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Lifting Black Voices: 31 Black History Movies on Hulu

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February is Black History Month and Hulu is bringing Black stories to the forefront with a curated collection of movies, TV shows, historical biopics, documentaries, and more. 

Learn from the Black icons who changed the course of history with Hulu hits like The United States vs. Billie Holiday, I Am Not Your Negro, and Summer of Soul. Plus, catch TV titles featuring quintessential Black characters and creators, like The Hate U Give, Black-ish, and Empire. 

Check out these essential Black history movies and more streaming now on Hulu. 

Best Black History Movies on Hulu

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

Based on the popular novel by James Baldwin, the Oscar®-winning film, If Beale Street Could Talk, follows Tish (Kiki Layne) and Fonny (Stephan James), whose future plans get derailed when Fonny is wrongfully convicted of a crime. Don’t miss this soulful drama about a young couple fighting for justice in the name of love. 

Watch: If Beale Street Could Talk 

Hidden Figures (2016)

Title art for Hidden Figures.

Hidden Figures recounts the true story of Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer), and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) — three brilliant Black mathematicians working at NASA during The Great Space Race in the early 1960s. 

These three American heroes had to fight segregation in an industry designed to silence them (and thank goodness they did). Their resilience and endurance saved the space program and the life of astronaut John Glenn. 

Watch: Hidden Figures

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974)

Based on the 1971 novel of the same name by author Ernest J. Gaines, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman chronicles the fictional story of Jane Pittman (Cicely Tyson), a 110-year-old woman who was born into slavery during the Civil War. In this inspiring fictional story, Pittman lives to become part of the civil rights movement almost a century later. 

Watch: The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman

The Hate U Give (2018)

Title art for The Hate U Give

When Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg) witnesses her best friend getting shot and killed by a police officer, she can’t remain silent. Caught between the black community where she lives and the mostly white community at her private prep school, Starr must learn to find her voice and stand up for what is right. 

Watch: The Hate U Give

Boyz n the Hood (1991)

Title art for Boyz n the Hood

The 1991 hit, Boyz n the Hood, follows half brothers Doughboy (Ice Cube) and Ricky (Morris Chestnut), as well as their friend Tre (Cuba Gooding Jr.), as they struggle to survive on the streets of inner-city Los Angeles. Surrounded by violence, crime, and drugs, the trio has to fight to forge a better life.

Boyz n the Hood may not be about a specific true story or character, but it was inspired by real-life experiences of the movie’s director John Singleton. 

Watch: Boyz n the Hood*

*Boyz n the Hood requires STARZ® on Hulu add-on subscription.

Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)

Title art for Judas and the Black Messiah.

The Oscar®-winning actor, Daniel Kaluuya, stars as Black Panther Party chairman, Fred Hampton, in this factual film adaptation of the Illinois Black Panther organization infiltration by the government in the late 1960s. 

Watch: Judas and the Black Messiah 

Antebellum (2020)

Title art for Antebellum

From the producers of Get Out* and starring actress Janelle Monáe, Antebellum tells the horror story of Veronica, a young and successful author who wakes up trapped in a terrifying alternate reality on a slave plantation. With her life and the lives of her husband and young daughter on the line, Veronica must fight to escape and figure out the dark secrets of the plantation’s leaders.  

Watch: Antebellum

*Live TV plan required to watch live content on Hulu. Regional restrictions, blackouts, and additional terms apply.

Bad Hair (2020)

Title art for Bad Hair

From the acclaimed director of Dear White People comes the Hulu Original film, Bad Hair. While this film doesn’t cover a documented historical event, it is a story that captures the real struggles Black women face in an image-obsessed world (but with a horror-satire twist). 

Bad Hair has a star-studded cast including Elle Lorraine, Judith Scott, Laverne Cox, and R&B music sensation, Usher — making Bad Hair a can’t-miss.

Watch: Bad Hair 

Bless Their Little Hearts (1983)

Though this film isn’t based on true characters or a specific real-life story, Bless Their Little Hearts paints an accurate picture of life as a poor Black family living in 1980s South Central Los Angeles told from the perspective of writer Charles Burnett and director Billy Woodberry. 

Watch: Bless Their Little Hearts

The Color Purple (1985)

Title art for The Color Purple showing Whoopi Goldberg’s silhouette sitting in a rocking chair

While The Color Purple isn’t based on a true story or characters per se, this film adaptation of the classic Alice Walker novel does serve as an accurate historical representation of life as a young African American female navigating rural Georgia in the early 1900s. 

