What to Watch: Films & TV to Supplement Anti-Racist Education

Help dismantle systemic racism and white supremacy by investing in your anti-racist education. Watch at least one of these films or tv shows this week. We’ve organized these picks by platform so that anyone can find something to watch depending on what platforms are available to them. 

Read through to learn a bit more about each film. We’ve linked some online discussion guides when available as well to supplement the content.

13th | Directed by Ava DuVernay

An in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality (IMDB). 13th strikes at the heart of America’s tangled racial history, offering observations as incendiary as they are calmly controlled. (Rotten Tomatoes)

Watch it now

Discussion guide by Education For Justice

When They See Us | Directed by Ava DuVernay

Depiction of the 1989 case involving “The Central Park Five,” in which five black and Latino teens were convicted of a heinous crime in Central Park. Based on a true story, these teens from Harlem are trapped in a nightmare for a crime they did not commit. 

Watch it now

Where to access guides or more info on the film:

Dear White People | Directed by Justin Simien

Follow the lives of four students of color, as they navigate the daily slights and slippery politics of life at an Ivy League college that’s not nearly as “post-racial” as it thinks.

Watch it now

Mudbound | Directed by Dee Rees

Two men return home from World War II to work on a farm in rural Mississippi, where they struggle to deal with racism and adjusting to life after the war.

Watch now

Educational movie guide by Teachers Pay Teachers (for purchase)

Black Hollywood: ‘They’ve Gotta Have Us’ | Directed by 

Following along with the rise of black actors in film, as they have gone from being the backdrop to calling the shots, this is the inside story of the turning points of Black life on both sides of the lens, from Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte to the present day.

Watch now

LA92 | Directed by Daniel Lindsay and T.J. Martin 

Twenty-five years after the verdict in the Rodney King trial sparked several days of protests, violence, and looting in Los Angeles, filmmakers examine that tumultuous period through rarely seen archival footage.

Watch now

Where to access guides or more info on the story:

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson | Directed by David France

As she fights the tide of violence against trans women, activist Victoria Cruz probes the suspicious 1992 death of her friend Marsha P. Johnson.

Watch now

Where to access guides or more info on the story:

Moonlight | Directed by Barry Jenkins

A young African-American man grapples with his identity and sexuality while experiencing the everyday struggles of childhood, adolescence, and burgeoning adulthood. 

Watch it now

Moonlight Discussion Guide by It Gets Better.org

Strong Island | Directed by Yance Ford

Examining the violent death of the filmmaker’s brother and the judicial system that allowed his killer to go free, this documentary interrogates murderous fear and racialized perception, and re-imagines the wreckage in catastrophe’s wake, challenging us to change.

Watch it now (Also available on YouTube)

The Hate U Give | Directed by George Tillman Jr.

Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right.

Watch it now (Also available on HBO)

Where to access guides or more info on the story: 

Whose Streets? | Directed by Sabaah Folayan & Damon Davis

When unarmed teenager Michael Brown is killed by police and left lying in the street for hours, it marks a breaking point for the residents of St. Louis, Missouri. Grief, long-standing racial tensions, and renewed anger bring residents together to hold vigil and protest this latest tragedy.

Watch it now

Where to access guides or more info on the story: 

If Beale Street Could Talk | Barry Jenkins 

A young woman embraces her pregnancy while she and her family set out to prove her childhood friend and lover innocent of a crime he didn’t commit.

Watch now

Discussion guide by Southfield Public Library based around the book

Watchmen | Directed by Damon Lindelof, Nicole Kassell

Set in an alternate history where masked vigilantes are treated as outlaws Watchmen embraces the nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel of the same name while attempting to break new ground of its own. The series opens on the Tulsa Race Massacre of Black Wallstreet and then continues in present-day Tulsa. In “Watchmen’s” alternate history setting, unlike what actually happened, reparations have indeed been paid to the victims of slavery and their descendants, and resentment about this lingers among a white supremacist group known as the Seventh Kalvary.

Watch Now (Also available on HBO)

Monsters and Men | Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green 

The aftermath of a police killing of a Black man, as told through the eyes of the bystander who filmed the act, an African-American police officer, and a high-school baseball phenom who are inspired to take a stand.

Watch now

Tribeca Film Institute Film Study Guide

Boyz n the Hood | Directed by John Singleton

Writer and Director John Singleton’s portrayal of social problems in inner-city Los Angeles, California takes the form of a tale of three friends growing up together in the “hood”. Half-brothers Doughboy and Ricky Baker are foils for each other’s personalities, presenting very different approaches to the tough lives they face.

Watch Now (Also available on Youtube)

Crime + Punishment | Directed by Stephen Maing

Amidst a landmark class-action lawsuit over illegal policing quotas, Crime + Punishment chronicles the real lives and struggles of a group of black and Latino whistleblower cops and the young minorities they are pressured to arrest and summons in New York City. 

Watch Now

Resources related to the film: 

Clemency | Directed by Chinonye Chukwu

As she prepares to execute another inmate, Bernadine must confront the psychological and emotional demons her job creates, ultimately connecting her to the man she is sanctioned to kill.

Watch now hulu

Where to access guides or more info on the story: 

Loving | Directed by Jeff Nichols

The story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a couple whose arrest for interracial marriage in 1960s Virginia began a legal battle that would end with the Supreme Court’s historic 1967 decision.

