netflix.)

Truth and Power

This documentary series focuses on individuals and groups who expose freedom-crushing practices in private corporations and the government. (Watch on Netflix)

More Civil Rights Documentaries

10 Civil Rights Movies on Netflix

20 Black Documentaries on Netflix

100’s of Black Movies on Netflix

These civil rights documentaries on Netflix feature historical documentaries surrounding the trials of Black and African-American people during the 1960s. 

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