Before 2021 dips into the fall and winter months, let me share with you some Black films you need to watch for the culture. Some are out right now and you can catch them anytime you want, and others are coming out late this fall and winter, either way, they all are on my top 10 list!
I’m not used to seeing Kevin Hart in a role like this. It was a nice change for what he’s been doing recently. Fatherhood is based on the book, Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love by Matthew Logeline. I like that this movie is beyond relatable to single fathers and it gave a nice touch to the Fathers Day Holiday. It was originally supposed to be released in theaters by Sony pictures, but it was moved to Netflix instead. Fatherhood is about a man who loses his wife Liz (Deborah Ayorinde) after giving birth to their daughter Maddy (Melody Hurd). He learns that raising a child and becoming a great father isn’t easy at all and it truly takes a village. He ends up finding support from family, friends and even his boss and new girlfriend. I love that the movie gives a full 360 view of what it takes to be a single dad. From learning from a group of women how to make his daughter stop crying to transitioning his daughter from wearing boy clothes after she gets teased a lot to skirts and dresses. This is a great family movie and I would give it 5 stars.
After making its debut at film festivals in 2018, Monster has finally made its way onto our screens via Netflix. Monster was first screened at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival called All Rise. The film tells the poignant story of Steve Harmon (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), a Black teenager with a promising future who is inadvertently caught up in a grocery store robbery as well as murder. We have seen these stories many times in real life and cannot help but ask if this was based on a true story. Monster is based on the 1999 young adult novel of the same name by Walter Dean Myers. The film is set during Steve’s trial with flashbacks showing his life leading up to his arrest. During the trial, the prosecutor calls him and another man who was involved in the crime “monsters” while giving his opening statement to the jury. But, while proving that Steve is human, Monster dehumanizes other Black characters, accidentally perpetuating a narrative that there are “good” Black people and “bad” ones. You can catch Monster, now on Netflix.
“Even the Lone Ranger was black!”
“Who’s Lone Ranger?”
I was reluctant to watch this movie because every time I think of cowboys, I think of Texas, the desert, old days back in the 1800s’, gun fights, etc. However, when you have a cast like this and a pretty dope storyline, you have to check it out. Concrete Cowboy is a coming-of-age story about a 15-year-old Cole, played by Caleb McLaughlin who moves in with his estranged father, Harp (Idris Elba) after getting kicked out of his school in Detroit. Harp is kind of rough around the edges and spends most of his time with his community of Black riders at the Fletcher Street stables. These stables are a sort of safe haven for people and Cole ends up realizing how much of a cowboy he is as well. This movie is based on a real community in Philadelphia and even features some of the real-life Fletcher Street riders. This movie is a breath of fresh air from the old stereotype of the white cowboys we see so much of in Hollywood. Most people don’t know the deep history of Black cowboys!
Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell (Netflix)
A documentary looking into the life of Christopher Rogers, known as Biggie Smalls, featuring interviews and his journey as one of the most popular rappers ever. Biggie’s still-unsolved murder at 24 years old remains one of the great tragedies of American music. His legacy is worldwide and his death still impacts people till this day.
Most documentaries about Wallace talk about the feud he had with Tupac Shakur and what happened with their murders, but this documentary focuses more on
who Wallace was behind the scenes of random footage.
I Got a Story to Tell goes straight to the source. Anyone who’s anyone that knows a little about hip-hop knows this story but of course there is always more to every story.
The Fisherman’s Diary (Netflix)
The Fisherman’s Diary tells the story of a young girl, Ekah, who is determined to join a school in a village of fishermen where education is considered taboo for a girl child. This leads her to dig up some pretty entangled stuff about her father’s past. What’s neat about this film is that it is the first ,Cameroonian Film to be acquired by Netflix. This is big news for the Cameroon Film Industry and a proud moment for all Cameroonians who are gradually bringing themselves to the forefront of the African movie industry.
Werewolves Within ( July 2 Release Date)
If you are in need of a good Black horror comedy, you might want to put Werewolves Within on your list of movies to watch this 2021. It is based on a video game about a snowstorm trapping its residents together inside their local inn, but a mysterious creature lurks on the outside terrorizing the community.
CandyMan (August 27, 2021 Release Date)
Another horror movie, minus the comedy, is Candyman, the reboot from the 1992 original. This movie is a classic in the Black community! If you don’t know anything about the first Candyman, it’s about a white woman who is a graduate student and she is obsessed with old urban legends. The legend of Candyman is that he’s an angry poor soul who was murdered in the late 19th century for having relations with a white woman. You can guess the rest. Luckily for us, the original Candyman played by Tony Todd will grace us once again with his presence in the movie. Candyman is one of the highly-anticipated films of 2021 with Jordan Peele as co-writer and producer, Nia DaCosta as director and co-writer, a talented cast, and a popular storyline and film history.
Respect ( August 13th 2021 Release Date)
Jennifer Hudson never ceases to amaze me in any of her films and it does not surprise me at all with her beautiful voice that she became lead for this Biography life story of Aretha Franklin. This film also has a pretty cool all star cast featuring Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Mary J Blige and other amazing Black actors.
King Richard ( November 19, 2021 Release Date-HBO MAX)
Are you a fan of Will Smith? King Richard follows Richard Williams, the father and coach of tennis players Venus and Serena Williams, the two most popular female Black tennis players we know to date. Smith will play Richard, and I feel Smith will bring out this character in the best way possible. Who was the man behind these great women?
Glamour Girls (December 2021 Release Date)
Play Studios is attempting to pull together a remake of the 1994 classic, Glamour Girls, about four women who resort to high profile prostitution in order to live more independent lives.
The 1994 version gained popular views across the Nigerian community. This is a two part film where the first half concentrates on each woman and why they got into the work in the first place. It will be interesting to see if they continue the 2021 version with the same map. At the time of the film’s initial release in Nigeria, it caught a lot of negativity for its nudity and the fascination with immoral behavior, but the film industry is far different from what it was. If you were a fan of this movie in the 90s then keep a look out in December for the sequel!
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