Discover more Hulu movies based on novels

Watch: The Color Purple

The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021)

close-up of actress Andra Day singing into a microphone.

The United States vs. Billie Holiday presents the story of Billie Holiday, a jazz music icon and civil rights activist who was targeted by the federal government as part of its efforts to escalate and racialize the war on drugs.

The new Hulu Original film, led by Oscar®-nominated director, Lee Daniels, and starring Grammy®-nominated singer-songwriter, Andra Day, captures the essence of Holiday — her life, legacy, and her voice that wouldn’t be silenced. 

Watch: The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Women of the Movement (2022)

Title art for Women of the Movement

Based on a true story, Women of the Movement follows Mamie Till-Mobley and her fight for justice after the brutal murder of her son in the Jim Crow south in 1955. Rather than suffer in silence, Mamie put herself in the spotlight and sparked the civil rights movement that changed history. 

Dive into the story of a woman who won’t let her son die in vain in this harrowing biopic feature

Watch: The Women of the Movement

The Gentle Giant (2022)

A still image from the short film The Gentle Giant.

The Gentle Giant is a biographical short film about the bond between George Floyd and his sister Bridgett. Told from Bridgett’s perspective, viewers get a deeper understanding of the man whose death would have a direct impact on the world, shedding light on the police brutality and racial injustice still occurring in our society. 

Watch: The Gentle Giant

The Great Debaters (2007)

Title art for the movie The Great Debaters

In The Great Debaters, Denzel Washington stars as Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at the historically Black Wiley College based in Texas. This film tells the real-life tale of the college’s first debate team and how Professor Tolson led his students to victory over Harvard University. 

Watch: The Great Debaters*

*Live TV plan required to watch live content on Hulu. Regional restrictions, blackouts, and additional terms apply.

Queen & Slim (2019)

Title art for the movie Queen & Slim.

In Queen & Slim, a Black couple’s first date turns horrific when they kill a cop in self-defense. Though this film isn’t based on true characters or a specific story, it is based on the culmination of real-life instances of injustice and racism against Black Americans throughout our history.   

Watch: Queen & Slim*

*Live TV plan required to watch live content on Hulu. Regional restrictions, blackouts, and additional terms apply.

Black Documentaries

The 1619 Project

Title art for the documentary The 1619 Project

This six-part Hulu Original docuseries covers democracy, race, music, capitalism, fear, and justice. In conjunction with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and The New York Times, The 1619 Project highlights the undeniable contributions of Black Americans in an effort to rightfully reframe America’s story.  

Watch: The 1619 Project

MLK/FBI (2020)

Alt text: Title art for MLK/FBI

Based on newly declassified files, MLK/FBI explores the U.S. government’s harassment and surveillance of civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. Using archival footage of MLK from the year 1955 to 1968 when he was assassinated, this true-crime documentary investigates the events leading up to his untimely death.  

Watch: MLK/FBI

Summer of Soul (2021)

Title art for Summer of Soul.

Just 100 miles south of Woodstock lies Mount Morris Park — the birthplace of the Harlem Cultural Festival. Unlike any other, this festival was an annual celebration of Black culture, featuring legendary concerts, dancing, food, and unity. 

This Hulu documentary film explores never-before-seen footage from the biggest Harlem Cultural Festival in 1969, spotlighting the men and women of the movement.

Watch: Summer of Soul 

Aftershock (2022)

Title art for the documentary Aftershock

After Black mothers, Shamony Gibson and Amber Rose Isaac, die a preventable death during childbirth, their families set out to shed light on the maternal health crisis in the United States and advocate for healthcare equality for Black women. 

Watch: Aftershock

Amazing Grace (2018)

Aretha Franklin singing Amazing Grace

One thing is for sure: Aretha Franklin deserves our r-e-s-p-e-c-t, and this film uncovers exactly why.

Amazing Grace tells Franklin’s story as a civil rights activist and gospel music icon through real archived footage, transporting viewers back in time to The New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles where she recorded one of her most famous albums you guessed it: Amazing Grace — in 1972.

Watch: Amazing Grace*

*Amazing Grace is available on Hulu with HBO Max® add-on subscription.

Your Attention Please (2020)

Interested in learning about Black innovators and creators who are working to leave the world better than they found it? Join actor and comedian, Craig Robinson, host of Your Attention Please, on a “journey of epic Blackness” and discover the inspiring stories of today’s Black leaders who are taking charge and making a difference. Seasons 1 – 3 are streaming now.

