When I was a little kid, I remember going to the movie theater and seeing a predominantly white cast. It was rare when a movie had a dominantly black cast and when they did it was something to be celebrated. Seeing the ideas, culture and lives of people like me on the big screen made me feel proud of who I am and deepened my love for movies. With that being said, here are some of my favorite black movies:
Love and Basketball- In my opinion, this movie is one of the best black romantic comedies. It stars Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps as basketball players who dream of going pro. However, they end up falling in love and their desire to be on the court threatens their desire to be with each other. I remember watching this movie and immediately begging my mother to put me in a basketball camp so I could find my true love too. It is that good.
The Best Man- My forever MCM Taye Diggs stars in the movie as a author of a best-selling novel that is based on the lives of his longtime friends. His ex-flame, played by Nia Long, gets ahold of the novel and it’s spread throughout the group in the midst of the upcoming nuptials of two of the people in the group, played by Morris Chestnut and Monica Calhoun. The movie is filled with plot twists, romance and laugh-out-loud moments.
The Wood- Starring Omar Epps, Taye Diggs and Richard T. Jones, the movie is about three friends recounting memories of growing up together in Inglewood, California before the marriage of Taye Diggs’ character Roland. The movie has it’s heart-warming moments but also has it’s moments that make a person recount their own childhood.
Jumping the Broom- This romantic comedy stars Paula Patton and Laz Alonso as a engaged couple about to get married. However, their backgrounds and opposing families threaten their upcoming nuptials. The movie is full of jokes but it also has a focus on God and the power of love.
Dreamgirls- This movie has superstars like Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson as a girl group called the Dreamettes who survive the highs and lows of fame. The music in the film is gorgeous and the emotion and energy is at a level rarely surpassed by other musicals.
This Christmas- Starring icons like Loretta Devine and Idris Elba, the movie focuses on a family finally reuniting after years apart at Christmas time. It is the perfect feel-good Christmas movie. I belt “This Christmas” along with Chris Brown every time the holiday season rolls around.
The Princess and the Frog- I saw this movie six times in the movie theater and countless times outside of it. When Disney announced they were finally having a black princess, I was ecstatic. There was finally going to be a princess that looked like me and I could truly relate to. The movie is about a woman named Tiana, a hard worker with a dream of owning her own restaurant in New Orleans. Her dreams come to a halt when she meets Prince Naveen, who was turned into a frog by the villain Dr. Faciler. Thinking she is a princess, he kisses Tiana and mistakenly turns her into a frog as well. Together they go on a journey to be human again and make their dreams come true. The movie has a amazing score and amazing message that it isn’t just possessions that will make you happy, but the love and support of those closest to you as well.