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Whether you watch your movies at the local theater or enjoy them streaming at home, many of the popular movies you watch might feature popular African American actors. These actors have worked hard to secure a place in Hollywood and these movies are a testament to their hard work, determination, and willingness to succeed.

Let’s take a look at some popular movies that feature African American actors. 

Black Panther (2018)

This Marvel superhero film features a predominantly African American cast, including Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, and Lupita Nyong’o. The film is set in the fictional African nation of Wakanda and celebrates African culture and traditions.

Hidden Figures (2016)

This biographical drama tells the story of three African American women who worked at NASA during the 1960s space race. The film stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe and celebrates the contributions of these unsung heroes.

Get Out (2017)

This horror film, written and directed by Jordan Peele, explores the experience of being Black in America through a suspenseful and satirical lens. The film stars Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams and was critically acclaimed for its commentary on race and racism.

Fences (2016)

This film is an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by August Wilson. The movie stars Denzel Washington and Viola Davis and tells the story of a Black family in 1950s Pittsburgh. The film explores themes of love, family, and the struggles of working-class African Americans.

Moonlight (2016)

This coming-of-age drama tells the story of a young African American boy growing up in Miami. The film stars Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders, and Mahershala Ali and won multiple awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture.

The Blackboard Jungle (1955)

In this breakthrough film for Sidney Poitier,he played the role of Gregory Miller, a high school student who becomes the target of racism and violence from his white teacher and classmates. The film was one of the first to address issues of racial tension and prejudice in American schools and was praised for its honest and realistic portrayal of African American students. Poitier’s performance was widely acclaimed, and it helped to establish him as one of the most talented and promising actors of his generation.

48 Hrs. (1982) 

Eddie Murphy played the role of Reggie Hammond, a fast-talking criminal who is released from prison for 48 hours to help a tough cop, played by Nick Nolte, track down a pair of cop killers. Murphy’s performance in the film was widely praised for his comedic timing and energy, and it helped to launch his career as a leading man in Hollywood. “48 Hrs.” was a box office success and became a defining film of the 1980s action-comedy genre.

Do The Right Thing (1989)

This film is set in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, and follows a diverse group of characters over the course of a hot summer day. The film explores themes of race relations, police brutality, and cultural identity. “Do The Right Thing” was widely acclaimed for its bold and provocative storytelling, as well as its innovative use of music and cinematography. It was a critical and commercial success, and it has since become a cultural touchstone and a classic of American cinema. The film stars Spike Lee, Danny Aiello as Sal, John Turturro as Pino, and Ossie Davis as Da Mayor. Other notable cast members include Ruby Dee, Giancarlo Esposito, Bill Nunn, and Samuel L. Jackson. 

Boyz n The Hood (1991)

This film follows the lives of three young men growing up in South Central Los Angeles, dealing with the challenges of poverty, gang violence, and racial discrimination. The film features an all-star cast including Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne, and Angela Bassett and received critical acclaim for its powerful storytelling and social commentary on urban life in America.

These are all films that are popular and helped launch or refine the careers of several notable African American actors and actresses. These movies are timeless with a cultural message that is still relevant today.

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