Movie and Music Picks for Black History Today

Movies | Music

Discover music and movie suggestions by and about Black creators.


Alvin Ailey was a trailblazing pioneer who found salvation through dance. AILEY traces the full contours of this brilliant and enigmatic man whose search for the truth in movement resulted in enduring choreography that centers on the Black American experience with grace, strength, and unparalleled beauty. Directed by Jamila Wignot.

Original interviews with artists, collaborators, and friends focus on the "punk-funk" music James left behind while illuminating his fearless attitude, social justice advocacy, and bold musical aspirations. Featuring rare footage of James' incredible live shows and never-before-seen home video. Directed by Sacha Jenkins. 

After a lifetime of trouble, a man has a chance to turn his life around with the help of the love of his family. As he tries to do right by them, he finds himself spiraling back to the dark places he tried so hard to overcome. Written and directed by Charles Murray.

Proud first lady of a Southern Baptist megachurch, Trinitie Childs carries immense responsibility on her shoulders. After a scandal involving her husband, the church is forced to temporarily close, leaving Trinitie struggling to manage the aftermath. Now, she and her spouse must rebuild their congregation and reconcile their faith by all means necessary to make the biggest comeback that commodified religion has ever seen. Written and directed by Adamma Ebo.

Experience the next chapter of Black horror in this anthology of six terrifying tales featuring racist vampires, supernatural creatures, and Satan himself. This compilation by Black screenwriters and directors follows the documentary, Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror.

Black gay scholar and performer E. Patrick Johnson journeys home to confront his past and narrate the lives of several black gay men whose stories he studies and performs. Written and directed by E. Patrick Johnson.

A fictional account of one amazing night where icons Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown gathered discussing their roles in the Civil Rights Movement and cultural turmoil of the '60s. Written by Kemp Powers and directed by Regina King.

Inspired at a conference on Korean Reunification produced by General Colin L. Powell and the Colin Powell Center, this is the first documentary produced and directed by an African-American female filmmaker from inside North Korea. Through verite' footage from inside North Korea, interviews with North Korean refugees, longtime aid workers, scholars, and experts on the topic, this documentary provides an authentic, on the ground perspective of the lives, struggles, and humanity of the people of North Korea. Directed by Savanna Washington.

This new binge box includes five films highlighting the extraordinary talents of Angela Bassett: Betty & CorettaBoyz n the HoodChi-RaqWaiting to Exhale and Akellah and the Bee

Set in contemporary Washington D.C., a rising black painter strives to break into the competitive art world, while balancing a bittersweet romance he never expected. Directed by Angel Kristi Williams and co-written with Sanford Grimes and Felicia Pride.

The daughter of Minnesota Vikings football legend Gene Washington deepens her connection to her father while researching the game changing history of the first fully integrated college football team in America. Written and directed by Maya Washington and based on her book of the same title.

Tells the powerful story of sisterhood. In 1908, nine Black women enrolled at Howard University made one decision that would change the course of history. These college students created Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated ®. For over 113 years, the sorority has influenced many of the most famous watershed moments in history. Directed by Deborah Draper Rile.

Stranger-than-fiction saga, first told in a now-iconic series of viral, uproarious tweets. Zola, a Detroit waitress, is seduced into a weekend of partying in Florida and turns into the greatest Twitter story ever told. Written and directed by Janicza Bravo.


Batiste, Jon

Jazz pianist and vocalist Jon Batiste adds genre-bending pop, R&B, and soul to the mix on his latest album. Featuring appearances from Mavis Staples, Quincy Jones, author Zadie Smith, PJ Morton, Trombone Shorty, Batiste’s father and grandfather, and his high school marching band, We Are explores themes of identity, family, intergenerational wisdom, and the food and culture of Batiste’s hometown of New Orleans. 

Bibb, Eric

Continuing a five-decades long recording career, American-born, Grammy-nominated blues singer-songwriter Eric Bibb asks, “if you could call out to your country, what would you say?”

Finley, Robert

Sharecropper’s Son is the third album from singer-songwriter Robert Finley and marks his second collaboration with producer Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. It’s filled with autobiographical songs from Finley and is a rootsy mix of country, blues, R&B, gospel, and soul. 

Goosby, Randall

On Roots, violinist Randall Goosby performs works by African American composers such as William Grant Still, Florence Price, and Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, alongside works by composers such as George Gershwin and Antonín Dvořák, who were influenced by African American music. The resulting album highlights Goosby’s excellent musicianship and shows his dedication to making music more inclusive and accessible, while promoting under-represented composers.  

Horn, Jazzmeia

Jazzmeia Horn’s Grammy nominated sophomore album features her award winning, bright, clear voice and stellar performances from her bandmates. Love and Liberation features post-bop jazz with R&B and soul influences, check out their cover of Erykah Badu's "Green Eyes."  

Hutchings, Shabaka

Sons of Kemet is led by Caribbean-born, London-based saxophonist/clarinetist Shabaka Hutchings and features a unique instrumental combination of saxophone, clarinet, tuba, and two or three drummers. Their third album is a tight, exuberant combination of avant-garde jazz, funk, folk, and other influences. 

Ibibio Sound Machine

This English afrobeat group mixes West African funk and disco with post-punk and electronic music. Lead vocalist Eno Williams was born in London but spent much of her childhood in Nigeria. Growing up her mother taught her traditional Ibibio folk and children's stories, which became the inspiration for some of the band’s material.   

June, Valerie

A genre-bending collection of unhurried songs and lush instrumentation that showcase June’s unique, folksy, and emotive voice. Although rooted in the country, soul, blues, folk, and spiritual music of the past, you can hear the modern influence of co-producer Jack Splash (Kendrick Lamar, Alicia Keys, John Legend), resulting in a completely fresh sound and an absorbing listen. 

Lamar, Kendrick

Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers is a concept album by American rapper Kendrick Lamar. This personal, confessional hip hop album features narration by Eckhart Tolle and has guest appearances from Ghostface Killah (Wu-Tang Clan) and Beth Gibbons (Portishead), among many others. It has received eight Grammy nominations, including Album of the Year.   

Little Simz

The impressive fourth album from British-Ghanaian rapper, Little Simz. Sometimes I Might Be Introvert explores the artist’s public and private selves and features organic production with analog drums, bass, and guitar over orchestral and choral arrangements. 


American rapper Nas returns with his sequel to 2020’s King’s Disease which, like its predecessor, features production by Hit-Boy. Its atmosphere is darker and more direct, with guests such as Lauryn Hill and Eminem. It reached number 1 on Billboard’s US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. 

Parrish, Theo, 1972-

Theo Parrish is an American DJ and record producer based in Detroit. Here, he curates an eclectic mix of underground electronic hip-hop, neo soul, dub, drum'n'bass, spoken word, and house music.

Tyler, the Creator

Call Me If You Get Lost is the sixth studio album by American rapper and producer Tyler, the Creator. It features assertive hip hop beats and touches on pop, soul, reggae, and jazz. It won Best Rap Album at the 2022 Grammy Awards.  

Summaries provided by DPL's catalog unless otherwise noted. Click on each title to view more information.