There are so many great slavery movies on Netflix. They feature historical documentaries surrounding the trials of Black and African-American people during slavery in the 17th and 18th centuries. Don’t miss 10 more of the best Slavery movies, too.
What is slavery (or involuntary servitude)?
Slavery is, in the strictest sense of the term, any system in which principles of property law are applied to people, allowing individuals to own, buy and sell other individuals, as a de jure form of property. (Source)
Existed in the United States of America in the 18th and 19th centuries after it gained independence and before the end of the American Civil War.
Throughout history, slaves were clothed in a distinctive fashion, particularly with respect to footwear, or rather the lack thereof. This was due to economic reasons, as well as a distinguishing feature, especially in South Africa and South America. (Source)
All the titles listed are currently on Netflix, but that is subject to change without notice.
9 NETFLIX SLAVERY MOVIES
Whether it’s Black history month or you just want to learn more about this important part of history, check out one of these riveting movies.
In this fact-based drama, a rebellious farmer leads a group of Civil War deserters in a fight to establish a mixed-race free state in the deep South. (Watch on Netflix)
Director Steven Spielberg takes on the towering legacy of Abraham Lincoln, focusing on his stewardship of the Union during the Civil War years. (Watch on Netflix)
In this thought-provoking documentary about the 13th amendment, scholars, activists, and politicians analyze the criminalization of Black people and the U.S. prison boom. “As the documentary charts the rising number of prisoners in the U.S. (from 357,292 in 1970 to 2,306,200 in 2014), DuVernay examines the “law and order” rhetoric popularized by Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan in the late 1960s, the misplaced fear used to justify violence against Black Panther party activists (including Chicago leader Fred Hampton, who was killed by police in 1969) and the racial disparities in drug sentences during the crack epidemic.” (Source) The movie won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics by hip hop artist Common, Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggins song “Letter to the Free.” (Watch on Netflix)
Finding a tantalizing clue in an old letter, a young woman journeys to her family’s tropical plantation to uncover generations of secrets. (Watch on Netflix)
This true story (originally aired as a TV show) of 19th-century Africa follows mighty Zulu Shaka as he leads his proud warriors on a quest to be one people, one power, one empire! (Watch on Netflix)
Ken Burns’s documentary depicts the action of famous Civil War battles, and relates the stories of soldiers, generals and a beleaguered president. (Watch on Netflix)
In Colombia in 1821, a white orphan is taken in by black slaves. Years after being torn from them, she returns to find her family and childhood love. (Watch on Netflix)
Oprah Winfrey sits down with Los Angeles-born director Ava DuVernay to discuss her Oscar-nominated film, historical cycles of oppression and the broken prison system. DuVernay won the directing award in the U.S. dramatic competition at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival for her second feature film Middle of Nowhere, becoming the first black woman to win the award. (Watch on Netflix)
In a magical take on a true story, a slave mails himself from a plantation in Richmond, Virginia, to freedom in Philadelphia in 1848. (Watch on Netflix)
Just released on November 1, 2019, Harriet. Based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter, HARRIET tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes.
MORE MOVIES ABOUT BLACK HISTORY AND THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN EXPERIENCE ON NETFLIX:
- Best Slavery Movies
- 5 Slavery Documentaries for Kids
- 15 Kids’ Black History Movies on Netflix
- 20 Black History Movies on Netflix
- 10 Segregation Movies on Netflix
PLACES YOU CAN VISIT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT SLAVERY AND BLACK HISTORY
- Booker T. Washington National Monument (Washington‘s birthplace)
- Cliveden, the 18th-century home of the Chew family, immerses visitors in this part of America’s past in the Philadelphia area of Germantown, Pennsylvania.
- Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture
- Civil Rights Trail which includes 100 locations across 14 states
- Freedom Park in Williamsburg, VA, which preserves one of the first free black settlements in America
BOOKS ABOUT SLAVERY AND BLACK HISTORY
- Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington
- Celia, A Slave by Melton A Mclaurin
- Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by David W. Blight
- The Slave Ship: A Human History by Marcus Rediker
- American Slavery, American Freedom by Edmund S. Morgan
- Empire of Cotton: A Global History by Sven Beckert
- Africa: A Biography of the Continent by John Reader
- Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation by Eric Foner
- The Price for Their Pound of Flesh by Daina Ramey Berry
- My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass
- Black Reconstruction in America by W. E. B. Du Bois
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Have you watched any of these slavery movies on Netflix?
I am a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam. I received a complimentary subscription and device. All opinions and selections are my own.