The 22 Best Black Movies On Netflix That Should Never Ever Leave (2023)

    From Academy Award-winning films to 2000s classics, Black movies deserve to be on streaming services (consistently).

    by Jasmine Vaughn-HallBuzzFeed Contributor

    Let me preface this list with a little nudge to Netflix to add and KEEP Black movies on the streaming service, so that there's always a good amount to choose from.

    1. Concrete Cowboy

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    Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Idris Elba, Caleb McLaughlin, and Jharrel Jerome star in this modern-day Western inspired by the real-life Black horseriding culture of Philadelphia. The story focuses on the estranged father-son relationship between Idris and Caleb's characters, which both actors portray really convincingly.

    2. Get On Up

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    Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    One of Chadwick Boseman's many iconic roles was music legend James Brown in this musical biopic. The movie doesn't sugarcoat any aspect of his life while still showcasing him as a musical genius.

    3. Moonlight

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    David Bornfriend / © A24 / courtesy Everett Collection

    A young Black man grapples with his sexuality and identity growing up in Miami. Eventually, Chiron comes face-to-face with a pivotal part of his teenage years and seeks answers. The film won Best Picture at the Oscars in 2017.

    4. See You Yesterday

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    Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Two Brooklyn teenagers work tirelessly to get their invention — backpacks that allow them to time travel — to work. When C.J.'s brother is killed by a police officer, they try to use their invention to bring him back.

    5. Roxanne Roxanne

    Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Roxanne Shante was already a fierce battle MC in Queens, New York when she was a teenager. The movie depicts her life and struggles trying to pursue her dreams and help her family.

    6. Beats

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    Adrian S. Burrows Sr. / Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

    A secluded Chicago teen and music prodigy tries to muscle through a traumatic experience that has left him unsettlingly anxious. He and a school security guard bond over hip-hop and try to get the teen into the music scene.

    7. Black Hollywood: They've Gotta Have Us

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    Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

    The Netflix documentary explores the history of Black actors in Hollywood. A full picture is drawn and a long journey defined, on and off the camera, through the heyday of Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, and present day actors.

    8. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

    ©Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection, NETFLIX

    A brilliant toymaker robbed by his apprentice must find the joy and spark to create again. Luckily, his curious granddaughter enters his life and shakes things up.

    9. Fruitvale Station

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    Weinstein Company / Courtesy Everett Collection

    The film is based on the true story of Oscar Grant III, a young man from the Bay Area making his way to plans on New Year's Eve. Unfortunately, he never makes it to those plans after a unnecessarily fatal run-in with police.

    10. The Princess and the Frog

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    Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection

    An aspiring restaurant owner tries to help a prince by kissing him because he was turned into a frog. She ends up in the same predicament as him and they both navigate the road to become human again.

    11. Project Power

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    Skip Bolen / Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

    A pill that grants temporary superpowers is on the streets of New Orleans. A search for the source of the dangerous pill leads a cop, teenager, and a father down the same path.

    12. Da 5 Bloods

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    Courtesy Of Netflix

    Black veterans and friends go back to the land where they fought the war, Vietnam, in hopes that they'll find what they left there. The journey reveals truths, traumas, and realizations that stayed with them long after the war.

    13. His House

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    Aidan Monaghan / NETFLIX

    A refugee couple barely escapes their homeland in South Sudan, which is riddled with war. Tasked with proving to the English that they're the "good ones," they quickly realize that something evil followed them into their new home.

    14. Dolemite Is My Name

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    Francois Duhamel / Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

    The story of comedian Rudy Ray Moore encompasses the struggles of trying to make it in LA in the 1970s. He rises to success with his alter ego, Dolemite, and a drive to make it to the big screen.

    15. Good Burger

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    Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

    These are the roles the made Kenan and Kel comedy icons, and after playing Dexter and Ed for years on All That they finally brought their talents to the big screen in Good Burger. In the movie, Ed and Dexter have to save their beloved Good Burger (where they both work) when a bigger, better fast food joint opens across the street.

    16. Loving

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    Focus Features/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Loving tells the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, whose relationship was the basis for the Supreme Court's historic 1967 decision to overrule the ban on interracial marriage. Joel Egerton and Ruth Negga are fantastic in the lead roles, and Negga even got an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

    17. 13th

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    Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

    This documentary by Ava DuVernay is a must-watch for anyone trying to understand just how deeply racial inequality pervades American society. 13th provides an in-depth look at mass incarceration and how it disproportionately affects Black people in the U.S. The historians, activists, and politicians featured in the documentary help make the case that, despite being abolished with the 13th amendment, slavery has essentially been replaced with prison.

    18. Becoming

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    Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

    This documentary follows Michelle Obama through her 34-city book tour to promote her book Becoming. It doesn't delve too deeply into the life of the former First Lady, but it's still a nice way of seeing Mrs. Obama, one of the country's most important Black historical figures, in her first big role outside of the White House.

    19. Homecoming

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    Courtesy Of Parkwood Entertainment / ©Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection / Everett Collection

    In 2018, Beyoncé became the first Black woman to headline Coachella, thus creating the term Beychella with one of the greatest concerts of all time. That concert, and the production process leading up to it, are immortalized in Homecoming. The film highlights just how hard Beyoncé worked to prepare for the show (after giving birth to her twins!!), and reveals the significance of certain creative choices, like hiring backup performers from HBCUs. You'll walk away with one conclusion: No one ever has nor ever will do it quite like Beyoncé.

    20. The Forty-Year-Old Version

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    Netflix /Courtesy Everett Collection

    Written, directed, produced by, and starring Radha Blank, The Forty-Year-Old Version is a semi-autobiographical film about a woman who feels she hasn't lived up to her potential. Radha won the U.S Dramatic Competition Directing Award at Sundance Film Festival for her work, and the movie was named one of the ten best films of 2020 by the National Board of Review.

    21. Monster

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    Netflix / courtesy Everett Collection

    Radha Blank is also one of the writers of Monster, which is currently one of the top 10 on Netflix. Kelvin Harrison Jr. is terrific as Steve Harmon, even if the movie itself is a little heavy handed with its messaging. The film features a star-studded ensemble which includes Jennifer Hudson, Jeffrey Wright, John David Washington, Jharrel Jerome, and A$AP Rocky.

    22. And finally, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

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    Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

    This movie is based on the play by August Wilson, and focuses on an afternoon recording session of blues singer Ma Rainey (Viola Davis), and her backup band, particularly trumpet player Levee (Chadwick Boseman in his final role). The session goes pretty terribly in just about every way, but the cast is astounding and all deliver heart-breaking performances.

    What are your favorite Black movies on Netflix? Let us know in the comments!

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