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The Best Juneteenth Movies to Watch to Celebrate Today

These Juneteenth movies commemorate African-American freedom after the abolishment of slavery in the 17th and 18th centuries.

According to juneteenth.com, Juneteenth is:

A World Wide Celebration Symbol. Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond.

President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.

In 1961 and 1962 Martin Luther King made multiple appeals to President John F. Kennedy to issue a second Emancipation Proclamation to outlaw segregation in commemoration of the centennial of the original document. A December 1961 telegram to Kennedy called for “a second Emancipation Proclamation to free all Negroes from second class citizenship” in line with the “defense of democratic principles and practices here” in the United States (King, 18 December 1961). (Source)

“History is not the past, it is the present. We carry our history with us. We are our history.” – James Baldwin

Today, Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement.

Juneteenth Movies to Watch

These movies about Juneteenth will help you to understand the celebration and history of the cause.

ABC’s A Celebration of Overcoming

Maybe you’re seeking a short documentary that gives you digestible information about the history of Juneteenth. ABC News will present a prime-time special to commemorate Juneteenth, the holiday celebrating the end of slavery in America, and examine its symbolism among the Black community and around the nation. | Stream on Hulu

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Juneteenth: Faith & Freedom | A Documentary from @Our Daily Bread Voices Collection
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Uncover the deep spiritual significance of America’s newest federal holiday with pastor Rasool Berry in “Juneteenth: Faith & Freedom,” a new documentary film presented by the Our Daily Bread Voices Collection and Our Daily Bread Media.

Learn how Scripture inspired the faith of enslaved people, travel to the church where America’s first Juneteenth celebration took place, and uncover why newly liberated men and women credited God for their freedom.

With special guests Ms. Opal Lee, Lecrae, and more, you’ll journey to Galveston, Texas to discover a faith stronger than suffering.

Juneteenth:1865-2021

‘Juneteenth:1865-2021’ looks back at the meaning of Juneteenth and its history in southeast Texas.

Movies to Watch for Juneteenth

After you’ve learned the history and significance of Juneteenth, these are the Best Juneteenth Movies to Watch to see where freedom stands today while celebrating Black excellence.

When They See Us

Five teens from Harlem become trapped in a nightmare when they’re falsely accused of a brutal attack in Central Park. Created by Ava Duvernay. | Stream on Netflix

Just Mercy
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Brie Larson (Actors)
  • Destin Daniel Cretton (Director) - Destin Daniel Cretton (Writer) - Gil Netter (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Just Mercy

A powerful true story that follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson and his battle for justice as he defends a man sentenced to death despite evidence proving his innocence.

Hidden Figures
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae, Kevin Costner (Actors)
  • Theodore Melfi (Director) - Allison Schroeder (Writer) - Donna Gigliotti (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Hidden Figures

An incredible & inspiring untold true story about three women at NASA who were instrumental in one of history’s greatest operations – the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit.
 
With Drawn Arms
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Tommie Smith, Glenn Kaino (Actors)
  • Glenn Kaino and Afshin Shahidi (Director) - Glen Zipper (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

With Drawn Arms

At the 1968 Olympics, gold medalist Tommie Smith raised his fist in a symbol of black struggle and solidarity.

Fight the Power

Looks at the impact key movements throughout U.S. history have had in shaping our society, laws and culture. From the labor movement of the 1880s, women’s suffrage and civil rights movement, to the LGBTQ+ and Black Lives Matter movements, protest is in the American DNA and this documentary gives an unfiltered look at the ways it has evolved the world in which we live.

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High on the Hog

High on the Hog: The Evolution of African-American Cuisine America is a four-part Netflix docuseries that explores and celebrates black contributions to world food and culture.

Through years of captivity and the fight for equal civil rights, the show uncovers how much of what we now consider American cuisine was influenced by African American culture. 

From mac and cheese to Virginia ham; Jefferson’s and Washington’s renowned enslaved chefs James Hemings and Hercules left the nation hungry for more.

Barbecued brisket meets Senegalese lamb and a Juneteenth feast as Stephen heads to Texas to ride with Black cowboys and take in Jerelle Guy’s cakes. (Watch on Netflix)

People also ask:

Are there any movies about Juneteenth?

Yes, there are several movies to watch about Juneteenth.

What should I watch to celebrate Juneteenth?

In addition to what we’ve listed above, here are a few recommendations.

In Season 4, Episode 1 of Blackish, An 1865 version of the Johnsons celebrates June 19th, the day slaves were told they were freed in the U.S. The family sings about the liberties they are excited to exercise. Stream episode here

Also, the black-ish cast virtually gathers together with Writer/Co-Executive Producer Peter Saji to discuss the importance of celebrating Juneteenth as well as the making of the episode.

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Is Miss Juneteenth based on a true story?

Although not based on a true story, it was inspired by actual events. The Miss Juneteenth director was raised celebrating Juneteenth and attending Miss Juneteenth pageants.

Miss Juneteenth
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Nicole Beharie, Kendrick Sampson, Alexis Chikaeze (Actors)
  • Channing Godfrey Peoples (Director) - Channing Godfrey Peoples (Writer) - Neil Creque Williams (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

A former beauty queen and single mom (played by Nicole Beharie) prepares her rebellious teenage daughter for the “Miss Juneteenth” pageant. ‘Miss Juneteenth’  was submitted for an Oscar nomination.  | Stream for free with BET+ 

Is it OK to say Happy Juneteenth?

Yes! It is a way to acknowledge black culture even if you don’t celebrate the Juneteenth holiday.

Why is it called Juneteenth?

Juneteenth (June + teenth) is short for June Nineteenth. 

What’s so special about June 19th?

June 19th (also known as Juneteenth) celebrates the end of the Civil War and the emancipation of Black Americans.

Why is Juneteenth a holiday?

On June 19, 2021, President Joe Biden proclaimed June 19 as the Juneteenth Day of Observance.

It is to acknowledge and celebrate the end of the Civil War and the emancipation of Black Americans, and commit together to eradicate systemic racism that still undermines our founding ideals and collective prosperity. (Source)

Are there any documentaries on Juneteenth?

Yes, we were able to find three documentaries about Juneteenth.

Is Miss Juneteenth on Netflix?

Miss Juneteenth is not currently available on Netflix, but you can stream it for free with BET+.

If you want to learn more, you can also check out this book: The Juneteenth Story: Celebrating the End of Slavery in the United States.

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