This cinematic classic adapted from Lorraine Hansberry’s stage play (who also wrote the screenplay) brought us one of the realest #BlackMovieMagic performances on-screen by Sidney Poitier. And Ruby Dee's performance as Ruth Younger is one for the ages.
The title is a reference to a line from a Langston Hughes poem called Harlem but the movie is set in Chicago in the civil rights era.
Another Chicago masterpiece, Cooley High is a smart movie made like a #Blaxploitation indie that tells the tale of growing up in the '60s amongst the city’s gangs. This pop culture class has even been shouted out on Lauryn Hill's Fu-Gee-La with, “seen Cooley High/cried when Cochise died."
The Color Purple is based on the book that came out three years before the movie and launched Alice Walker's literary career. Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey gave chilling performances, yet the Oscar’s managed to snub the movie even though it was nominated 11 times.
Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall made a classic #BlackMovieMagic when Coming to America hit screens in 1988. Their ability to play multiple characters in the same scene revolutionized how modern comedies were made and had us waiting for the outtakes, just as much as the film!
Spike Lee gave us a lot of hit films but Do the Right Thing stands out as peak #BlackCulture that led us from the 80s to the 90s. Radio Raheem’s tragic ending was symbolic of what was to come of 1990s police violence against black youth and still rings relevant today.
A throwback to the 1930s, Harlem Nights gave us Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy in the same film. Herbie Hancock provided an original score for the film.
John Singleton made serious waves with Boyz in the Hood. The movie helped ignite the careers of actors Morris Chestnut, Ice Cube and Cuba Gooding Jr. and gave America its first glimpse of inner-city life in Los Angeles.