Black Movies and Books That You Must See/Read

Stock image of eyeglasses and a remote control.

Discover Black films and books selected by Digital Content Contributor and senior Radio/TV/Film major Jabreeah Holmes of Camden County. A film student and fan, Jabreeah shares her recommendations with Rowan students. 

I love watching movies, no matter what genre. The movies and books on this list deal with trauma, historical heroes, racism, laughter, empowerment and so much more.


  • “Coldest Winter Ever” by Sister Souljah

A rebellious daughter tries to survive on her own

Hardcover copy of Michelle Obama book.
“Becoming” by Michelle Obama
  • “Becoming” by Michelle Obama

The memoir of former United States First Lady Michelle Obama

  • “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker

A story of a life of trauma but overcoming it

  • “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou

Autobiography of Maya Angelou

  • Dancing in the Wings” by Debbie Allen

A story of a young Black girl trying to follow her dreams

  • “True to the Game” by Teri Woods

Finding love in the hard streets of Philadelphia

  • “PUSH” by Sapphire

Follows a resilient teenager surviving a life of trauma

Book cover of The Hate U Give.
“The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas
  • “The Hate You Give” by Angie Thomas

A Black teenage girl witnesses her friend get killed by a police officer and has to decide if she should keep quiet or use her voice.

  • “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” by Malcolm X & Alex Haley

A series of in-depth interviews between Malcolm X and Alex Haley.

  • “I Can’t Make This Up” by Kevin Hart

Travel down memory lane with Kevin Hart.


  • “Dope”

The life of three students trying to overcome stereotypes

  • “Moonlight”

Chiron’s journey to manhood

  • “Antwone Fisher”

 A story of a black sailor trying to find answers to his past.

  • “The Birth of a Nation”

Nat Turner’s “quest for justice and freedom that leads to a violent and historic rebellion in Southampton County.”

  • “American Skin”

A father seeks justice when police kill his unarmed son.

Panel discussion of the film Just Mercy.

  • “Just Mercy”

The fate of an African American male in the judicial system in Alabama in 1987. 

  • “Fences”

Troy Maxson lives in the past, affecting his loved ones.

  • “Mudbound”

Fighting battles of prejudice in the Jim Crow South

  • “One Night in Miami”

Four influential men are imagined together for one night during the Civil Rights movement.

Framed poster of the movie Selma.

  • “Selma”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his followers march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. for the right to vote for African Americans.

Like what you see?


Story by:
Jabreeah Holmes, senior radio/TV/film major

Header photo courtesy of:

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