5 Black History Movies With Good Moral Lessons

Published on: September 16, 2022 (Updated on: April 22, 2024)

 History has always been a part of us. It tells us what happened before we were born. The thing about history is that it happens every day that passes. Most people don’t know why certain holidays exist, why certain laws are made, or certain significant events that have shaped the course of their history as black men or women. History is part of education because it teaches us who we are and where we come from. You don’t need to be in the classroom to learn about black history or any history. You can learn from books and movies too.

Here are five black history movies with good moral lessons


Black history movie titled Selma

In 2014, the movie Selma was based on the voting rights marches that were held in 1965. This movie was written by Paul Webb and directed by Ava DuVernay. In the movie Martin Luther King Jr., the leaders of SCLC and the residents of black Selma marched to the registration office to register in Selma to demand their right to vote. The movie's climax occurs when Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his victory speech. The moral to take from this story is that good, strong, and passionate leaders are needed to make positive change possible.

 Half of a yellow sun

Half of a Yellow Sun - A black history movie

Half of a Yellow Sun is a 2013 movie and also a novel written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It is Based on true events during the Nigerian Civil War. The movie was directed by Biyi Bandele and portrayed two sisters who got caught up in the Nigerian Civil War outbreak. The movie is set between October 1, 1960 and October 1, 1970, at the end of the Nigerian Civil War. This movie teaches about moral responsibility, ethical allegiances, race, and class of the citizens of Nigeria, as well as what it was like after Nigeria gained its independence.

12 Years a Slave

12 Years a Slave

Twelve Years a Slave, tells the true life story of a free African-American, Northup Solomon. Solomon travels to Washington DC, on the promise of a job by two conmen, Brown and Hamilton, only to realize that he was sold into slavery. He had to work on a plantation in Louisiana for 12 years before he was released.

The movie was directed by Steve McQueen and was based on a slave memoir of 1853, but the movie was made in 2013. This move poses as a reminder of the power which is needed to persevere, face whatever circumstance we find ourselves in, and strive to survive.

 Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures movie

Hidden Figures was written by Melfi and Allison Schroeder and directed by Theodore Melfi. It is a 2016 movie about three African-American mathematicians. They play an important role in astronaut John Glenn's space launch. While working at NASA, these three women faced discrimination based on gender and race. This movie is based on a biography written by Margot Lee Shetterly. The movie shows the power of teamwork and how looking out for each other while striving together would go a long way in making a positive impact.



Amistad is a 1997 movie based on a true story about the Mende people of Sierra Leone. In the year 1839, the Mende people were overpowered by the Spanish and were taken as slaves on the slave ship known as La Amistad. due to certain occurrences that happened on board the ship. The slaves were sent to prison and charged with murder and piracy. Amistad shows the importance of seeking justice and how hard it was to get justice for a black man during that time.

These movies are based on factual events and are relevant in black history. Check them out and gain some insight and understanding.