The Movie Buff’s Guide to Black History Month

It’s February which means it’s Black History Month and this year, the holiday could not have picked a better month if it tried. The controversy with the Academy of Motion PIcture Arts and Sciences reached a fever pitch at the end of January, and with the buoying of African American actors netting SAG Awards on January 30th, the Retro Set argues that February is not only Black History Month: it’s Black Film History Appreciation Month.

There is a lot going on this month, so we’re presenting a guide of some of the best celebrations online and on TV, to honor the African American community’s creative contributions to the art of cinema. More is sure to come, and we’ll be adding to this list as events are announced, so be sure to check back regularly!



This KPBS Podcast on Under-Appreciated black directors is well worth the time to stop, take a minute, listen, and reflect.



PBS is absolutely killing it for Black History Month with with some fantastic programming and special online cultural learning center.

The New York Times

Jackie Robinson addresses a classroom

This one’s a biggie: for the whole of February, the New York Times has launched a major project which they call “Black History Unpublished”. Each day this month, in honor of Black History Month, they’re running a previously unpublished photo (with one or two exceptions) or series of photos, telling their back stories in an effort to examine, in minute detail, the black experience.


These 13 movies on Netflix about the African American experience on film are necessary to your Netflix queue.



GetTV is really the best when it comes to classic tv programming. They’re honoring Black History Month on Monday Nights with a lineup of variety shows that feature such icons as Richard Pryor, Michael Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr., and more. Every Monday, in Primetime.

TV One


If you’ve heard of TV One, then you’re already ahead of the curve on this. The cable channel dedicated to African American viewers is presenting “Change Agents: History in the Making,” 21 short films produced by award winning content creators.


Nat King Cole and Cab Calloway
Nat King Cole and Cab Calloway

You’ll want to track #BlackHistoryMonth all February-long to keep up-to-date on the latest offerings from classic film bloggers. The popular Aurora’s Gin Joint has already got things off to a start:

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And then there’s The Acting Black Blogathon, hosted by Dell on Movies from February 15-17, promises some great material from an already terrific lineup of contributors:

Happy viewing, everyone! Let’s give Black History Month the attention it deserves!




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