Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.


A curated list of films by and about the Black/African-American diaspora that celebrate Black excellence and joy, that document success, and that document difficult histories.

I Am Not Your Negro

I Am Not Your Negro. Directed by Raoul Peck. Kino Lorber, 2016. 1 hour 34 minutes

Awards: BAFTA Best Documentary. See all.

Brief Abstract: I Am Not Your Negro is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. It is a film that questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. And, ultimately, by confronting the deeper connections between the lives and assassination of these three leaders, Baldwin and Peck have produced a work that challenges the very definition of what America stands for.

Additional Resources:

Viewing and Discussion Guide:

John Lewis: Good Trouble

John Lewis: Good Trouble. Directed by Dawn Porter. Ro*Co Films, 2020. 1 hour 38 minutes

Awards: Black Reel Awards, best documentary. See all.

Brief Abstract: An intimate account of legendary U.S. Representative John Lewis’ life, legacy and more than 60 years of extraordinary activism. After Lewis petitioned Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to help integrate a segregated school in his hometown of Troy, Alabama, King sent “the boy from Troy” a round trip bus ticket to meet with him. From that meeting onward, Lewis became one of King’s closest allies. He organized Freedom Rides that left him bloodied or jailed, and stood at the front lines in the historic marches on Washington and Selma. He never lost the spirit of the “boy from Troy” and called on his fellow Americans to get into “good trouble” until his passing on July 17, 2020.

Additional Resources:

Viewing and Discussion Guide: (Downloadable files)


Black Feminist

Black Feminist. Directed by Zanah Thirus. Zanah Thirus Films, 2019. 53 minutes

Awards: International Black and Diversity Film Festival, jury award for best documentary. See all.

Brief Abstract: Black Feminist is a feature length documentary film surrounding the double edged sword of racial and gender oppression that black women face in America.

Additional Resources:

Action Aid Intersectional Feminism Discussion Toolkit


Chisolm '72: Unbought and Unbossed

Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed. Directed by Shola Lynch. Women Make Movies, 2004. 1 hour 17 minutes

Awards: Black Reel Awards, best documentary. See all.

Brief Abstract: Recalling a watershed event in US politics, this Peabody Award-winning documentary takes an in-depth look at the 1972 presidential campaign of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress and the first to seek nomination for the highest office in the land.

Shunned by the political establishment and the media, this longtime champion of marginalized Americans asked for support from people of color, women, gays, and young people newly empowered to vote at the age of 18. Chisholm's bid for an equal place on the presidential dais generated strong, even racist opposition. Yet her challenge to the status quo and her message about exercising the right to vote struck many as progressive and positive.

Additional Resources:

Brief Biography:

Discussion Guide:

Lesson Plan:

Brother Outsider: The Life of Freedom Fighter Bayard Rustin

Brother Outsider. Directed by Bennett Singer, Nancy Kates. California Newsreel, 2003. 1 hour 26 minutes

Awards: GLAAD Media Awards, outstanding documentary. See all.

Brief Abstract: On November 20, 2013, Bayard Rustin was posthumously awarded the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. Who was this man? He was there at most of the important events of the Civil Rights Movement - but always in the background.  Brother Outsider asks "Why?" It presents a vivid drama, intermingling the personal and the political, about one of the most enigmatic figures in 20th-century American history.

Additional Resources:

Discussion Guide:

Curriculum Guide:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.