During the holidays, there’s nothing better than kicking back with your family and friends to catch a couple of seasonal flicks. There’s a seemingly endless list of big- and small-screen holiday movies that may scratch our guilty pleasure itches, but don’t feature much racial diversity or representation. Let’s take a look at some of the black community holiday favorites that top our list!

1: The Preacher’s Wife (1996)

Meta: Screenshot from film

A classic. Denzel Washington’s character, a guardian angel, comes down to help a struggling preacher — but ends up falling for his wife, a vibrant, young Whitney Houston. This is a feel-good, family-friendly comedy where Houston, at her prime, steals the show.

2: A Diva’s Christmas Carol (2000)

Meta: Vanessa William as Ebony with Kathy Griffin, who plays the Ghost of Christmas Past.

As usual, quadruple-threat Vanessa Williams delivers a show-stopping performance in this fun take on the classic Scrooge story. Williams plays Ebony, a pop star with major attitude who hates Christmas. In the movie, she demands to hold a Christmas concert as a marketing scheme, requiring her posse to have to cancel all their holiday plans with their families as a result. Ebony is visited by four ghosts to show her the error of her heartless ways. You may have seen the Scrooge story a hundred times, but you’ve never seen it like this. 

3: Friday After Next (2002)

Meta: Craig and Day-Day with Willie.

There’s no argument; the Friday movies are classic. Friday After Next features our favorite protagonists, Craig and Day-Day, who get robbed by a burglar dressed as Santa Claus. The movie centers around the two going to great lengths and comedic extremes to get their rent money back, and catch the thug who robbed them. 

4: Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020)

Meta: Phylicia Rashad plays Journey as a grandmother, telling her story to her own grandchildren.

If you haven’t seen Jingle Jangle yet, we’re going to need you to run — don’t walk — to your nearest Netflix-enabled device and watch it. The movie follows Journey, the granddaughter of a disgruntled and disenchanted toymaker, as her curiosity and wonder reignites her grandfather’s passion for inventing. This film is bursting with color, energy, and a star-studded cast featuring Phylicia Rashad, Forest Whitaker, Keegan-Michael Key, and introducing Madalen Mills as Journey.

5: Honorable Mention: The Wiz (1978)

Meta: A promotional photo of The Wiz cast.
Source: Time Magazine

All right, there may be no such thing as ‘Thanksgiving’ in Oz. However, The Wiz is a black community cult classic that tops our favorite lists for any time of year. The film kicks off in Harlem on Thanksgiving night. A very introverted Dorothy, played by Diana Ross, is enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with her family before getting caught in a snowstorm and ported away to Oz — that counts in my book!

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