Black History Month is upon us. Here are some new and upcoming films to check out this February:
Black Boy Joy (Feb. 2)
A short film about three generations of Black men struggling with the demands of raising a young son with autism while adapting to a new life after the passing of a loved one.
“Black Boy Joy” was an American Black Film Festival HBO Short FIlm Competition finalist and premieres on HBO Max this month.
Malcolm & Marie (Feb. 5)
In this romantic drama, a filmmaker (John David Washington) and his girlfriend (Zendaya) have their relationship tested on the night of his latest film premiere. The black-and-white film from writer and director Sam Levinson showcases the couple’s romantic pain and revelation.
Check it out on Netfilx.
The Equalizer (Feb. 7)
This crime series stars Queen Latifiah as the main character. The series chronicles the life of Robyn McCall, an enigmatic woman and single mother to teenage daughter Delilah, with a mysterious background who uses her extensive combat skills to help the helpless, acting as a guardian angel and a defender for those who cannot defend themselves while pursuing her own redemption.
Black Art: In the Absence of Light (Feb. 9)
Inspired by the late David Driskell’s groundbreaking 1976 exhibition, “Two Centuries of Black American Art,” this documentary sheds light on the exhibition’s impact on generations of Black artists. The film includes insight from scholars, historians and contemporary curators and artists.
View it live Feb. 9 on HBO Max at 8 p.m. CT. and on demand the following day.
Judas and the Black Messiah (Feb. 12)
A biographical drama about the infiltration of the Black Panther Party’s Illinois chapter by William O’Neal, a man who was offered a plea deal by the FBI to gather information on Chairman Fred Hampton.
The film can be viewed in theaters and on HBO Max.
The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song (Feb. 16-17)
Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. takes viewers on an enlightening, two-part journey through the 400-year-old history of African American religion—from plantation prayer houses to contemporary congregations and their role in addressing social inequality and ministering to those in need.
Included: Interviews with Oprah Winfrey, John Legend, Jennifer Hudson, Bishop Michael Curry, Cornel West, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Rev. Al Sharpton, Yolanda Adams, Rev. William Barber II, BeBe Winans, Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie and more.
The series premieres live at 8 p.m. CT on PBS stations nationwide.
The United States vs. Billie Holiday (Feb. 26)
Beginning in the 1940s, legendary jazz musician Billie Holiday was targeted by the federal government during the War of Drugs. This film reinacts the harrassment in New York City. Holiday, who struggled with drug addiction, was ultimately targeted to stop her from singing her anti-lynching ballad, “Strange Fruit.”
Stream the film on Hulu.
Black Renaissance (Feb. 26)
President and Mrs. Obama headline this special showcasing of Black creators, artists, writers, storytellers, and others who have shaped our nation’s history—and the next generation of Black voices who are reimagining our future. It will feature dance, music, fashion, photography, literature, Afrofuturism, and the art of Black Women and LGBTQ+ artists. In addition to the Obamas, the special will feature appearances by Jason Reynolds, Killer Mike, Desus Nice & The Kid Mero, Jemele Hill, artist Shantell Martin, and a performance by Tobe Nwigwe. More names are expected to be announced later.
This special will premiere live on the YouTube Originals channel.