In the past few years, streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video have done a tremendous job of offering subscribers with a great deal of movies, shows, and documentaries celebrating unique voices in the industry and society as a whole. In the past we’ve seen various streaming services offer a platform for Pride month and quickly respond to current events.
And now, services like HBO Max, Disney+, Peacock, and Apple TV+ are offering up special sections, collections, and lists of content celebrating Black voices, whether it be a movie about a trailblazing figure or a documentary series about the impact of African-American culture. Here are just some of the best options…
The Hulu Black Stories hub (opens in new tab) is one the richest collections of movies, TV shows, documentaries, and specials found on the popular streaming service. If you have a Hulu subscription and are looking for empowering stories to watch yourself or share with the family, there are tons of options worth checking out. We have provided a quick list of three of those titles.
Genius: Aretha (2017)
In 2017, the Emmy-winning anthology series, Genius, turned its attention to the trailblazing Aretha Franklin with an exploration of her as a cultural powerhouse, as well as her personal side with a brilliant portrayal by Cynthia Erivo.
Wu-Tang: An American Saga
The Hulu original series Wu-Tang: An American Saga dives into the history and impact of the titular hip hop collective that launched the careers of RZA, Method Mad, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, GZA, and so many others.
If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)
Barry Jenkins’ 2018 drama If Beale Street Could Talk follows a young couple in 1970s Harlem as they try to keep a positive mindset after tragedy and prejudice fall on their doorstep.
The Disney+ Celebrate Black Stories (opens in new tab) section is another streaming option that contains inspirational stories from the annals of history as well as the House of Mouse’s extensive catalog of titles.
Summer Of Soul (2020)
One of the best music documentaries in recent memory, Questlove’s Summer of Soul uncovers long-lost footage from the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, which saw Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, The Staple Singers, and more come together for an unforgettable event.
Black Panther (2018)
Featuring the late Chadwick Boseman in his most iconic role, Black Panther sees the newly crowned king of Wakanda protect his throne and his people from an outsider with ties to his family.
Black Is King (2020)
Beyoncé’s 2020 visual album, Black is King, takes viewers through a journey not unlike The Lion King that follows a young king as he finds his place in the world while dealing with love, betrayal, and self-identity.
The HBO Max Black Voices (opens in new tab) collection showcases the best the streaming platform has to offer from Black creators both in front of and behind the camera, with a rich collection of movies, shows, and documentaries.
John Lewis: Good Trouble (2020)
The 2020 documentary, John Lewis: Good Trouble, illustrates the life and legacy of the late civil rights activist and United States Congressman through interviews and stories about his personal journey to make America a better place over the course of more than 60 years.
Judas And The Black Messiah (2021)
Shaka King’s Oscar-winning biographical drama, Judas and the Black Messiah, details the final days in the life of Illinois Black Panther Party chairman Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya).
Between The World And Me (2020)
Through interviews with Mahershala Ali, Angela Bassett, Oprah Winfrey, and several others, Between the World and Me tackles the African-American experience with a highlight on inner-city life in Baltimore.
Peacock’s Celebrating Black History (opens in new tab) section gives everyone with a Peacock Premium subscription access to hundred of movies, shows, and specials highlighting the African-American experience.
What’s Love Got To Do With It (1993)
One of Angela Bassett’s best movies, What’s Love Got To Do With It sees the Golden Globe winner take on the role of music icon Tina Turner in this empowering biographical drama.
Cynthia Erivo stars as Harriet Tubman in Harriet, a sprawling biographical drama that follows the abolitionist on her journey from freed slave to one of the most prominent figures of the Underground Railroad and 19th Century American history.
The Defiant Ones (2017)
The multi-part documentary series The Defiant Ones explores the partnership and friendship shared by Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, revisiting how the pair forever changed the music industry in the late 20th Century.
Netflix has a collection called Black History in Motion (opens in new tab) that showcases the streaming platform’s vast library of Black-centric titles, including some impressive documentary features.
Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali (2021)
The 2021 documentary, Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali, explores the short-lived yet powerful friendship shared by the two cultural icons in the 1960s and offers some revelations from their shared history.
Colin In Black And White (2021)
The 2021 limited series, Colin in Black and White, tells the story of Colin Kaepernick as he goes from a young and promising football player to one of the 21st Century’s most powerful activist-athletes.
I Am Not Your Negro (2016)
Based on James Baldwin’s Remember This House, the 2016 documentary, I Am Not Your Negro, takes the late writer’s work and turns it into a stunning visual essay that explores racism in America.
Although there is no special section celebrating Black culture, Amazon Prime subscribers still have access to a lot of great original content featuring prominent voices from the community.
Phat Tuesdays (2022)
The 2022 Amazon documentary series Phat Tuesdays goes into great deal about Guy Torry’s decision to launch an all-Black comedy night at The Comedy Story, which would help launch the careers of Martin Lawrence, Chris Tucker, Steve Harvey, and give even more time to shine.
Black History, Black Freedom, And Black Love (2022)
Over the course of three collections, various scholars share unforgettable and largely unknown stories from Black history in stunning detail in Black History, Black Freedom, and Black Love.
One Night In Miami (2021)
Regina King’s 2021 drama, One Night in Miami, offers a fictional account of the night Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown, icons of the civil rights movement, got together to celebrate and contemplate Black culture.
Apple TV+ is another great option to celebrate Black voices for those with a subscription to the popular service.
Truth Be Told (2019)
The Apple TV+ original drama series Truth Be Told stars Octavia Spencer as a podcaster who will stop at nothing to uncover the truth and pursue justice, even if it costs her everything.
The Banker (2020)
The Banker sees Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson star as two 1960s entrepreneurs who come up with a brilliant way to give members of their community a better shot at housing.
The 2020 documentary series, Dear, sees the likes of Spike Lee, Stevie Wonder, and Oprah Winfrey read letters written by complete strangers who have been inspired by their actions over the years.
These are just some of the great titles celebrating Black voices on various streaming services. And, with all the 2022 movies and new and returning shows coming our way, expect this list to be updated sooner rather than later.
Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.
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