Fridays Top Ten: Best Black Movies

In the middle of making my list I realized that there were too many good movies and my Honorable Mention list was longer that the top ten. So I decided to divide the movie by eras: pre 1980 and post 1980. Now I get to list all of the classics and have a separeate list of the new classics. Some of these movies I haven't seen in a long time. I may have to go back and revisit them.

Top Ten: Pre 1980

1. Roots – What can be said about this epic. It is still one of the greatest movies I’ve ever seen and I’m sure it would make at least the top ten on anyone’s list.
2. Carmen Jones – This is the only movie I’ve seen with Dorothy Dandridge. I’ll have to make it a point to see more of her. It is a great movie with some of the best black talent at the time.
3. Lady Sings the Blues – Man, what can I say… I still cry when I hear the theme song to this movie.
4. The Emperor Jones – I spent most of my life hearing and reading about Paul Robeson but it wasn’t until I saw him and heard him sing that I understood what was great about him.
5. Uptown Saturday Night – There was a point when this came on every few months. This is another movie with a bevy of black talent.
6. Cooley High – I remember everyone talking about this movie and waiting for it to come on television.
7. The Mac – How often are lines from this movie quoted? “The next time you hear grown folks talking…” Ya’ll know the rest.
8. Shaft – ‘Shut Yo Mouth” nuff said.
9. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner – This was a ground breaker. Sindey Poitier was the man at the time and with this one, he broke a lot of barriers. On top of that, it is a great movie.
10. In the Heat of the Night – Another Sidney Poitier film. This movie is about race, but it there is a very good murder-mystery happing as well.

Honorable Mention: A Raison in the Sun

Top Ten: Post 1980

1. Eve’s Bayou – This is a movie without a flaw. It is a very good story about a family set in the backwoods of Louisiana.
2. Malcolm X – I would put this one at number 1 but the story was already written. Spike Lee found a way to tell it right.
3. The Hurricane – This is Denzel Washington’s best work in my opinion. How he didn’t win an Oscar…
4. Do the Right Thing – I’ve watched this movie at least 20 times and I’m still not tired of it. There are a ton of quotes I could pull from this movie. “Man, I’m not boycotting s***. What you need to do, is boycott that barber, that f*** up yo head. (Laughing) Comin’ ‘round here messin’ with Sweet D*** Willie”
5. Glory – The best Civil War movie I’ve ever seen with a ton of great actors.
6. Boyz N The Hood – This started an entire new genre of black films. But none have come close this movie.
7. Love Jones – I’ve been waiting for a black love story to compete with this movie. It brought the spoken word to the forefront
8. Jungle Fever –My second favorite movie from Spike Lee.
9. The Inkwell – This is a remake of “The Summer of 48”. It is a really nice ‘coming of age’ movie.
10. Menace II Society – Definitely the hardest movie on the list. Just MC Eight’s shocking performance makes it worthy. I don’t think it would make the list with a lot of people, but it sneaks in with me.

Honorable Mention: The Five Hearbeats, Lean on Me, , Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life is Calling


7 Responses to Fridays Top Ten: Best Black Movies

  1. blackcaesar Says:
    please allow me to add "the color purple" to your list. i also enjoyed "hollywood shuffle","a soldier's story", "mo better blues",and "hoodlum". there were some great movoes on your list...
  2. Anonymous Says:
    If you have not seen "Something the Lord Made" playing on HBO, check it out. Great movie, blacks in a professional role guiding the hands of the white man.
  3. C Says:
    Just surfin' in and I spotted your pic of Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belefonte. I just wacched this movie for the first time will visiting fam and friends in D.C. what an amazing movie! Unfortunately, I saw the Carmen Hip-Hopera on MTV first...what a disappointment. I am glad to see that others out there appreciate true cinema experiences.
  4. Anonymous Says:
    As BlackCaeser mentioned, you can't exclude The Color Purple. It was for me, one of the first films that I saw (other than Roots) to show pure, tru to form black folks. Some all sweaty, others all dark-skinned, but all at some point, standing strong and tall. It is one of the greatest films of all times and definately one of the best black films. Think about it, how many times as some one jokingly said, "Next time I'll put a lil Suge Avery in..." or "You told Harpo to beat me"?
  5. Anonymous Says:
    i believe sparkle should be on that list with irene cara and claudine a story about being on welfare with mad kids and no father around has got to be on the list that's everyday life right there cuzzin.
  6. Anonymous Says:
    Harlem Nights, comeon now what happened
  7. Anonymous Says:
    Some of the best movies are bluehill avenue, Lackawana Blues, Love and Basketball, Dead Presidents, Glory Road, Ray, The temptations, and whats love got to do wit it cuz... have u ever noticed how many movies lawrence fishburn and angela bassett have been in together?