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A collage of images from Genius: MLK/X, The League, and One Love.
Blog February 19, 2024

Lights, Camera, Activism! Entertainment That Honors Black History

A collage of images from Genius: MLK/X, The League, and One Love.

The power of storytelling in cinema and television is undeniable. For decades, groundbreaking movies and television series have served as both a mirror and a window into the lives, struggles, and accomplishments of the Black community. In the spirit of Black History Month, we're uplifting one powerful new series and two films you can watch this month. They not only entertain but also educate and empower audiences by celebrating Black heroism and resiliency, creativity, and talent.

For the Black community, films and series such as these provide a compass, showing where we have come from and revealing the myriad paths that lay ahead. As we continue to honor Black history, it is through the act of watching, discussing, and learning from these stories that we can continue to inspire generations to come to be bold and courageous like the figures and cultural icons highlighted in these films and series.

Let's continue to honor these stories and the figures behind them, not just in February but throughout the year, championing their messages and turning inspiration into action. The richness of Black history, heritage, and culture deserves every spotlight.

Genius: MLK/X

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X may have once been viewed as two opposing sides of the Civil Rights Movement, but the truth is far more complex. National Geographic's "Genius: MLK/X" works at dispelling misconceptions about the iconic civil rights leaders who ultimately developed a mutual respect for one another. The new biographical series traces the parallel lives of Dr. King (played by Kelvin Harrison Jr.) and Malcolm X (played by Aaron Pierre), juxtaposing their ideologies while also highlighting the complexities of their personalities and their relationships with the influential women who stood beside them: Coretta Scott King (played by Weruche Opia) and Dr. Betty Shabazz (played by Jayme Lawson). Never before have their stories been told in such a way.

Where to watch: NatGeo, Hulu, and Disney+

The League

Jackie Robinson. Josh Gibson. Satchel Paige. Hank Aaron. Willie Mays. Through archival footage and exclusive interviews, "The League" tells the story of the legendary Negro League Baseball players who played not just for the love of the game but for the respect and recognition they were denied off the field. The 2023 documentary takes viewers on a journey through the history of Negro League Baseball, celebrating the talent and unwavering spirit of players who stood up to segregation and racial inequity and whose legacies continue to impact the sports world today. "The League" pays homage to these trailblazing athletes who reshaped our nation one inning at a time.

Where to watch: Hulu

One Love

Paramount Pictures' "One Love" follows the life of reggae icon Bob Marley (played by Kingsley Ben-Adir). The film captures the moment in time when Marley's message of love and unity blossomed into a global phenomenon. It not only tells the story of Marley's rise to fame but also explores the social and cultural impact of his music. His lyrics, infused with the spirit of Rastafarianism, carry messages of peace, love, and justice. "One Love" serves as a time capsule, preserving Marley's message for future generations who will discover his art.

Where to watch: In theaters

What films and series will you be adding to your watchlist? Share your picks with us by tagging @NAACP on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.