American Son (Kenny Leon): When a teenage boy goes missing, his parents Kendra (Kerry Washington) and Scott (Steven Pasquale) end up at the police precinct. While trying to figure out what happened to their son, they end up reopening old wounds concerning race, fear, and their rocky marriage in the process. Available on Netflix.
The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.): Starr Carter is constantly switching between two worlds, the poor, mostly black neighborhood where she lives and the wealthy, mostly white prep school that she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is soon shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer. Available on Hulu with Cinemax.
Selma (Ava DuVernay): In 1965, an Alabama city became the battleground in the fight for suffrage. Despite violent opposition, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his followers pressed forward on an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, and their efforts culminated in President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Available on Amazon.
Clemency (Chinonye Chukwu): Years of carrying out death row executions are taking a toll on Warden Bernadine Williams. As she prepares for another one, Williams must confront the psychological and emotional demons that her job creates. Available on Hulu.
See You Yesterday (Stefon Bristol): Two teenage science prodigies spend every spare minute working on their latest homemade invention: backpacks that enable time travel. When one of their older brothers is killed, they put their unfinished project to the test to save him. Available on Netflix.
If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins): In early 1970s Harlem, daughter and wife-to-be Tish vividly recalls the passion, respect and trust that have connected her and her artist fiancé Alonzo Hunt. Friends since childhood, the devoted couple dream of a future together, but their plans are derailed when he is arrested for a crime he did not commit. Available on Hulu.
Blindspotting (Carlos López Estrada): Collin must make it through his final three days of probation for a chance at a new beginning in his Oakland, CA neighborhood. His bond with a volatile best friend soon gets tested when Collin sees a police officer shoot a suspect in the back during a chase through the streets. Available on Amazon.
Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton): After graduating from Harvard, Bryan Stevenson heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or those not afforded proper representation. One of his first cases is that of Walter McMillian, who is sentenced to die in 1987 for the murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite evidence proving his innocence. In the years that follow, Stevenson encounters racism and legal and political maneuverings as he tirelessly fights for McMillian's life. Available on Amazon.
A Time For Burning: Documents the efforts of a Lutheran pastor at a white church in Omaha, Nebraska to begin an exchange of congregants with a Black congregation in that city, and the support, resistance, and critical conversations that ensue. Directed by William C. Jersey.
Dear White People (Justin Simien): Based on the acclaimed film of the same name, this series follows a group of students of color at Winchester University, a predominantly white Ivy League college. The students are faced with a landscape of cultural bias, social injustice, misguided activism and slippery politics. Through an absurdist lens, the series uses irony, self-deprecation, brutal honesty and humor to highlight issues that still plague today's "post-racial" society. Available on Netflix.
When They See Us (Ava DuVernay): In 1989 a jogger was assaulted in New York's Central Park, and five young people were subsequently charged with the crime. The quintet, labeled the Central Park Five, maintained its innocence and spent years fighting the convictions, hoping to be exonerated. This limited series spans a quarter of a century, from when the teens are first questioned about the incident in the spring of 1989, going through their exoneration in 2002 and ultimately the settlement reached with the city of New York in 2014. Available on Netflix.
13th (Ava DuVernay): Explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation's prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans. Available on Netflix.
I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck): In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, "Remember This House." The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and assassinations of three of his close friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin's death in 1987, he left behind only 30 completed pages of this manuscript. Available to rent or on Kanopy.
Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975: Examines the evolution of the Black Power movement in American society from 1967 to 1975 as viewed through Swedish journalists and filmmakers. Available to rent.
King In The Wilderness: A portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. during the last years of his life, from his part in the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to his assassination in 1968. Available on HBO and through the SU Libraries' "King in the Wildernes" Kanopy access.
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (Stanley Nelson): Examines the rise of the Black Panther Party in the 1960s and its impact on civil rights and American culture.