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.
JOHNSON FAMILY VACATION (2004)
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.
THIS CHRISTMAS (2007)
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.
THE ANTWONE FISHER STORY (2002)
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.
MADEA’S FAMILY REUNION (2006)
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.
THE NUTTY PROFESSOR (1996)
What funnier family has ever been created than the Klumps – all played by Eddie Murphy. In the first of two movies, Murphy is Sherman Klump, an overweight professor looking for love who takes a chemical that transforms him into a slimmer but nastier alter ego. Jada Pinkett stars as the object of Klump’s desire, though she has to get by his large, in every sense of the word, family first.
WELCOME HOME ROSCOE JENKINS (2008)
Martin Lawrence and Joy Bailey play a high-end L.A. celebrity couple that return home to Martin’s humble beginnings in the South. Cedric The Entertainer, Mike Epps and Mo’Nique play the kind of family members you hope to avoid at family gatherings; James Earl Jones and “The Color Purple’s” Margaret Avery are the parents of this crazy clan.
MAMA FLORA’S FAMILY -TV MOVIE- (1998)
Although it was a TV movie, “Mama Flora’s Family” is the memorable story of the triumphs and struggles of a black family set against the backdrop of several decades of American history that resonated with audiences. Cicely Tyson, Blair Underwood, Queen Latifah and Mario Van Peebles star as multiple generations of one family.
ARE WE THERE YET? (2005)
Bachelor Nick soon finds out that to win the heart of Suzanne, he must first win over her kids and it’s not an easy task. When Nick offers to drive the kids cross-country to see their mom during a holiday, predictable disaster and comedy are on the menu. Ice Cube and Nia Long star.
SOUL FOOD (1997)
This popular drama is about three Chicago sisters and their families who carry on their mother’s tradition of Sunday soul food dinners even after she dies. The movie inspired the long-running Showtime TV series of the same name, one of the only successful Black family dramas ever aired on television. Vanessa L. Williams, Vivica A. Fox, Nia Long and Mekhi Phifer star.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/7-10/14)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Nite | to the tune of @cnn 😞
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2. Got so much work to do but I just wanna stay in bed and binge watch #Gameofthrones and start the new season of #OnceUponATime. I know I can't be the only one. Right? Ha 💤🦁🍂 #saturday
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3. Mommy's weekend turn up ❤️👶🏾💕🍼 Wouldn't trade it for nothing. #TeamNoSleep lol #HesMyBiggestBlessing ✨
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4. One of them oh shit mont we made it feelings … this shit still be unreal 💯💪🏾 @remyboymonty1738
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5. Tickets Available October 14 @ticketmaster.
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6. People magazine Home edition has raided my house! Get a sneak peek into the bedroom life of the Leakes and see other parts of my home now at PEOPLE.COM
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7. They want to kick you when you down, but kick it when you up
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8. Got my advance copy of #Mafia3 at @gamestop. Get yours via link in the bio #Mafia3 #Ad
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9. This is some of the cast and our diverse team of writers in the writer's room creating funny sh*t for @nbcmarlon what a fun room! Lots of jokes, great stories and having a great time doing what we love... making people laugh and feel something. Look out for our show next year @nbcmarlon we bringing sitcoms back to NBC
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10. #HappySunday☀️Thank you @4everbrandy101 💛💡💛
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11. Happy to be back in Central Falls, RI breaking ground for the One Stop Health Center and hosting a local community event with #Vaseline.
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12. Thank you all in advance 💋💋💋 #Repost @urbansvintage・・・#TarajiPHenson's memoir #AroundTheWayGirl will be available everywhere TODAY October 11th! Will you be purchasing a copy? #UrbansVintage
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13. Moms got my back
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14. @galore dinner party glo ✨ thanks to @styledbygiigii
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15. 🌹#ThisIsWhatTheTruthFeelsLikeTOUR #forevereve
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16. Yes, all those videos I've been posting have led to this: the introduction of skincare to @TYRABeauty! This is the rundown on the new line:Years of research and beauty tips I live by led me to produce the most effective and delightful skincare out there. I'm all about taking really good care of my skin, so I can look like I'm aging in #TyraYears and go filter free on Instagram when I feel like it! Now, it's your turn. ✨My Mama always told me not to wash my face with just my hands. "Tyra, girl, you're just moving the dirt around!" And I've listened. First up is The Clean Machine.... ...a 3-in-1 foaming face wash that cleanses, removes makeup and purified your skin. It has patented technology - a attached Turbo Cleansing Tool - to give you that deep clean that makes your skin feel super fresh. Wanna know more? Yeah, baby. Click that link in my bio.
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17. On set of #beingmaryjane like... ❤️😬💃🏾
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18. #carouselofhope@yvetteshelton100@makeupbylatrice @thestacetheface@marialuciahohan24
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19. I refuse to let a little cold stop me from my daily routines to greatness. #onlythestrongsurvive #warriors
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20. Big things begin with big THINKING... #BusinessEthics #SetLife 🎥
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21. Goodnight - here's a song
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22. Words can't explain the feeling that I have right now.....God is good. look momma I made it. #Harts #Blessed #WhatNow #comedicrockstarshit #4DaysAway
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23. I tried to get a better video with out the nasty bib but she started getting mad at me..lol! Big cuz @the_queen_caitlin trying to show her what to do. #MamasToots #HeirBear👑💜
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24. Gorgeous Serena joined Beyoncé in Formation last night on stage in New Jersey!!!
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25. 😜 @lifeofdesiigner & @rockohill
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