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Black History Month Streaming Video: Home

Black History Month 2024 licensed streaming video

Black History Month 2024

Welcome to the Black History Month streaming video guide! This year we wanted to highlight multiple films by Black directors currently licensed by the library. Enjoy!

New Black Film Canon

The New Black Film Canon is a 2023 update to the original 2016 list created by Pop Culture Happy Hour co-host Aisha Harris and Slate editor and writer Dan Kois. This list endeavors to "remedy the years of exclusion of Blackness from many "best film" lists by celebrating the 75 greatest films by Black directors."

Read about the creation of the list here:

Check out the entire list here:

Watch These Streaming Films

Black Panther (Access ends October 31, 2024)

From the New Black Film Canon list: "It’s difficult to remember that at one point Black Panther seemed like an enormous risk for Disney and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, not to mention for the Black film community: What if the first Black superhero blockbuster failed? What if audiences didn’t show up? And what if it was watered-down, corny, the kind of mess major studios had delivered when tasked with Black stories for decades? The miracle of Black Panther wasn’t just that it made $1.3 billion worldwide, or that it became the first superhero movie to be nominated for Best Picture. It was that even working within the MCU system, Ryan Coogler delivered an Afrofuturist action spectacular that thrilled, uplifted, and interrogated power."

Get Out (Access ends February 28, 2025)

From the New Black Film Canon: "“I would’ve voted for Obama for a third term, if I could.” “ROSE, GIMME THOSE KEYS!” “No-no-no-no-no-no-no-no-no.” “I’m TS-motherf—in’-A! We handle s—!” “Now you’re in the Sunken Place.” It’s rare that a feature debut gets to claim instant-classic status, but Jordan Peele’s crackling, whip-smart thriller more than earned its place in the canon. A blockbuster, an Oscar winner (though it surely deserved more than just the award for Best Original Screenplay), and a zeitgeisty film that still resonates more than half a decade later, Get Out rewards each subsequent viewing with a new appreciation for Peele’s artistry and the brilliant performances of the entire ensemble. Has it spawned a lot of inferior imitators in its wake? Sure. But it also opened up the possibilities for more Black horror filmmakers to flourish, including Peele himself."

Moonlight (Access ends January 5, 2025)

From the New Black Film Canon: "When the Black Film Canon was first published, the entry for Barry Jenkins’ Medicine for Melancholy described that 2008 feature as “a promising debut for a director whose second film will be the first produced by top-shelf boutique distributor A24.” Well, Moonlight, that second film, merely won Best Picture at the Oscars and established Jenkins among the first rank of American filmmakers. It features warm and textured performances from Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Naomie Harris, and Mahershala Ali. Jenkins’ screenplay, adapted from Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play, employs its triptych structure to help us feel time’s slow passage and its sudden leaps. And Jenkins’ direction never shies away from beauty, resulting in a film that’s clear-eyed in its realism but nonetheless enraptured by the story it tells: a heart-rending romance, a sensitive coming-of-age story, an incisive meditation on Black masculinity."

I Am Not Your Negro (Access ends November 30, 2026)

From the New Black Film Canon list: "Culling from archival footage and an unfinished manuscript, Raoul Peck weaves James Baldwin’s prophetic and searing critiques into a stunning visual meditation on American racism past and present. The filmmaker’s creative choices are as provocative as its subject’s words (at one point a clip from a Doris Day movie dissolves into the image of a lynching), and the documentary lays bare how Black people have been failed by various institutions, including the education system, Hollywood, and the criminal justice system. Watching this makes it painfully clear why the late writer’s observations will, sadly, never not be relevant."

Daughters of the Dust (Access ends February 16, 2025)

From the New Black Film Canon: "It’s difficult to imagine that it took until 1992 for a film directed by a Black woman even to see movie screens in the U.S. Julie Dash’s meditation on womanhood in a Gullah-Geechee community off the coast of South Carolina would deserve a place on any list just for breaking that barrier. But Daughters of the Dust is a remarkable film: a lyrical dream of rural life that’s plainspoken about its troubles. And it’s also achingly gorgeous—even before you consider the shoestring on which it was made, by Dash and a mostly female crew in the wake of Hurricane Hugo. Funded by PBS’s American Playhouse, Daughters won awards at Sundance and played in theaters across the country. Twenty-five years later, this landmark film would serve as an inspiration for another landmark, Beyoncé’s Lemonade."

Tongues Untied (Access ends January 16, 2025)

From the New Black Film Canon: "While he was making this raw, disjunctive, multivocal valentine to Black gay male subculture, filmmaker and activist Marlon Riggs learned he was HIV-positive in an era when that diagnosis was a death sentence. Riggs would live long enough to make a few more gripping nonfiction films, but this lyrical and sexually frank first-person video essay—brandished by conservative demagogue Pat Robertson as an example of the “pornographic and blasphemous” art PBS was using tax dollars to help fund—remains a great testament not only to Riggs’ talent but to an entire generation lost."

Do the Right Thing (Access ends March 31, 2025)

From the New Black Film Canon: "“Wake up!” HATE and LOVE. The guy in the Larry Bird T-shirt. “That’s the truth, Ruth.” The ethnic-slur montage. “Thank God for the right nipple.” Roll call. “Stay Black.” TAWANA TOLD THE TRUTH. “How come there ain’t no brothas on the wall?” The fire hydrant and the convertible. “Extra cheese is two dollars.” The trash can. “Fight the Power.” We didn’t rank the movies on this list because figuring out Nos. 2 through 75 would be too difficult. But there was never any question what movie was No. 1."

Cane River (Access ends September 20, 2024)

From the New Black Film Canon: "Horace B. Jenkins’ bold romantic drama was all but lost for nearly 40 years—Jenkins passed away soon after the film was finished, and it remained criminally underseen until archivists recovered a negative decades later and a restoration was undertaken. It finally received a proper theatrical release in 2020 and has since become rightfully proclaimed as a hidden gem in Black cinematic history. Peter (Richard Romain) is a college football star who returns home to Natchitoches, Louisiana, to write poetry and ride horses; Maria (Tommye Myrick) is college-bound and eager to escape their small town and a tense family dynamic for bigger, greener pastures. As the two have a meet cute and fall in love, they challenge each other on ideas about legacy, generational wealth, and looking back to move forward. It’s warm, evocative, and a beautiful portrait of a Black rural community."

Black Girl (Access ends February 4, 2025)

From the New Black Film Canon: "Diouana (Mbissine Thérèse Diop) is a Senegalese woman, dreaming of a better, more exciting life, who follows her rich French employers back to Europe to continue her work as their nanny. Her dreams are soon dashed, however, when the couple, no longer able to afford the vast staff they employed back in Dakar, forces her into full-time servitude. Ousmane Sembène plaintively captures a working-class immigrant experience while harshly critiquing Western perceptions of African culture. Even before the film’s 50th anniversary inspired a series of fresh and fascinating critical retrospectives, Black Girl was known as the first masterpiece of the father of African cinema."

POP Reading Committee

Please visit the POP Reading Committee page for more information on our POP collection and displays