Dive Into History With These Must-Watch Black History Movies Now On Hulu

Black history and its importance are often overlooked in society. The best black history movies on Hulu right now are the perfect way to educate yourself and celebrate the amazing contributions of African Americans to our culture. From documentaries to biopics, these films highlight the struggles and successes of influential people of color and their impact on the world.

From the civil rights movement and the battle against Jim Crow to the life of Malcolm X and the rise of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, these movies have an inspiring look at African Americans. The library of black history movies will surely have something for everyone, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn and celebrate with these readily accessible films on Hulu.

Why These Shows Were Selected As the Top Black History Movies on Hulu:

We carefully selected these titles to ensure you’ll enjoy watching them. We chose them based on IMDb, and have sorted them into easy headings. They are well-liked by both audiences and experts. We believe you’ll find them enjoyable and worth your time.”

1. Underground (2016 – 2017)

Underground

Release date: March 9, 2016 

Director: Misha Green, Joe Pokaski

Cast: Adina Porter, Alano Miller, Aldis Hodge, Christopher Meloni, Jessica De Gouw, Johnny Ray Gill, Jurnee Smollett, and Marc Blucas

IMDb rating: 7.8/10

In the 1850s Georgia, Noah, a brave blacksmith, inspired a group of plantation slaves to attempt an ambitious escape. Risking their lives, futures, and freedom, Noah set off on an arduous journey on the Underground Railroad. Misha Green, who is known for her work on “Sons of Anarchy,” and Joe Pokaski, who worked on “Daredevil,” created the 10-episode anthology series inspired by Noah’s story.

John Legend is one of the executive producers and is responsible for the score, soundtrack, and other musical aspects of the show. The series brings to life the struggles and courage of those who risked everything in hopes of a better future.

Watch “Underground” streaming on fuboTV, Pure Flix, Tubi TV.

2. Roots (2016)

roots

Release date: June 2, 2016

Director: Bruce Beresford, Thomas Carter, Phillip Noyce, Mario Van Peebles

Cast: Malachi Kirby, Matthew Goode, Nokuthula Ledwaba, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Shannon Lucio, Forest Whitaker, and Chad Coleman

IMDb rating: 7.9/10

Kunta Kinte, a Mandinka man from the Gambia region of West Africa, was just beginning his warrior training in 1767 when he was captured by slave traders in the jungle. Though he told his father and teachers of the encounter, they disagreed with his desire to go to university in Timbuktu, so Kunta ran away to meet his lover, Jinna.

He managed to escape and kill one of the slave traders but was soon recaptured and sold to the British slave ship Lord Ligonier. His initiation into becoming a warrior was cut short, and his wishes to attend university were unfulfilled.

3. Detroit (2017)

Detroit

Release date: July 26, 2017

Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Cast: John Boyega, Malcolm David Kelley, Will Poulter, Joseph David-Jones, Algee Smith, John Krasinski, Algee Smith, and Anthony Mackie

IMDb rating: 7.3/10

On July 23, 1967, the Detroit Police Department conducted a raid on an unlicensed club. As suspects were apprehended, a crowd gathered and began to throw rocks at the officers, followed by looting of nearby stores and the setting of fires. This event marked the start of the 12th Street Riot.

As state authorities, elected representatives, and emergency services were unable to keep the situation under control, the Michigan Army National Guard and Army paratroopers were called in to help.

On the second day of the riot, two police officers chased after a looter. One of them, Philip Krauss, shot the man dead despite not being given orders to do so. Krauss was allowed to remain on duty until his superiors could decide whether to file murder charges against him.

You are able to watch “Detroit” streaming on Starz Apple TV Channel, DIRECTV.

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4. Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami (2017)

Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami

Release date: September 7, 2017

Director: Sophie Fiennes

Cast: Grace Jones, Lowell ‘Sly’ Dunbar, Jean-Paul Goude, Marjorie Jones, Robbie Shakespeare

IMDb rating: 6.2/10

Grace Jones and Sophie Fiennes first encountered each other at a screening of a 2002 film about Noel Jones’ church, Hoover Street Revival. The two had a strong connection and decided to collaborate on a documentary. The project was a long-term endeavor that was interrupted by Jones’ other commitments, such as recording her band and working on a memoir, while Fiennes’ time was taken up by pregnancy and other film projects.

The documentary follows Jones as she visits her family in Jamaica and tours various locations, such as Paris and New York City. Interwoven into the film is concert footage of Jones performing songs like “Slave to the Rhythm” and “Love Is the Drug.”

5. Crime + Punishment (2018)

Crime+Punishment

Release date: January 19, 2018

Director:  Stephen Maing

Cast: Edwin Raymond, Sandy Gonzales, Rukia Lumumba, Manuel Gomez, and Manuel ‘Manny’ Gomez,

IMDb rating: 7.4/10

Crime + Punishment is a documentary that takes an in-depth look into the everyday lives of a group of black and Latino police officers who are involved in a lawsuit that challenges illegal policing quotas. It follows the struggles these officers have faced due to the pressure they receive to arrest young minorities and shows their resilience in the face of injustice.

