LSA faculty share the television shows and films whose stories matter now

Source: College of Literature, Science and the Arts

Courtesy of LSA

A well-told story lights a path forward.

Sitting down on the couch to watch television or a movie might seem passive, but paying attention to how stories are told and listening carefully to voices that are too often left out of history books and awards can inspire solidarity, empathy, hope, and change. LSA faculty representing a wide range of disciplines and expertise shared some of their recommendations for films on race and racism that are worth adding to your list.

Participating faculty and staff include Angela Abiodun, collaboration and outreach manager at the Institute for the Humanities; Melba Boyd, professor in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies; Frieda Ekotto, professor in the Departments of Afroamerican and African Studies and Comparative Literature; Ashley Lucas, associate professor in the Residential College and the Department of Theatre and Drama in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance; Yeidy M. Rivero, professor and chair in the Department of Film, Television, and Media; Derek Vaillant, professor of communication studies; and from the Department of American Culture, Asian/Pacific Islander Studies Program Director Hitomi Tonomura, Native American Studies Program Director Michael Witgen, and faculty from the Latina/o Studies Program.

“Now more than ever is the time to elevate the voices of those who have been most impacted by purposeful systemic oppression in our society,” Ashley Lucas says. There’s work to be done.  Lucas and other LSA faculty members contributed their thoughts and suggestions to create a list of films, shows, and videos to encourage free thought and fight racism. Streaming availability reflects the time we collected this information and may have changed. And no list can be exhaustive.

LSA invites you to watch, listen, and do the work that comes after the credits roll.


  • 13th (directed by Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
  • American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs (directed by Grace Lee Boggs)— Available here:
  • American Son (directed by Kenny Leon) — Netflix
  • Bamboozled (directed by Spike Lee) — Available to rent
  • Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975 (directed by Göran Olsson)— Available to rent
  • Blindspotting (directed by Carlos López Estrada) — Hulu with Cinemax or available to rent
  • Boyz in the Hood (directed by John Singleton) — Available to rent
  • Clemency (directed by Chinonye Chukwu) — Available to rent
  • Continuous Journey (directed by Ali Kazimi)— Available here:
  • Freedom Riders (directed by Stanley Nelson Jr.) — Available to rent
  • Fruitvale Station (directed by Ryan Coogler) — Available to rent
  • I Am Not Your Negro (directed by Raoul Peck) — Available to rent or on Kanopy
  • If Beale Street Could Talk (directed by Barry Jenkins) — Hulu
  • Just Mercy (directed by Destin Daniel Cretton) — Available to rent
  • King in the Wilderness (directed by Peter Kunhardt)  — HBO
  • La operación (directed by Ana María García) — Available to rent
  • Lone Star (directed by John Sayles) — Available to rent
  • No más bebés (directed by Renee Tajíma-Peña) — Available to rent
  • See You Yesterday (directed by Stefon Bristol) — Netflix
  • Selma (directed by Ava DuVernay) — Available to rent
  • She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (directed by John Ford) — Available to rent
  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (directed by Stanley Nelson Jr.) — Available to rent
  • The Bronze Screen: 100 Years of the Latino Image in Hollywood (directed by Alberto Domínguez, Susan Racho, Nancy De Los Santos) — Available to rent
  • The Fall of the I-Hotel (directed by Curtis Choy)— Available here:
  • The Hate U Give (directed by George Tillman Jr.) — Available to rent
  • The Last Black Man in San Francisco (directed by Joe Talbot)— Available to rent
  • The Searchers (directed by John Ford) — Available to rent
  • Walkout! (directed by Edward James Olmos) — Available to rent
  • Who Killed Vincent Chin? (directed by Renee Tajima-Peña, Christine Choy)— Available here:
  • Wild Style (directed by Charlie Ahearn)— Available to rent

TV Shows

  • “Asian Americans” —Available here:
  • “Dear White People”—Netflix
  • “East Side/West Side”—Available to Rent
  • “Eyes on the Prize” —Available here:
  • “Finding Justice” —Available here:
  • “Soul!” —Available here:
  • “The Boondocks”—HBO Max
  • “The Wire”—HBO Max
  • “Treme”—HBO Max
  • “When They See Us”—Netflix

Web Videos

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