Black folks love a good movie and over the years, we’ve had plenty that deal with all kind of Black families – from the slightly dysfunctional to the all-out crazy. (Or as Kanye would say, cray-cray.) In honor of Black History Month and with the Oscars on tap this weekend (Good luck Denzel!) we had to take another look at some of our favorite black family movies. What unites them? Strong mothers, competitive siblings, challenging relationships, family camaraderie and always humor, even through the roughest times. Here’s our list of the black movies that made us laugh…and cry.
Let’s just start with Vanessa Williams married to Cedric The Entertainer. Sounds like a stretch to us, but we let it go and enjoyed this silly comedy based on an ill-fated trip across country for one Black family. The kids were played by Solange Knowles and Bow Wow, so you knew what it was, but it had its hilarious moments.
Idris Elba, Columbus Short and Chris Brown provide very worthwhile eye candy in this film about a troubled but loving family coming together for the holidays. Loretta Devine plays the family matriarch.
Denzel Washington starred in and directed this film based on the true story of Navy man Antwone Fisher and his struggle to find and reconnect with himself and his family. Derek Luke plays Fisher, Joy Bailey is his compassionate girlfriend and Washington the Navy therapist who assists Fisher in his journey.
DOWN IN THE DELTA (1998)
Directed by Maya Angelou, “Down in the Delta” features a mother struggling with addiction who moves to Mississippi with her children only to find the Southern life confining at first. But soon the love of family helps her heal her own demons and she finds peace after years of turmoil. Alfre Woodwarad stars with Esther Rolle, Al Freeman, Jr. Loretta Devine and Wesley Snipes.
Tyler Perry’s adaptation of his own stage play starred his alter ego Ma’dea along with Lynn Whitfield, Boris Kodjoe, Blair Underwood and Keke Palmer. The story includes a troubled teenager and an equally troubled relationship but ends with a note of hope and a message about the lasting importance of family.