The documentary reveals the consequences of illegal policing quotas and how they have a devastating effect on both the police officers and those arrested. It is a powerful look into the lives of those affected by this issue, and a call to action for change. Well, if you are someone who’s into crime drama, you should check this one out! Best British Crime Drama 2023.

6. B. B. King on the Road (2018)

B.B King on the road

Release date:  May 19, 2018

Director: Jon Brewer

Cast: Eric Clapton, Bono, Susan Tedeschi, Ringo Starr, Bill Wyman, Buddy Guy, Carlos Santana, Dr. John, Mick Taylor, and Tony Coleman

IMDb rating: 7.7/10

This documentary follows celebrated blues musician B.B. King as he begins to wind down his life’s touring. It takes viewers through the days of traveling and the nights of performing, showing all the moments between the milestones. B.B. King offers up never-before-seen contributions, making this a unique and exclusive look into his life.

This feature offers a personal perspective from the man himself, allowing viewers to glimpse what it was like to be a part of his journey. From the highs to the lows, the joys and sorrows, this documentary gives an in-depth, authentic look at the life of a legendary blues musician.

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7. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021)

The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Release date: February 26, 2021

Director:  Lee Daniels

Cast: Andra Day, Trevante Rhodes, Miss Lawrence, Leslie Jordan, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Tyler James Williams, Harry J. Anslinger, Natasha Lyonne, Garrett Hedlund, and Erik LaRay Harvey

IMDb rating: 6.3/10

In 1957, Billie Holiday had a radio interview with journalist Reginald Lord Devine, who asked her about being a “colored woman” and her hit song, Strange Fruit. Billie said that the song was about human rights and how the government tends to overlook them. Her husband Monroe and manager Joe Glaser tried to persuade her to cut it from the set list, as high-ranking officials didn’t want to hear it. However, her saxophonist, Lester Young, supported her in continuing to perform it. They both believed in the song’s power and message, which was a bold statement at the time.

8. Harriet (2019)

Harriet hulu 1
Image via Hulu

Release date: November 1, 2019

Director:  Kasi Lemmons

Cast: Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr., Joe Alwyn, Janelle Monáe

IMDb rating: 6.7/10

“Harriet” is a 2019 biographical film starring Cynthia Erivo as Harriet Tubman, the courageous abolitionist who escaped slavery in the 1840s and went on to help numerous enslaved individuals find freedom through the Underground Railroad. The movie chronicles Tubman’s incredible journey from her own escape to her daring missions back to the South, where she guided over 70 enslaved people to safety. The film captures the essence of Tubman’s bravery, determination, and her pivotal role in the fight against slavery, earning critical acclaim and recognition for Cynthia Erivo’s compelling portrayal of this iconic historical figure.

you are able to watch “Harriet” streaming DIRECTV & HBO MAX.

9. Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (2019)

Toni Morrison The Pieces I Am (Netflix)
Image via Netflix

Release date: June 21, 2019

Director:  Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Cast: Toni Morrison, Sonia Sanchez, Oprah Winfrey

IMDb rating: 7.7/10

“Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” is a documentary that provides a captivating glimpse into the remarkable life and prolific literary career of Toni Morrison, a trailblazing author and cultural icon. The film delves into her groundbreaking achievements, notably becoming the first Black woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, and explores the profound impact of her works on American literature and the broader cultural landscape. Through interviews and reflections from influential figures such as Oprah Winfrey, Russell Banks, Angela Davis, and former President Barack Obama, the documentary offers an intimate and insightful portrait of Morrison’s enduring legacy, shedding light on her contributions to literature, race, and identity in the United States. This documentary serves as a compelling homage to one of the most celebrated and influential writers of our time.

10. 12 Years a Slave (2013)

12 Years a Slave (the Newyork Times)
Image via The Newyork Times

Release date: February 7, 2014 

Director:  Steve McQueen

Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o, Brad Pitt

IMDb rating: 8.1/10

“12 Years a Slave” is a 2013 historical drama film directed by Steve McQueen, based on the autobiography of Solomon Northup. It tells the story of Northup, a free African American man who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the pre-Civil War South. The film, featuring an exceptional cast, including Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o, vividly portrays the brutal conditions and the horrors of slavery, offering a powerful and unflinching look at a dark chapter in American history. It received critical acclaim, winning the Academy Award for Best Picture, and serves as a poignant reminder of the cruelty and injustice of the institution of slavery.

Wrap up

In conclusion, Hulu is a great platform to explore and learn about Black History. With its large selection of movies, documentaries, and series, you can find films that showcase powerful stories of resilience and courage. From biopics of historical figures to films about today’s activists and civil rights leaders, Hulu has some of the best Black History movies available right now.

Whether you’re looking for an inspiring story or an entertaining feel-good film, Hulu is the perfect place to find it. So take a few hours out of your day and explore the vast selection of Black History films that Hulu has to offer.

Anoosha Khan
Anoosha Khan

Anoosha Khan is a film critic and entertainment editor based in the UK. She has been reporting about celebs and movies for WatchinUK for the past year.

Articles: 938

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