It's 2018, and it can still seem like black actors and actresses aren't getting enough roles in Hollywood. When a young person is able to look up at the screen and see someone who looks like them, it matters. Representation is so important!
Things are getting better. 'Moonlight', an acclaimed coming-of-age story starring Mahershala Ali and an array of spectacular black talent took home 'Best Picture' at the Oscars in 2017. Netflix has trumpeted the 'Strong Black Lead' campaign to highlight black creators and talent on the platform.
More and more black stories are being told across media, in all their diversity. We celebrate 5 acclaimed movies with strong black characters.
One of our favourites, this biting social satire really got people talking. With hints of hilarity in between social awkwardness and outright horror, director Jordan Peele pulled out of all of the stops to make this movie. 'Get Out' won 'Best Original Screenplay' at the 90th Academy Awards this year, and it's not hard to see why. If you still haven't seen this movie, you must have been living in the sunken place.
'The Shape of Water'
'The Shape of Water' led the nominations at this year's Oscars, and won the big 'un, taking home 'Best Picture'. Octavia Spencer was nominated for 'Best Supporting Actress' for playing the role of Zelda Fuller, a janitor. Spencer is a three-time Oscar nominee, having been nominated for 'Hidden Figures' in 2017 and successful for her role in 'The Help' in 2012. She's further going to show her incredible acting skill in Netflix's upcoming show about haircare mogul Madam C.J. Walker.
'Roman J. Israel, Esq'
Denzel Washington is an undeniable legend, and earned his ninth Oscar nomination for his role as the titular Roman, in this LA-based legal thriller. This double Academy Award winner is always a thrill to watch, and this movie is no exception.
We are spoilt with this film! Viola Davis and Denzel Washington both slayed their roles in this powerful movie based on the play by August Wilson. Davis' passion-filled performance earned her the Oscar for 'Best Supporting Actress' at the 89th Academy Awards.
The legendary nine-time Grammy Award winner turned her attention to the silver screen. Playing Florence Jackson, a former housekeeper and poor farmer's wife in post-World War II Mississippi, the film deals with the fallout from conflict and the heavy racial discrimination that still dogged the US in the Jim Crow era. No hateration please, Mary is a bona fide acting talent!
She was also nominated for 'Best Original Song' for the track 'Mighty River', the first person to be tapped for an Oscar for an acting performance and song in the same year. Big up the Blige!
Which of these movies have you seen? Are any of them on your list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and on Twitter. Let's get talking!