Watch now

Resources & discussion guide by Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children

A never-before-seen look at the killings of at least 30 African-American children and young adults that occurred over a two-year period in the Georgia capital. 

Watch now

True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality | Directed by George Kunhardt, Peter W. Kunhardt

For more than three decades, Alabama public interest attorney Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, has advocated on behalf of the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned, seeking to eradicate racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.

Watch now (Also available on EJI.org)

Educational Resources & Engagement Guide by Kunhardt Film Foundation 

3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets | Directed by Marc Silver

On Black Friday 2012 at a Florida gas station, two cars parked next to each other for those passing moments and the interaction between them was devastating. A white middle-aged male and a black teenager exchanged angry words over the volume of the music in the boy’s car. A gun entered the exchange and one of them was left dead.

Watch now

Where to access guides or more info on the story: 

I Am Not Your Negro | Directed by Raoul Peck 

Writer James Baldwin tells the story of race in modern America with his unfinished novel, Remember This House.

Watch now

Discussion Guide by Influence Film Club

Night Catches Us | Directed by Tanya Hamilton

In 1976, complex political and emotional forces are set in motion when a young man returns to the race-torn Philadelphia neighborhood where he came of age during the Black Power movement.

Watch now

Black Panther Party lesson plan by PBS

Hale County This Morning, This Evening | Directed by RaMell Ross

The film presents Daniel Collins and Quincy Bryant, two young African American men from rural Hale County, Alabama, over the course of five years. Collins attends college in search of opportunity while Bryant becomes a father to an energetic son in an open-ended, poetic form that privileges the patiently observed interstices of their lives. 

Watch now

Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution | Directed by Stanley Nelson Jr.

This documentary tells the rise and fall of the Black Panther Party, one of the 20th century’s most alluring and controversial organizations that captivated the world’s attention for nearly 50 years. 

Watch now

A discussion guide on the film by Independent Lens

Les Miserables | Directed by Ladj Ly

Stephane, only just arrived from Cherbourg, joins the anti-criminality brigade of Montfermeil in a sensitive district of the Paris suburbs. Paired up with Chris and Gwada whose methods are sometimes “special,” he rapidly discovers the tensions between the various neighborhood groups. When an arrest starts to get out of hand, a drone is filming every move they make.

Watch now

Where to access guides or more info on the story: 

Fruitvale Station | Directed by Ryan Coogler

This Sundance award-winner follows the true events of a 22-year-old loving father, Oscar Grant III, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident and his beloved son on the last day of his life before being fatally shot by police on New Years Day 2009.

For rent on Amazon Prime

Discussion guide on the film by Brit Films

Do The Right Thing | Directed by Spike Lee

On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone’s hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence.

For rent on Amazon Prime

Discussion guide by Tribeca Film Institute

Harriet | Directed by Kasi Lemmons

The extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes whose courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.

For rent on iTunes and Amazon Prime

Educator discussion guide available from BazanED

Daughters of the Dust | Directed by Julie Dash

At the dawn of the 20th century, a multi-generational family in the Gullah community on the Sea Islands off of South Carolina – former West African slaves who adopted many of their ancestors’ Yoruba traditions – struggle to maintain their cultural heritage and folklore while contemplating a migration to the mainland, even further from their roots.

For rent on iTunes and Amazon Prime

Where to access guides or more info on the story: 

Selma | Directed by Ava DuVernay

A chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.

Available to rent on iTunesYouTube, and Amazon Prime

Where to access guides or more info on the story: 

American Promise | Directed by Joe Brewster & Michèle Stephenson

This intimate documentary follows the 12-year journey of two African-American families pursuing the promise of opportunity through the education of their sons.

Available to rent on Amazon Prime

Where to access guides or more info on the story: 

Queen & Slim | Directed by Melina Matsoukas

While on a forgettable first date together in Ohio, a black man and woman are pulled over for a minor traffic infraction. The situation escalates, with sudden and tragic results, when the man kills the police officer in self-defense. Terrified and in fear for their lives, the man, a retail employee, and the woman, a criminal defense lawyer, are forced to go on the run. But the incident is captured on video and goes viral, and the couple unwittingly become a symbol of trauma, terror, grief, and pain for people across the country.

Available to rent on iTunesYouTube, and Amazon Prime

Article: The Powerful Perspective of “Queen & Slim” by The New Yorker

Get Out | Directed by Jordan Peele

A young African-American visits his white girlfriend’s parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him eventually reaches a boiling point.

Available to rent on Amazon Prime and YouTube

Where to access guides or more info on the story: 

Do Not Resist | Directed by Craig Atkinson

An urgent documentary that explores the militarization of local police departments- in their tactics, training, and acquisition of equipment- since 9/11.

Available to rent on Amazon Prime

Where to access guides or more info on the story: 

Always In Season | Directed by Jacqueline Olive

Always in Season follows the tragedy of African American teenager Lennon Lacy, who in August 2014, was found hanging from a swing set in Bladenboro, North Carolina. His suspicious death was ruled a suicide by law enforcement, but Lennon’s mother, Claudia, her family, and many others believe Lennon was lynched.

Available to watch on PBS

Where to access guides or more info on the story: 

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