Although we have not made it through Halloween yet there is no better time than now to start preparing our holiday movie lineup. Despite it being early, or late depending on when you read this, settling down with a feel-good holiday movie with the family will always be a delightful treat. This year, let’s skip the mainstream commercial favorites and get down to our roots with some well-loved Black movie titles that will warm the heart and tickle your funny bone. The Narrative Matters has put together a list of 5 Black holiday movies that we love and that you should add to your lineup this year.
This Christmas (2007)
In most black homes Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas” from 1970 is on regular rotation. The movie of the same name has also become a favorite within the community. This Black holiday film will take you on an emotional ride covering many common family issues and how we as Black people work together to overcome them. Many of the most loved Black actors of our time have key roles such as Regina King, Mekhi Phifer, Lauren London, Chris Brown, Delroy Lindo, Loretta Devine, and Idris Elba among many others. This Christmas is a comedy with a small smattering of drama that is just spicy enough to keep things interesting while remaining family-friendly.
The Preacher’s Wife (1996)
If Denzel Washington is in a movie, you already know that it will be worth watching. Though this movie was released in 1996, it still hits a chord with modern Black families today. The movie is a remake of the film The Bishops Wife which was released in 1947, but we can all agree that this version is the best. Denzel, Courtney B. Vance, and the late Whitney Houston come together to create a stunning movie that is all about heart, home, and togetherness. Set in a poor area of New York City, Courtney B. Vance plays the role of a Baptist preacher whose marriage and parish are on the verge of collapse. Denzel plays the part of an angel who intervenes to help restore his marriage with Whitney, who is a singer in the choir and revitalizes the parish at the same time. This classic understandably earned both Loretta and Whitney NAACP Image Awards and a place on our list.
Jingle Jangle (2020)
The Christmas story is the go-to movie for most households during the holidays. While it does offer valuable lessons for all ages, there is something missing in the tale. Forest Whitaker deeply understood the need for a holiday story made with little black children in mind. Jingle Jangle follows Jeronicus, who is a Black toymaker creating innovative creations that bring light and joy to all those around them. His assistant pilfers his book of ideas, along with his prized creation, a matador doll that is unique. After losing his will to create, the town falls into sadness as his lively creations are no longer being sold in his toy store. Many years later, his granddaughter visited rekindling his desire to create. This musical features a black cast, music by black composers and artists, and dance choreography by black creators. Watch the delight and joy on your family’s faces when they see themselves represented in this new Christmas tale.
Black Nativity (2013)
There is a lot of negative rhetoric surrounding single mothers, especially single mothers of color. However, Black Nativity is a soulful holiday title that will help highlight the strength of Black women and the powerful children that they raise. This movie follows a teenager from Baltimore who is raised by his single mom. Jennifer Hudson, who plays the mother in this film, sends her son, Langston to visit his estranged relatives in New York for the holidays. Unable to tolerate their strict rules, he plans to return home. From there, his street smarts and the life lessons, he has been taught help him as he begins an inspirational life journey. You will find many familiar faces such as Angela Basset, Tyrese, Forest Whittaker, Mary J, Blige, and more enacting this rendition of the famous Langston Hughes play.
The Best Man’s Holiday (2013)
Most holiday films are geared toward the family and children. While this makes sense, it is still a good idea to have movies on hand for the more mature in our Black households. This sequel to the 1999 movie The Best Man is one such title you should add to your list on repeat. Filled with a star-studded cast with big names such as; Morris Chestnut, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Terrance Howard, Taye Diggs, and more, we are sure you won’t be disappointed. Nothing beats a great love story other than a great Black love story. The Best Man’s Holiday follows the college friends as they reunited over the holidays 15 years later. Grudges are brought to light, and love is rekindled in a uniquely colorful fashion. What a way to spice up your holiday.
Being Black During The Holidays One Screen and in Real Life
There are a lot of holiday options to choose from when looking for a nice family moving, however, the majority tend to be mostly white. Despite the recent changes in Hollywood that have encouraged more diversity, people of color still only make up 38% of the roles. Of that 38%, only half are Black. Showing Black people happy on screen is important, it supports the idea of a strong black family and shows that joy is not a luxury, but rather the norm. The Narrative Matters to people from all walks of life and all age ranges. We work closely with content creators and publishers to seek out important ideas and topics that our readers find important.
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