Check out these six movies highlighting racial justice

The people in these movies fought for the freedom of Blacks, and I would like to give a shout out to these heroes. Some real and some not. Some white and some black.

  1. Green Book

This is a beautiful true story taking place in 1962. The movie won an Academy Award for best picture and tells the story of a black pianist Dr. Don Shirly who is going on a concert tour in the deep south. Needing  protection and a driver, he enlists the help of an Italian born man named Tony Lip. There is a Green Book that Dr. Shirly has to use to find places for a black man to dine and stay so hence the title. 

The reason I have chosen this as number six is because while serious, this movie has some rather funny scenes and also gives a shout out to the LGBT community as well, though a very small one. This movie is one of my all-time favorites because it is both historical, funny and serious.

  1. The Help

This movie, though it is not inspired by true events, was a book before it became a movie. The book is in the CFHS library. It takes place in 1960s Mississippi where a young white woman named Skeeter wants to write a book. She creates lots of talk and turmoil by interviewing black housemaids who have spent most of their lives working for white families. She starts by interviewing Aibileen, a housemaid for one of Skeeters’ best friends, and before she and Aibileen know it, they have many more black housemaids with stories they want to share. 

This movie made number five on my list because it is a very emotional story that can be a tear-jerker. But it really makes you think, and I like that about a story when it really makes you think about a subject. Though I would highly recommend a box of Kleenexes while watching, I do want to say that there are some funny parts in this movie as well. There is a perfect blend of emotion in this movie.

  1. Hidden Figures

This movie is based on true events in the space race of 1961 between the Soviet Union and the United States. It follows the untold stories of three black women who were absolutely essential to making sure that we were the first to get to the moon: Catherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorthy Vaughn. Johnson was extremely gifted with mathematical formulas and equations, enabling her to be able to calculate the exact go/no go point of how we would be able to get all the way around the Earth on a test run. Jackson was the first black female engineer at an all white high school and was essential to helping build the rocket. Vaughn ran the IBM computer by herself at first until she was assigned to do so with her group the West Computing Group. 

This movie made number four on my list because these three black women were strong in the time of segregation and didn’t let their race stop them. It is the kind of story that is very powerful to see unfold and gives credit to the unseen heroes in the space race of the sixties. It also shows actual footage from the 1960s of the space race that aired on TV, and there is even footage of John F. Kennedy speaking.

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird

Most people can all recall that one English class where we were “forced” to read the book To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This story is told in Scout Finch’s point of view, during the 1930s,  and the story follows her father Atticus Finch who is trying to prove a black man named Tom Robinson is not guilty of rape. This made number three on my list because though it is a very iconic American novel and movie; it is a fictional but extremely beautiful and well written book that is very eye opening. It was so well liked that it was made into a movie, and while both book and movie are both American classics, the movie can give us a better understanding because it serves as a visual representation, and they no longer read this book at Cedar Falls Schools.

  1. Harriet

This movie following the true story of Harriet Tubman tells the incredible story of how she escaped from slavery and worked for the Underground Railroad helping to free hundreds of slaves risking her own lives many, many times. This movie is not on the top, but it is still one of the most powerful and  emotional heroic stories you will ever see. I was so moved by it that I got a romantic  story idea from it, though I could never seem to get the idea further than just an idea. 

  1. Black or White

This is probably the most current story that I can give you having to do with the issue of race. In the movie, Elosie is a little girl being raised by her grandparents due to the fact that her mother got pregnant when she was 17 and didn’t tell her parents about it. When her mother was in labor, she didn’t tell the doctors that she had a heart condition, which is how she died. Eloise is half black and half white, hence the title, and while her mother is dead, she does have a black father named Reginold Davis the second. After her white grandma dies, her grandfather has to figure out how to raise her alone while battling a drinking problem.

I really enjoyed this movie because it is very emotional to watch the court case, Eloise being let down by her dad and much more. It is something that you should definitely watch if you are looking for something more current when it comes to racial issues.



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