What to watch on Netflix: Films, TV series and documentaries for viewers to educate themselves on racial injustice

BT’s Diversity & Inclusion Guild recommend their top TV and film picks from Netflix’s Black Lives Matter collection, where viewers can learn more about racial injustice and the Black experience.

Published: 22 July 2020 - 4.50pm
Netflix

Netflix has launched a Black Lives Matter collection, where viewers can learn more about racial injustice and the Black experience.

Featuring over 45 titles, including films, TV series and documentaries, the new category makes it easier for viewers to educate themselves about Black stories.

We’ve recently launched a Diversity & Inclusion Guild here at BT, consisting of a group of like-minded individuals who are passionate about championing diversity and inclusion, and creating an industry-leading inclusive working environment within BT’s Consumer Digital department.

BT.com spoke to the D&I Guild to discover their recommendations of what to watch on Netflix within the Black Lives Matter collection - and they’re all available for you to stream right now.

13th 

13th is a 2016 American documentary film from filmmaker Ava DuVernay that explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the country's prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.

It's titled after the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which abolished slavery throughout the nation and ended involuntary servitude except as a punishment for conviction of a crime.

The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 89th Academy Awards, and won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards.

LA 92 

LA 92 is a 2017 National Geographic documentary film about the 1992 Los Angeles Riots - the worst civil unrest in U.S. history.

Consisting entirely of archive footage, the documentary follows the unrest that began in South Central Los Angeles after a trial jury acquitted four Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers for usage of excessive force in the arrest and beating of Rodney King.

The film won the Primetime Emmy Award for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking, beating Oscar winners O.J.: Made in America and The White Helmets.

When They See Us

Created by Ava DuVernay, and based on a true story that gripped the United States, four-part limited series When They See Us chronicles the notorious case of five teenagers of colour, labeled the Central Park Five, who were convicted of a rape they did not commit. 

When They See Us focuses on the five teenagers from Harlem - Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise - beginning in the spring of 1989, when the teenagers were first questioned about the incident.

The series spans 25 years, highlighting their exoneration in 2002 and the settlement reached with the city of New York in 2014.

American Son 

Based on the acclaimed Broadway play, American Son is a 2019 drama film that emotionally depicts modern day race dynamics and systemic tensions in the U.S. 

The film stars Kerry Washington as a mother in a police station waiting room, anxiously trying to piece together what may have happened to her missing son. 

Faced with a series of infuriating unanswered questions, she navigates a system of unconscious bias, interweaving perspectives, and a tense marital dynamic with her ex-husband as they try to uncover the truth about their son's whereabouts.  

Becoming 

Becoming is a 2020 documentary film that offers an intimate look into the life of former First Lady, Michelle Obama.

The film offers a rare and up-close look at her life, including the eight impactful years she and her husband Barack Obama served in the White House, as the first African-American President, and the first African-American First Lady of the United States.

The film, partly based on her bestselling memoir of the same name, takes viewers behind the scenes as she highlights the power of community to bridge our divides and the spirit of connection that comes when we openly and honestly share our stories.

Fruitvale Station

Fruitvale Station is a 2013 American biographical drama film based on the events leading to the death of Oscar Grant, a young man who was killed in 2009 by a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officer at the Fruitvale district station in Oakland, California.

The film stars Michael B. Jordan as Oscar Grant, and also stars Kevin Durand, Chad Michael Murray and Octavia Spencer.

Originally called Fruitvale, the film won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

Dear White People 

Based on the 2014 film of the same name, Dear White People is an American comedy-drama TV series that follows several black college students at an Ivy League institution, touching on issues surrounding modern American race relations.

According to Deadline, last month it was revealed that the show had received an uptick in viewership as the Black Lives Matters protests were in full force.

At the end of 2019, Netflix renewed Dear White People for a fourth and final season, set to premiere later in 2020.

Here is the full list of films and TV series in Netflix’s Black Lives Matter collection:

  • 13th

  • Dear White People

  • Who Killed Malcolm X?

  • LA 92

  • #blackAF

  • Fruitvale Station

  • Time: The Kalief Browder Story

  • Becoming

  • Luke Cage

  • The Innocence Files

  • Self Made

  • Pose

  • Seven Seconds

  • All Day and a Night

  • Homecoming

  • Oprah Winfrey presents: When They See Us Now

  • American Son

  • Mudbound

  • See You Yesterday

  • Who Shot the Sheriff?

  • Trevor Noah: Son of Patricia

  • ReMastered: Devil at the Crossroads

  • Michael Che Matters

  • The Black Godfather

  • Quincy

  • Bobby Kennedy for President

  • The Two Killings of Sam Cooke

  • Undercover

  • Chris Rock: Tamborine

  • Strong Island

  • Zion

  • Barry

  • Wanda Sykes: Not Normal

  • ReMastered: Who Killed Jam Master Jay?

  • What Happened, Miss Simone?

  • Imperial Dreams

  • Uppity

  • Trigger Warning with Killer Mike

  • She’s Gotta Have It

  • ReMastered: The Lion’s Share

  • Jewel’s Catch One

  • Orange is the New Black

  • Astronomy Club: The Sketch Show

  • Rodney King

  • Teach Us All