TUC5: Top 5 Black Biopics to Add on Your Watchlist

As Black History Month is coming to a close, you could be adding these biopics to your watchlist to learn more about historical and legendary people that have changed the black community drastically. A perfect biopic consists of amazing writing, directing, a wonderful cast, and the list goes on. These biopics have had those things and became pretty popular within black households. Here are five black biopics you should watch.

  • What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993)

“What’s Love Go to Do with It” is about the legendary soul singer, Tina Turner. Angela Bassett took the challenge of playing Turner as you watch her rise to stardom alongside her husband Ike Turner, played by Lawrence Fishburne. This biopic gave Angela Bassett a Golden Globe for Best Actress in Comedy or Musical film. While both she and Fishburne did receive nominations for Best Actor and Actress. “What’s Love Got to Do with It” is available on Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, and YouTube.

  • Ray (2004)

Portrayed by Jamie Fox, “Ray” became an Oscar-winning film when it was released. Giving viewers a glimpse of jazz legend Ray Charles’s life. It gave us many memorable scenes from Ray witnessing his brother drown to when he first lost his eyesight at 9. It also shows how he rises through the ranks of the Seattle Jazz scene, struggling with his drug addiction, and even his infidelity issues when it came to his marriage. “Ray” is available on streaming services such as Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime.

  • The New Edition Story (2017)

“The New Edition Story” was a trending topic on social media when it was released. Considered one of BET’s most popular biopics to be aired, “The New Edition Story” follows the life of the popular R&B group New Edition. It gives their fans an inside look at how the group was formed, the ups & downs, and even fights. The biopic introduced the world to young talent such as Algee Smith, Woody McClain, and many others. The three-part miniseries also became BET’s highest-scoring ratings for something that’s been aired on BET. “The New Edition Story” is available on CBS All Access, Amazon Prime, and BET.

  • Marshall (2017)

It’s no secret that the late Chadwick Boseman is very popular for his acting as popular black figures. Being able to say that you played as iconic musical legends like James Brown and Levee Green is definitely one of the greatest flexes. However, in 2017, Boseman took the challenge of playing Thurgood Marshall. Boseman played Marshall who was defending a black man who was accused of sexually assaulting a white woman. Marshall also teamed up with Sam Friedman, a local Jewish lawyer who’s never handled a criminal case. Both of them having to build a defense while receiving racist and anti-Semitic slurs during the journey of the case. “Marshall” is available to stream on Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, and YouTube.

  • The Great Debaters (2007)

Directed by the lead actor himself Denzel Washington, “The Great Debaters” is based on the Wiley College debate team mentioned in an article written by Tony Scherman for the spring 1997 issue of American Legacy.  The movie follows the debate team as debate coach Melvin B. Tolson (Washington) helps them get on the same level as white debate teams in the American South during the 1930s. “The Great Debaters” also stars Jurnee Smollett, Nate Parker, and Forest Whitaker. “The Great Debaters” grossed over $30 million in the box office and debuted at No. 11 during opening weekend. This biopic was nominated for multiple awards and won several Image Awards. “The Great Debaters” is available on the streaming services of Tubi, Amazon Prime, and Itunes.