As it is Black History Month, we at GGM UK wanted to honour it by creating a list of five of the best movies to watch to celebrate this incredible month. There are so many other movies that deserve to be on this list, but we wanted to select a few of our favourites. Hope you enjoy and also remember that whilst October is Black History month, the history, struggles and fight for justice for those in the Black community are things which we try to bring light to daily and we hope you can join us on this mission too.
1. The Butler (2013)
Supposedly based on Eugene Allen’s life — an African-American butler who worked at the White House for 34 years — this movie takes viewers on a journey through some of the most iconic social and political moments in American history. Cecil Gaines, the Butler, narrates the story, providing a unique insight into his thoughts on moments such as President Eisenhower sending troops to Little Rock Central High School to stop segregation, and the inauguration of America’s first Black President, Barack Obama.
2. 42 (2013)
42 pays homage to Jackie Robinson, the first African- American player in Major League Baseball. He was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. However, he was faced with a barrage of racism. Despite this, he lived by the mantra: “Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re wasting your life.” He is played by the late and great, Chadwick Boseman, so it is worth a watch to revisit the phenomenal acting skills of a legend that died far too soon.
3. Selma (2014)
The brilliant David Oyelowo stars as Martin Luther King Jr in Selma, which focuses on King’s campaign to achieve equal voting rights in the States. The film was called Selma to honour the campaign’s infamous march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. 1965 marks the year when the Voting Rights Act was signed by President Johnson.
4. Hidden Figures (2016)
Hidden Figures looks at the long ‘hidden’ story of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, three African-American women who were instrumental in the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. They are truly inspirations for young females, proving that only YOU have the power to determine what you do and the impact you can make with your actions.
5. Black Panther (2018)
Not technically a historical movie, but one which means a lot to so many people. Black Panther is beyond iconic in so many ways. First, it features an all-Black cast, something which is rarely a thing in most movies, let alone a Marvel movie. Second, this representation MATTERS. It is so frustrating to be a POC and fail to connect with hardly any superheroes. This movie showed POC that they matter and deserve to be on TV screens. Third, there are so many gestures towards African culture e.g. the name “Wakanda” comes from the Wakamba tribe of Kenya and the fighting in the movie is based on African martial arts.
AUTHOR: Danielle Desouza
I am a 22 year old Politics and Communication Masters student at LSE, makeshift musician and aspiring political broadcaster. I am a staunch supporter of both gender and racial equality, being female and Indian. I want to edge closer to this goal daily by bringing to light injustices, through all forms of journalism.