Netflix is one the biggest streaming platforms in the world alongside Hulu, HBO, Amazon, and Disney+. It offers a subscription-based service that gives users access to a library of films and television series.
As of now, Netflix features tons of titles across a variety of genres. With the network expanding its franchise and movie content, the list keeps growing every day.
Therefore, when desiring to watch a movie that connotes black excellence or is racially centered, scrolling down the Netflix menu might be an arduous task. Yet, the streaming platform has a long list of movies and series with that story concept just waiting to be discovered.
In some ways, they are adding their own quota to educating ignorant people on the unfair circumstances of color disparity. This is also a means for new-generation blacks to learn about the beauty of their ancestry, and why they should stand tall amid others and not cower in fear.
With all that said now, here are some of the four best black or racially centered movies on Netflix that are available to stream right now.
‘Dear White People’
Right of the bat is Justin Simien’s satirical dark comedy-drama series, “Dear White People.” Based on the 2014 film of the same name, the storyline was centered around the lives of black students at a mainly white Ivy League college, Winchester University.
The students were faced with a myriad of problems such as cultural bias, social injustice, and the constant racial tension within the institution.
They tried to navigate through the issues via activism and politics which did not always work as planned.
The series played out its story using several literary devices alongside brutal honesty and wit to portray issues that still plague today’s post-colonial era. It received rave reviews for both the film and series versions.
‘When They See Us’
Based on a true story, Ava DuVernay’s crime drama “When They See Us” was a social tool that shed light on the incarceration of the Central Park Five.
The Central Park Five now addressed as the Exonerated Five were five young black boys who grew up in downtown Harlem. They were unjustly charged with gang-raping and murdering a white female jogger in New York City’s Central Park in 1989.
The series followed their lives from the moment they were first charged with the crime to being issued maximum terms in prison. It also showed scenes of their vindication decades later, in 2002.
It aptly portrayed the existential racial bias woven into the fabrics of the American criminal justice system and how unsuspecting blacks still face the same slippery slope.
The series received 33 award nominations sweeping home 11 among several critical acclaims from viewers.
Another hit from Director Ava DuVernay, the film’s numerical title referred to the 13th Amendment of the American Constitution.
It reads, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.”
The 2016 documentary revealed shocking statistics about the US prison population. It pointed out that a quarter of the world’s imprisoned individuals are in jail in the US.
However, the country is home to just 5% of the billions of humans in the world.
It showed real live footage from several social activists that told the tale of how racial bias is a driving factor in the increase in black incarceration year in year out. The documentary also touches on the civil rights movement, the war on drugs, alongside other intense racial issues.
“Mudbound” played out the post-war lives of two veterans (one white, one Black) as they returned to their hometown in Mississippi from the second world war.
They found that their families were knee-deep in a drawn-out battle caused by being forced to share land and keep the peace together.
The duo formed a strong bond that helped break through the walls of cultural, misguided notions in the families. It also brought a new perspective on racial interactions, urging them to see beyond color to the individual personalities each person possessed.
However, navigating such a tortuous path was difficult as their Southern society was still immersed in the precepts of segregation and racism.
The film received four Oscar nominations, with singer and actress Mary J. Blige making history for her dual nomination for an acting and song award in the same year.