10 Movies And Shows About Black Figures I Love And 9 That Missed The Mark By Miles
Movies or biopics about a legend's life can be a great way to honor someone if the job is done right. But the keywords are: "IF DONE RIGHT." Here are 20 movies about Black historical figures, graded on whether it was done correctly, or just missed the mark. Lets see what movies did their due diligence.
Got it Right: Malcolm X
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Movie: Malcolm X
One of the most vital civil rights movies ever to be made, and it almost didn't happen. The movie didn't have the financial backing at first, but thank God for celebs such as Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, and Magic Johnson who donated to the Spike Lee film, helping to get it off the ground.
The three-part film detailed Malcolm's life perfectly, and the movie was perfectly portrayed by director Spike Lee and actor Denzel Washington.
HBO / Via giphy.com
Movie: Straight Outta Compton
This movie missed the mark because the only character that felt portrayed somewhat correctly was Eazy-E. The film was executive produced by Dr. Dre and Ice Cube which might be the reason the film fell short for me. The movie was missing significant stories about those two men (more on the negative side) which sold the movie short.
Got it Right: Ray Charles
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Jamie Foxx was meant for this movie. When I tell you, that man got everything down on Ray Charles: the physical mannerisms, playing the piano himself, taking his signature vocal sayings and perfecting them to a T. This movie was cast well and told a story of the legendary singer we didn't know.
Got it Wrong: Michael Oher
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Movie: The Blind Side
I honestly loved this movie, but I had to put this on here because if the man portrayed didn't like it and called out its inaccuracies, I have to as well. Oher felt like the film hurt his football career. “They don’t really see the skills and the kind of player I am,” Oher stated. He believed that they didn't tell the tale of how hard his childhood was and that the movie overshadowed his actual skills.
Got it Right: Jackie Robinson
Got it Wrong: Michael Jackson
Got it Right: Martin Luther King Jr.
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Director Ava DuVernay portrayed MLK's life like a woman who was walking the streets with MLK the way it was so brilliantly articulated. The movie is inspiring, and I love how Selma is like a snapshot of a place and a time of the city versus being strictly about MLK.
Got it Wrong: Aaliyah
Got it Right: Bessie Smith
Got it Wrong: MC Hammer
Got it Right: Richard Williams
King Richard / Via giphy.com
Movie: King Richard
King Richard is a film about Venus and Serena Williams, their family, and more importantly, their father Richard Williams. It shows the determination of Mr. Williams who wrote an 85-page plan for his daughters even before they were born to become tennis stars. The movie follows the family up to Venus's first pro tournament.
Got it Wrong: 2Pac
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Movie: All Eyez on Me
Jada Pinkett Smith, a well-known lifelong friend of Tupac, commented how every scene that features her in the movie didn't happen and had big inaccuracies in them. The movie failed to capture all of the unique qualities Tupac possesses while never settling into a groove.
Got it Right: O.J. Simpson
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Series: The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (Season 1)
The O.J. story is an endless conversation, and to this day we question what happened. The show's writers did a great job making it the viewer's job to draw your conclusion about O.J. Simpson and making sure they tell the story from both sides (O.J. and the media) on what was happening behind the scenes. It is a series versus a movie that helped give nuance while still providing entertainment fillers that helped draw in viewers weekly.
Got it Wrong: Mike Tyson
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Again, if the person portrayed came out to talk about the film and said it's a miss, I have no choice but to agree. Mike Tyson didn't approve of Hulu's attempt at his bio story and even went further to say that they produced it without his permission, and didn't pay him a dime. He's currently working with Jamie Foxx to bring the official story to life.
Got it Right: Fred Hampton
Judas and the Black Messiah / Via giphy.com
Movie: Judas and the Black Messiah
Fred Hampton is one of the most radical leaders our country has seen. This movie is about FBI agent Roy Mitchell recruiting a criminal by the name of Bill O'Neal to infiltrate the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party to take down chairman Fred Hampton and help conjure up Hampton's assassination.
Got it Wrong: DeBarge
Got it Right: Thurgood Marshall
Get it Wrong: Ben Carson
Got it Right: Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson
Hidden Figures / Via giphy.com
Movie: Hidden Figures
This movie highlights the true story of three immaculate Black female mathematicians. This movie is heartwarming despite having some historical inaccuracies. The message of three women not letting racial discrimination, their gender, and skin color get to them while preserving to work for a big corporation like NASA is one we don't see often on the big screen.
Let me know what you think?
There are some other good ones not listed I believe everyone reading should check out. What's Love Got to Do with It, CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, and The Temptations were all done correctly! Which ones did I leave off?