It’s 2020 and ignorance and lack of education is not an excuse.
There are so many ways you can educate yourself on the racism Black people face in America. Many people already have the streaming platforms with the shows and movies to better enlighten themselves, and watching them is a great way to visually try to understand things if you haven’t already noticed them in real life.
When choosing what to watch to get educated, beware of white savior films.
Not only do these films take the focus away from the Black characters, but they make the white characters appear to be the only ones who can solve everything and are seen as heroes. “The Blindside,” “Hidden Figures,” “The Help,” and “To Kill A Mockingbird” are just a few of the popular stories that include the white savior trope.
Here’s some movies you can watch that show authentic experiences and common issues Black people in America have to face:
Now free to watch on YouTube and Amazon Prime Video, Selma is a historical film that focuses on the march in Selma, Alabama led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the struggles African Americans faced in the 60's. It is extremely relevant right now with the current freedom marches going on today.
13th is a Netflix documentary by Ava DuVernay where activists discuss the mass incarceration of Black people in America. This is another topic that is extremely relevant to the current Black Lives Movement and the issues black people face in society. If you or anyone you know for some reason question the systemic racism Black people face in regard to the legal system in this country, it’s extremely encouraged that you watch this and show them as well.
When They See Us
This Netflix-limited series tells the story of the Central Park Five, teens from Harlem who were wrongly convicted of rape in the late 80's. This is another great watch to learn about systemic racism and the injustice many people experience.
Dear White People
A perfect show for college students to watch during this time is Dear White People. It explores the struggles Black students face at their Ivy League school. There’s three seasons on Netflix that’s great for everyone to watch to examine and recognize the racism at their own colleges and hold the right people accountable.
This a great comedy that shows what Black people go through trying to raise a family in today’s world. You can look at the perspectives of all the family members of different ages and see their struggles and learn life lessons along with them. This is a more light-hearted show, but it does touch on important topics as well. You can watch Black-ish and its college spin-off Grown-ish on Hulu.
This Academy Award winning film tells the story of a young African American man and the struggles of growing up in America. Not only does it discuss being Black but being Black and a part of the LGBTQ+ community. It’s a must watch for everyone, and it's available on Netflix.
Sorry to Bother You
Sorry to Bother You is refreshing, unique and funny. It tells the story of Cassius Green, played by Lakeith Stanfield, as he becomes a successful telemarketer by using his “white voice.” It showcases the struggles some feel to make a difference where they are and how people in power take advantage of others for the sake of gaining wealth. It’s available on Hulu, and it’s another great watch and way to learn how Black people struggle in America.
There are many other great options out there to watch, but these are just some that are available on popular streaming services for no additional charge. Educate yourself and be the change you wish to see; the time is now to speak up and use your voice to fight for what’s right.