Watch: Your Attention Please

I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

Based on another James Baldwin novel, I Am Not Your Negro illustrates racism in America through the stories of civil rights leaders like Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, and Martin Luther King Jr. 

Narrated by none other than Samuel L. Jackson, this journey into Black history questions Black representation in Hollywood and beyond, while drawing correlations between the civil rights and Black Lives Matter movements.

Watch: I Am Not Your Negro

Freedom on My Mind (1994)

The Mississippi Voter Registration Project was a grassroots effort to increase the number of Black registered voters in the state of Mississippi from 1961–1964. Freedom on My Mind takes an emotional look at that specific moment in time using real archived footage to show how far we’ve come and how far we’ve yet to go. 

Watch: Freedom on My Mind*

*Live TV plan required to watch live content on Hulu. Regional restrictions, blackouts, and additional terms apply.

Black TV Shows on Hulu

Wu-Tang: An American Saga

Wu-Tang-Hulu

The Hulu Original series, Wu-Tang: An American Saga, is based on the true story of the Wu-Tang Clan, a popular hip-hop group who escaped lives of crime to become the unlikeliest of American success stories. 

Set in the early ’90s at the height of the crack cocaine epidemic, Wu-Tang documents the Clan’s formation and rise to fame. The series grabbed an Emmy Award®-nomination in 2020 for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music.

Watch: Wu-Tang: An American Saga

Snowfall

tile art for the FX show Snowfall

Set in 1980s Los Angeles, Snowfall is an FX drama series that tells the story of how the crack cocaine epidemic came to be while depicting the devastation it brought upon the Black community living in the area. 

Watch: Snowfall

Abbott Elementary

Title art for the Golden Globe nominated ABC sitcom Abbott Elementary

From creator, writer, producer, and actress Quinta Brunson comes ABC’s popular workplace sitcom, Abbott Elementary. Brunson stars as the show’s main character, Ms. Janine Teagues — an elementary school teacher at a severely underfunded Philadelphia city school. Despite the circumstances, Ms. Teagues’ unwavering spirit keeps her and her students going.

Watch: Abbott Elementary 

Woke (2020)

Title art for Woke season 2

Inspired by the life and work of artist Keith Knight, this Hulu Original comedy series follows Keef (Lamorne Morris), an African-American cartoonist who is finally on the verge of mainstream success when an unexpected incident changes everything. 

Get “woke” through Keef’s eyes, as he learns to navigate the new voices and ideas that confront and challenge him. 

Watch: Woke

Black-ish

Blackish-on-Hulu

The popular ABC series, Black-ish, follows Dre Johnson (Anthony Anderson), a successful businessperson and family man who starts questioning if his cushy life in the suburbs is robbing his family of their ethnic identity. The Golden Globe® and NAACP Image Award-winning comedy tackles important topics like race and religion and has inspired two spin-off shows: Mixed-ish and Grown-ish, both streaming now on Hulu.

Watch: Black-ish

Atlanta

Title art for Atlanta

Created by and starring Grammy, Golden Globe, and Emmy Award-winner Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino), comes a dramedy series focused on the lives of young rappers trying to find success in the Atlanta music scene. Atlanta touches on the issues of race, poverty, class, and more through the lens of aspiring Black rappers. 

Watch: Atlanta

Queen Sugar

Title art for Queen Sugar

Created by renowned filmmaker, Ava Duvernay, Queen Sugar follows three siblings in rural Louisiana following the unexpected death of their father. The three have to pause their lives and come together to figure out how to keep their father’s 800-acre sugarcane farm running. This NAACP Award-winning show hits on the universal issues of culture, class, gender, and race through the lens of its all-Black cast.

Watch: Queen Sugar

Empire

itle art for Empire, featuring Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard

When Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) is diagnosed with ALS, the fate of his successful record label is left up in the air. His wife Cookie Lyon played by powerhouse actress Taraji P. Henson, is just out of prison and, upon hearing the news of her husband’s diagnosis, looks to claim her place as the new head of the company — but their three sons may have other ideas.

Watch: Empire  

Scandal

Title art for Scandal

Tough-as-nails crisis manager Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) is one of Washington D.C.’s most successful “fixers.” When politicians, high-level executives, and even the President face problems that could become a PR nightmare, Olivia steps in and makes everything go away — at a high price. 

From television mogul, Shonda Rhimes,Scandal truly lives up to its name — but don’t worry, it’s handled.

Watch: Scandal

More Black Movies & TV Shows

We’re all about elevating and amplifying Black voices — and we’re always adding great content to the Black Stories Hub. Check it out for more titles to stream now.

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