These black history movies for kids address important topics like race, civil rights, and segregation.
Now more than ever, it’s crucial for families to discuss race and racism at home. It is a great opportunity to talk about these topics—as well as teach your kids about Black history, civil rights, segregation, and acceptance. Here are some black history movies and documentaries for kids from Common Sense Media and other sources that can help get the conversation about race started in your home, many of which feature Black main characters who face prejudices and overcome racial adversities.
March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World
For purchase ($1.99) on Prime Video
The story includes readings of the book written by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s sister Dr. Christine King Ferris about the March on Washington.
DVD available to purchase on Amazon.com
This movie tells the inspiring story of Black inventor Garrett Morgan and teaches us that we are all born with a gift.
The Journey of Henry Box Brown
Available to watch on Kanopy.com with a library card
The story of Henry “Box” Brown, a former slave who shipped himself in a wooden box to freedom. On the way, he meets a bird, a cricket, and a mouse and he teaches them about slavery and what it means to be free.
Dancing in the Light: The Janet Collins Story
Available to watch on Kanopy.com with a library card
This movie tells the story of the first African-American ballerina at the Metropolitan Opera House. However, she was asked to paint her face white.
The Color of Friendship
For rent/ purchase on Prime Video
The Disney movie takes place in 1977, where two girls—one white and one black—from opposite sides of the world come together and learn about tolerance and friendship and change each other’s lives. The movie tackles race, apartheid, and racial slurs.Hidden Figures
A Ballerina’s Tale
Stream, rent, or purchase on Prime Video; Stream on DirectTV; Rent or buy on Google Play; Rent or buy on YouTube Movies
This documentary tells the incredible story of Misty Copeland—the first African-American principal dancer in a major international ballet troupe—including all of the adversity she faced to become one of the best dancers in the world.
Rent or purchase on Prime Video; purchase on iTunes; Stream on Disney+
This movie is based on the true story of three Black women who worked for NASA in the 1950’s—doing complex math and engineering tasks to help launched the manned spaceflight program.
Stream on Disney+; purchase on iTunes; Purchase or rent on YouTube; Purchase or rent on Prime Video
Based on the true story of the 6-year-old Black girl selected to be the first Black child to attend an all-white school in New Orleans in 1960.
Remember the Titans
Stream on Disney+; Purchase or rent on iTunes; Rent or buy on Amazon; Rent or buy on DirectTV
This movie tells the story of the real-life integration of a Virginia high school team.
Rent or purchase on Prime Video; Rent or buy on iTunes; Buy on DIRECTV
This faith-based movie focuses on the newly desegregated high school in Birmingham, Alabama welcoming its first Black football players.
John Lewis: Good Trouble
Rent or purchase on Prime Video; Rent or purchase on iTunes; Stream on HBO Max
This movie follows the story of and pays tribute to John Robert Lewis, the legendary civil rights leader and then politician. It also serves as a call to action that the work of fighting racial injustice isn’t done.
42: The Jackie Robinson Story
Rent or purchase on Prime Video; Rent or purchase on iTunes; Watch on DIRECTV
Biopic about the first Black baseball player in the MLB and his achievements despite facing racism throughout his career.
Stream on Hulu Premium; Rent or Purchase on Prime Video
The story of the three months between Martin Luther King Jr. accepting his Nobel Peace Prie and the Selma-to-Montgomery march for voters’ rights in March 1965.
Betty & Coretta
Purchase on Prime Video ($4.99); Watch on DIRECTV
A docudrama about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X’s widows (Coretta Scott King and Betty Shabazz) raising their children to fight for the causes their father’s fought for.
Stream on Prime Video (or rent or purchase); Rent or purchase on iTunes; Stream on Hulu
Set in the 1970’s this movie follows Jim Ellis, the competitive-swimmer-turned-coach, as he turns an unlikely group of teens into a competitive swim team. It displays racism, segregation, and class divide.
The Gabby Douglas Story
Rent or purchase on Prime Video; Purchase on DIRECTV; Rent or purchase on YouTube
A biopic about the first woman of color to win individual all-around champion at the summer olympics.
The Watsons Go to Birmingham
Stream on Vudu
Wilona Watson brings her family to Birmingham to get away from bad influences and escape the cold winter in Flint, Michigan. However, Jim Crow laws are still enforced there, schoolchildren are marching, and there are police riots.
I am Not Your Negro
Stream on Prime Video; Stream on Netflix; Stream on Hulu
This political documentary tells the story of writer-activist James Baldwin’s plans to write Remember This House about Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. (his three friends) and their influence on the state of race in America.
Stream on Prime Video; Rent or purchase on YouTube; Stream on HBO Max
This documentary tells the story of two young Black basketball standouts and the struggles they faced growing up in an inner city, including potentially fatal temptations, limited opportunities, and poor odds.
Purchase on Prime Video; Purchase on iTunes; Stream on HBO Max
A young lawyer devotes himself to helping Death Row inmates in Monroeville Alabama and focuses on the case of Walter “Johnny D.” McMillian, a man accused of killing a teen girl based on the testimony of two unreliable witnesses.
The Killing Floor
Rent or purchase on Prime Video
The little-known true story of two friends struggling to build an interracial labor union in the Chicago Stockyards.
Images: Prime Video
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