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70 Classic Black Films Everyone Should See At Least Once
♬ "Do you know where you're going to?"♬ Here are 70 of the most iconic black films, through the year 2000.
By Kelley L. Carter

this list ignores the last 15 years of movies, but that makes sense. if we’re going to talk about “classics”, we have to give the movies time to become classics.

legend ( italicized - seen it, bold- have a copy of it too)

  1. Carmen Jones (1954)
  2. Imitation of Life (1959)
  3. Raisin in the Sun (1961)
  4. Shaft (1971)
  5. Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971)
  6. Super Fly (1972)
  7. Lady Sings the Blues (1972)
  8. The Mack (1973)
  9. Coffy (1973)
  10. Black Caesar (1973)
  11. Cleopatra Jones (1974)
  12. Foxy Brown (1974)
  13. Claudine (1974)
  14. Uptown Saturday Night (1974)
  15. Cornbread, Earl and Me (1975)
  16. Dolemite (1975)
  17. Cooley High (1975)
  18. Mahogany (1975)
  19. Sparkle (1976)
  20. Car Wash (1976)
  21. The Wiz (1978)
  22. Breakin’ (1984)
  23. Beat Street (1984)
  24. A Soldier’s Story (1984)
  25. Purple Rain (1984)
  26. Krush Groove (1985)
  27. The Color Purple (1985)
  28. Hollywood Shuffle (1987)
  29. Raw (1987)
  30. School Daze (1988)
  31. Coming to America (1988)
  32. Lean On Me (1989)
  33. Glory (1989)
  34. Do the Right Thing (1989)
  35. Harlem Nights (1989)
  36. Mo’ Better Blues (1989)
  37. House Party (1990)
  38. The Five Heartbeats (1991)
  39. Jungle Fever (1991)
  40. Strictly Business (1991)
  41. Boyz n the Hood (1991)
  42. New Jack City (1991)
  43. White Men Can’t Jump (1992)
  44. Bebe’s Kids (1992) (used to have this on VHS lol)
  45. Boomerang (1992)
  46. Malcolm X (1992)
  47. Juice (1992)
  48. Class Act (1992)
  49. What’s Love Got to Do With It (1993)
  50. CB4 (1993)
  51. Posse (1993)
  52. Poetic Justice (1993)
  53. Menace II Society (1993)
  54. Jason’s Lyric (1994)
  55. A Low Down Dirty Shame (1994)
  56. Tales From the Hood (1995)
  57. Bad Boys (1995)
  58. Friday (1995)
  59. Waiting to Exhale (1995)
  60. Higher Learning (1995)
  61. Set It Off (1996)
  62. Hav Plenty (1998)
  63. Eve’s Bayou (1997)
  64. Love Jones (1997)
  65. Soul Food (1997)
  66. Belly (1998)
  67. How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998)
  68. The Best Man (1999)
  69. The Wood (1999)
  70. Love & Basketball (2000)

of course she couldn’t get ALL of the movies on here… but some notable misses :

  • The Temptations (1998)
  • Why Do Fools Fall In Love (1998)
  • Dead Presidents (1995)
  • Polly (1989)
  • A Hero Ain’t Nothing But A Sandwich (1978)
  • The Marva Collins Story (1981)
  • Sister Act II (1993)
  • Hoodlum (1997)
  • Women of Brewster Place (1989) 
  • Little Richard (2000)
  • Bamboozled (2000)
  • I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (1988)
  • The Jacksons: An American Dream (1992)
  • Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999)
  • Preacher’s Wife (1996)
  • The Bodyguard (1992)
  • Mo Money (1992) (ok maybe not so notable, but yeah)
  • Blankman (1994)
  • The 6th Man (1997)
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