Skip To Content
  • Black Lives Matter badge
Updated on Jun 13, 2020. Posted on Jun 2, 2020

Here Are 22 Movies And Documentaries About Race Everyone Should Watch At Least Once

From Moonlight on Netflix to Whose Streets? on Hulu.

by ,

We hope you love the shows and movies we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of revenue or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh and FYI — platforms, prices, and other availability details are accurate as of time of posting.

As George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests continue across the country, it's important that people — especially white people — understand contemporary and historical issues of anti-Black racism. As a starter, we've compiled a list of just a few of the many documentaries and movies about race that you can stream right now:

1. 13th (2016), Netflix

Netflix

What it's about: "In this thought-provoking documentary, scholars, activists and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom."

Stream on Netflix here.

2. Whose Streets? (2017), Hulu

Magnolia Pictures / Hulu

What it's about: "Told by the activists and leaders who live and breathe this movement for justice, [Whose Streets?] is an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising."

Stream on Hulu here.

3. I Am Not Your Negro (2017), Amazon Prime

Magnolia Pictures / Amazon

What it's about: "Director Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished, [Remember This House]. It is a journey into black history that connects the Civil Rights movement to #BlackLivesMatter. It questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond."

Stream on Amazon Prime here.

4. The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross (2013), Amazon Prime

PBS / Amazon

What it's about: "This six-hour PBS series explores the evolution of the African-American people, as well as the multiplicity of cultural institutions, political strategies, and religious and social perspectives they developed — forging their own history, culture and society against unimaginable odds."

Stream on Amazon Prime here.

5. LA 92 (2017), Netflix

National Geographic / Netflix

What it's about: "Previously unseen footage is shaped into a fresh and timely retelling of the 1992 Rodney King trial — and the verdict that sparked civil unrest."

Stream on Netflix here.

6. What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015), Netflix

Netflix

What it's about: "Nina Simone achieved fame, fortune and legend status. But she wanted more: She wanted equality."

Stream on Netflix here.

7. Strong Island (2017), Netflix

Netflix

What it's about: "The forces of family, grief and racial injustice converge in this Oscar-nominated documentary exploring the murder of filmmaker Yance Ford's brother."

Stream on Netflix here.

8. The Loving Story (2011), Tubi

HBO

What it's about: "Meet the Lovings: an interracial couple who had to go all the way to the Supreme Court to be together. ... Convicted on felony charges and banished from the state, the couple began a nine-year odyssey to get back to their friends and family."

Stream on Tubi here and HBO Go here.

9. Teach Us All (2017), Netflix

Netflix

What it's about: "It's been decades since Brown v. Board of Education, yet American schools remain largely segregated. Some leaders are working to change that."

Stream on Netflix here.

10. King in the Wilderness (2018), HBO Go

HBO

What it's about: "Through personal stories of the people who were around him, this film follows Martin Luther King Jr. during the last years of his life: from the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 to his assassination in 1968."

Stream on HBO Go here.

11. The Hate U Give (2018), Amazon Prime With Cinemax

20th Century Fox / Amazon Prime

What it's about: "A teen witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood friend by a trigger-happy cop and must decide whether to testify or not."

Stream on Amazon Prime with Cinemax here.

12. Mudbound (2017), Netflix

Netflix

What it's about: "Two Mississippi families — one black, one white — confront the brutal realities of prejudice, farming and friendship in a divided World War II era."

Stream on Netflix here.

13. The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (2017), Netflix

Netflix

What it's about: "As she fights the tide of violence against trans women, activist Victoria Cruz probes the suspicious 1992 death of her friend Marsha P. Johnson."

Stream on Netflix here.

14. Sorry to Bother You (2018), Hulu

Annapurna Pictures

What it's about: "In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success, propelling him into a macabre universe."

Stream on Hulu here.

15. If Beale Street Could Talk (2018), Hulu

Annapurna Pictures

What it's about: "Based on the novel by James Baldwin, 'If Beale Street Could Talk' is a soulful drama about a young couple fighting for justice in the name of love and the promise of the American dream."

Stream on Hulu here.

16. Becoming (2020), Netflix

Netflix

What it's about: "Join former first lady Michelle Obama in an intimate documentary looking at her life, hopes and connection with others as she tours with 'Becoming.'"

Stream on Netflix here.

17. Homecoming (2019), Netflix

Netflix

What it's about: "This intimate, in-depth look at Beyoncé's celebrated 2018 Coachella performance reveals the emotional road from creative concept to cultural movement."

Stream on Netflix here.

18. Just Mercy (2019), Amazon Prime

Warner Bros. Pictures

What it's about: "A powerful true story that follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson and his battle for justice as he defends a man sentenced to death despite evidence proving his innocence."

Stream on Amazon Prime here.

19. Black Stories Presents: Your Attention Please (2020), Hulu

Hulu

What it's about: "Hosted by Craig Robinson, this three-part series explores nine Black voices who are part of the next generation of excellence."

Stream on Hulu here.

20. Moonlight (2016), Netflix

A24

What it's about: "In this acclaimed coming-of-age drama, a young man who grows up poor, black and gay in a rough Miami neighborhood tries to find his place in the world."

Stream on Netflix here.

21. Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise (2016), Amazon Prime

PBS

What it's about: "In this four-hour series ... Henry Louis Gates, Jr. embarks on a deeply personal journey through the last fifty years of African American history."

Stream on Amazon Prime here.

22. And The Black Godfather (2019), Netflix

Netflix

What it's about: "This documentary follows the life of Clarence Avant, the ultimate, uncensored mentor and behind-the-scenes rainmaker in music, film, TV and politics."

Stream on Netflix here.

Of course, no one movie can fully encapsulate racism in the US — so we encourage you to look beyond this list. For further watching, or for other resources beyond movies, you can find more recommendations here, here, and here.

TV and Movies

Get all the best moments in pop culture & entertainment delivered to your inbox.

Newsletter signup form