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91 movies and TV shows to stream for Black History Month

For Black History Month, here’s a streaming guide to historical fiction, biopics, documentaries, and sitcoms, made by and about Black Americans.

91 movies and TV shows to stream for Black History Month
[Photo: Legendary: Barbara Nitke/HBO Max; Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom: David Lee/Netflix; I May Destroy You: Natalie Seery/HBO; Judas and the Black Messiah: Warner Bros. Inc.; Watchmen: Mark Hill/HBO]
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It will never not be sadly funny that, of course, America designated its shortest month to be the one honoring Black History.

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This year, however, it’s less sadly funny than just plain sad.

Ever since the uprisings last summer, set off by the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police, structural racism has been part of the national discourse like never before. Some folks are just waking up to its insidious, rampant nature; others feel alternately vindicated by this new awareness and betrayed by its tardiness; and others still have merely doubled down on denying that the problem even exists.

In the months since the George Floyd protests led President Trump to call Black Lives Matter “toxic propaganda,” Black voters came out in full force to elect a new president . . . only to see a coalition of white supremacists attempt to reverse that outcome by force.

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That they failed is less a cause for celebration than a reason to reflect on why they attempted their coup in the first place.

In any case, it is at a somber, introspective moment in American history that the country finds itself welcoming Black History Month this year. To make the month a bit more nourishing for everyone stuck at home, though, Fast Company has scoured the streaming services for a bounty of entertaining and often enlightening films and TV shows that showcase either Black stories or the talents of Black creators.

Have a look below at 91 movies and TV series to stream during this poignant Black History Month.

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Fictional movies and shows rooted in history

  • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom on Netflix
  • Da Five Bloods on Netflix
  • Mudbound on Netflix
  • Roots on HBO Max
  • Watchmen, on HBO Max, is a cultural powerhouse that audaciously grounded the classic graphic novel in a raw, racially relevant context. It also provided a prescient history lesson on the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre nine months before a planned Trump rally brought it to the forefront of the national conversation.

Biopics based on Black stories

Documentaries that tell Black stories

Original movies and series from Black creators

Topical standup and sketch comedy

Classic sitcoms, old and new

Other movies and shows that tell Black stories