3. Dear White People (2014)
Justin Simien’s comedy-drama offers an insight into current racial tensions from the perspective of black students. Set in a fictional and predominantly white Ivy League college, Samantha White hosts a witty radio show titled “Dear White People”, criticising the racist transgressions of the prestigious school. Exploring the crises of identity, race and class, Siemen’s film is a light-hearted yet poignant take on the topic of racial injustice. The film has since been adapted into a Netflix series, also with Simien at the helm.
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4. Miss Juneteenth (2020)
Channing Godfrey Peoples makes her feature film debut with Miss Juneteenth, a reflective drama that honours the celebration of the Juneteenth holiday. The holiday commemorates the freedom of slaves in Texas on June 19th, 1865; two years after Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. Miss Juneteenth is a heartfelt and emotional story which follows teenager Kai as she is entered into the local Miss Juneteenth beauty pageant by her mother who hopes her daughter might receive a college scholarship. The film is more charming than it is a history lesson, but still provides an understanding of the racial injustices that continue to be seen throughout the US today.
5. BlackKklansman (2018)
Directing royalty, Spike Lee, won the Grand Prix award at the Cannes Film Festival for his satirical, hard-hitting film, BlackKklansman. Based on the 2014 memoir by Ron Stallworth, the film follows an African-American detective in 1970s Colorado as he sets out to infiltrate and expose the local Ku Klux Klan group. The film hosts a number of famous faces, namely John David Washington, Adam Driver and Laura Harrier, along with Jordan Peele and Jason Blum behind the scenes. This 2018 offering was widely praised for its timely release – the day before the first anniversary of the Unite the Right rally – and has been widely acclaimed by critics for its use of historical storytelling to offer a scathing commentary on current racial injustices and abuse.