On Wednesday, February 22 at 8 p.m. EST, BET will make history as it airs the American Black Film Festival Honors (the show will also air on Centric).
Teaming up with the American Black Film Festival, the show will celebrate Black culture by honoring individuals, movies and television shows that have had a significant impact on American entertainment, as well as the people who are proponents of championing diversity and inclusion in Hollywood.
In honor of this legendary event, it’s only right that we reflect on our favorite Black movies that have become classics in their own right and stood the test of time. Check out our picks below.
- Set it Off
Starring Jada Pinkett-Smith, Vivica Fox and Queen Latifah, Set it Off is definitely a timeless film. You can still easily catch it airing on television, which speaks for itself. These ladies really did their thing on this one and every girlfriend group in the 90s probably had a character pick for who they acted like most.
Denzel Washington is a legend in his own right, so it’s no surprise that Fences is on our list for one of the best movies of our time. We don’t know about you, but we cried all the way through this thang as Washington and Viola Davis play a married couple trying to raise a family during hard times in the 1950s. Washington will receive the Hollywood Legacy Award at BET’s American Black Film Festival Honors.
- Hidden Figures
When black women get together there’s no telling what #BlackGirlMagic slay is going to be given! Janelle Monae, Octavia Spencer and Taraji P. Henson definitely showed us that in Hidden Figures, where they play three black women mathematicians that fight to gain their rightful places as influential people in NASA’s space program in Hampton, Virginia during its early years.
- Birth of a Nation
Following the 1915 film that sparked protests and riots, this film gives the most truthful account of the Nat Turner story from Turner’s perspective. If you’ve been living under a rock for your entire live, Nat Turner was an enslaved man that led a slave rebellion that killed 55 to 65 people in its wrath, the highest number of deaths caused by any slave uprising in the American South.
Directed by the legendary Spike Lee, Chi-Raq provides an interesting perspective on gang violence in South Chicago by intertwining modern day issues with the Greek play “Lysistrata” by Aristophanes. IMDb.com gives a pretty solid synopsis of the movie: “After the murder of a child by a stray bullet, a group of women led by Lysistrata organize against the on-going violence in Chicago’s Southside, creating a movement that challenges the nature of race, sex and violence in America and around the world.”
Following the journey of a young black boy into adulthood, Moonlight is the story of so many Black men who struggle to make it out the hood and be something in life. The film assures viewers that roses can definitely grow from concrete, no matter the circumstances.
- Queen of Katwe
Starring Lupita Nyong’o, this movie tells the story of a young Ugandan girl whose world is changed after being introduced to chess. It gives us the real realities of poverty but shows how anyone can rise up from their hardships and become a champion.
- Straight Outta Compton
This one just speaks for itself! Produced by original NWA members, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, Straight Outta Compton gives a real account of the NWA story and how gangsters learned how to use lyrics as their weapons to fight back against injustices in America.
Hosted by Regina Hall with honorees including Denzel Washington, Queen Latifah, Terrance Howard, Issa Rae and more, you won’t want to miss the BET American Black Film Festival Honors!
Make sure you tune in on Wednesday, February, 22 at 8 p.m. EST.