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Black films on the big screen

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An abundance of films with African-American themes and culture are hitting the theaters, stealing the spotlight at film festivals and making their way to movie subscription sites such as Netflix, just in time for the holiday season.

“Hidden Colors 3: The Rules of Racism”

“Hidden Colors” is a documentary that shines light on the untold stories about people of color around the world. As a third installment, the documentary, released early 2014, addresses the reasons and contributions people of color have made to society. It features interviews with leading scholars, historians and celebrities about race and history.

“Dear White People”

Released Oct. 24 into select theaters, this film scored big at the Sundance Film Festival this year. “Dear White People” tells the story of four college students who attend an Ivy League predominately white institution. It addresses internal as well as external struggles everyday Black people face in a modern society. Starring Tyler James Williams from “Everybody Hates Chris,” Tessa Thompson and Teyonah Parris, the film is full of comical references and witty character lines.

“Good Hair”

Chris Rock, four-time Emmy Award winning actor and comedian, explores the industry of African-American hairstyles. Maya Angelou, Sandra “Pepa” Denton, Meagan Good and many others address the large amounts of money and time spent in the hair and beauty industry. He also travels to different countries to discover how the Black hair industry affects other cultures.

“Waiting for ‘Superman’”

Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim follows the lives of five students who help expose the struggling education system. The quality of education for these students lies heavily in a lottery for access to New York City’s best charter schools. Guggenheim reviews school drop out rates, does an extensive review on public education and explores “academic sinkholes.”

“The Black List: Volume One”

As a 2008 documentary film series shown on HBO, “The Black List: Volume One” is said by one of the film’s creators to be “an answer to the persistent taint western culture has applied to the word ‘Black.’” The film interviews a diverse collection of leaders in the industries of sports, politics, government and art. Featured interviewees include author Toni Morrison; creator of “In Living Color” Keenen Ivory Wayans; Serena Williams; Al Sharpton; and many more.

“Fruitvale Station”

As a winner of the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, this true story came to life on the big screen in 2013 to tell the story of Oscar Grant III. During the film he crosses paths with friends, enemies, strangers, family and friends while sensing and feeling something out of the ordinary happening. Starring Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer and Melonie Diaz, the film brought in more than $16 million.

Top Black filmmakers

Spike Lee

Steve McQueen 

John Singleton

Antoine Fuqua

F. Gary Gray

Allen Hughes

Albert Hughes

Charles Burnett

Robert Townsend

Kasi Lemmons

Gina Prince-Bythewood

Lee Daniels

Popular Black films

“Do the Right Thing” (1989)

“Malcolm X” (1992)

“A Raisin in the Sun” (1961)

“Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (1967)

“Ray” (2004)

“The Color Purple” (1985)

“Remember the Titans” (2000)

“The Hurricane” (1999)

“Menace II Society” (1993)

“The Pursuit of Happyness” (2006)

“Coming to America” (1988)

“Friday” (1995)

“New Jack City” (1991)

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