9. I Am Not Your Negro (2016)
Raoul Peck’s documentary film takes inspiration from James Baldwin’s manuscript “Remember This House” and contains an intriguing narration from Samuel L. Jackson. I Am Not Your Negro explores Baldwin’s personal recollections of civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr, as well as his own personal experiences of racism throughout the United States’ history. Peck manages to provide a crucial snapshot of Baldwin’s observations, shrewdly expressing his passion for illuminating the struggle for civil rights in a time of traumatic uncertainty.
10. 13th (2016)
Ava DuVernay’s poignant historical documentary from 2016 explores the racial injustices and inequality felt throughout the United States, focusing primarily on the disproportionately high percentage of African-Americans that fill the nation’s prisons. Touching on some of the most scandalous and murderous political campaigns of the last sixty years, DuVernay’s film strikes a chord with audiences both inside and outside of the US and shows how racial segregation in the US has changed throughout history, for the benefit of the white majority.
These films are just a small example of the incredible work presented by filmmakers worldwide that offer both an educational and insightful picture into the topics of racial injustice and privilege. Our honourable mentions and other recommendations include Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods (2020), Stefon Bristol’s See You Yesterday (2019), Kenny Leon’s American Son (2019), Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station (2013) and American Promise (2013) directed by Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson. If you have another to recommend, let us know in the comments!